Fionn McClure was the toast of a gritty Carndonagh side that edged out Termon in a truly thrilling U-16 Division Two Championship final at the excellent Convoy venue.
Carndonagh . . . . . . . 2-12
Termon . . . . . . . . . . . 2-11
McClure stayed ice cool as he calmly took a pass from Lee McLaughlin before rifling the ball low to the net two minutes from time.
That crucial strike put the Inis Owen lads in front by a mere point as they hung on for a narrow but ultimately deserved victory.
Tenacious Termon threw everything into a frantic late rally to get on terms but the winners held on for a narrow victory.
And they did it without their best player Conor O’Donnell who was injured in the run up to this final.
But, his substitute Kieran Farren was simply superb and landed some crucial long range points to keep his side in touch against a very impressive Termon side in the opening half.
In truth, many of the large crowd would have liked this entertaining affair between two physically imposing team, to go extra time.
For this was a memorable match, studded with some splendid scores from both teams.
Termon, who had slightly the better of the opening half, settled first and went into an early lead through the impressive Conor McFadden.
Jamie Grant stretched that lead to two points, before Carndonagh replied like a rattlesnake.
Towering midfielder, Kieran Farren, a late replacement for the injured Conor O’Donnell threaded through an inch perfect pass to Jason Lynch who rifled the ball to the Termon net.
That set the tone for a ding first half where the lead changed hands on several occasions.
Grant and Lynch exchanged points before Termon struck for a wonderful goal of their own in the 16th minute.
The physically powerful Steve McDaid picked out midfielder Kieran Black who cut through the Carn defence like a dark arrow of destruction before hammering home a great goal to put Termon ahead by 1-5 to 1-3.
But Carn refused to yield and managed to hit back with a few crucial scores in a five- minute period of injury time, through the inevitable Farren.
The scoring rate may have dropped slightly in the second half but the intensity stayed undimmed, as the sides were level on five occasions.
It looked like Termon had struck a major hammer blow in the 44th minute when the got their second goal.
Carn corner forward McClure had just capitalized on a poor Termon kick out to put Carn ahead by 1-10 to 1-9 when Termon replied with a lightning move.
The excellent Jamie Grant and Ryan McFadden combined cleverly to place Anthony Grant on the edge of the Carn square and the wing forward expertly picked his spot through a crowded Carn defence.
Grant’s great strike put Termon ahead by 2-9 to 1-10 and it looked like they might just hang on for victory before McClure’s critical late strike.
Points from Farren and Lee McLaughlin left just a point in it before Termon hit back with a late point from Conor McFadden with just two minutes to go.
But, cometh the crisis, and cometh McClure, to ensure an emotional, and slightly merited victory for the Inis Owen boys.
Termon’s cup of woe was complete when wing forward Ryan McFadden was given a red card after he approached referee Mark Dorrian after the match.