Kilcar put on a classy second half display to squeak past Cloughaneely in a thrilling Minor Division One county semi-final in O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny yesterday.
Cloughaneely found the net three times in the first half before their scores dried up and Kilcar turned on the style with a barrage of well taken points that made for a thrilling finish.
It was Kilcar who opened the scoring after a couple of minutes when Ryan McHugh slotted over a mid-range free.
Cloughaneely were level two minutes later when Cillian Gallagher pointed from play. They edged ahead when Gallagher was fouled and John McGarvey converted the free.
He was on the mark again, pointing his own free, to make it Cloughaneely 0-3 Kilcar 0-1 after 15 minutes.
The next flurry of action saw a goal rush commence with both sides netting in some high intensity action right up to the end of the half.
Cloughaneely’s Joe Coll, stepped in to hit a close range free when Cillian Gallagher was fouled. The Kilcar defence crowded their goal line and seemed to have every angle covered but Coll’s powerful shot was high and tight into the top right hand corner leaving it 1-3 to 0-1.
Moments later Kilcar’s defence gifted a sloppy pass and it was capitalised on by Cillian Gallagher who fed a smooth pass to John McGarvey to fire home for a second goal from close range.
Kilcar lost the influential Stephen McBrearty early on and he was replaced by Jordan Mooney. Kilcar’s Ryan McHugh showed some quick thinking when he chipped a quick free kick over keeper’s Sean McClafferty’s head to claw back a goal for his side making it Cloughaneely 1-1, Kilcar 2-3. Cloughaneely soon hit their third goal when McGarvey linked up with Joe Coll, who’s shot was well saved by Kevin Boyle but the rebound fell to Ciaran McGeady to fire home leaving it 3-3 to 1-1 on the 18 minute mark. Matthew McClean answered back with a point for Kilcar.
As the clock ticked down on the first half Kilcar began the tough task of closing the significant gap and a quick succession of points from Conor Doherty from a free and Matthew McClean from play closed the half - Cloughaneely 3-3 Kilcar 1-4.
Kilcar wasted no time following the re-start and Ryan McHugh slotted over a free and a minute later Cunningham cleverly fisted over a point as they got right back into the game. John McGarvey pointed a free for Cloughaneely to make it 3-4 to Kilcar’s 1-7.
Kilcar’s Conor Doherty struck a fine score from play and on 13 minutes Eoin McHugh made it 1-9 for Kilcar. Matthew McClean added another Kilcar’s revival was back on target.
A long run from Ryan McHugh resulted in one of the best scores of the game and Kilcar taking the lead. In one of the best passages of play Ryan McHugh linked with Cunningham to McClean back to Cunningham to fist over a fine score. McHugh pointed again to make it 1-13 Kilcar to 3-4 Cloughaneely whie McClean hit Kilcar’s last point and had the game well under control until in one of the last actions of the match Cillian Gallagher pulled a goal back for Cloughaneely but it was too late to change the outcome.
Man of the Match goes to Ryan McHugh with a fine tally of scores and an involvement in almost every Kilcar attack.
Kilcar: Kevin Boyle; Christopher Cunningham, James Shovlin, Andrew McClean; Cormac Cannon, Ryan McHugh (1-5,1f), Eoin McHugh (0-1); Aodhan McGinley, Aaron Doherty; Chris Doogan, Matthew McClean (0-5,2f), Kevin Gallagher; Michael Cunningham (0-2), Stephen McBrearty, Conor Doherty (0-1). Sub: Jordan Mooney for Stephen McBrearty.
Cloughaneely: Sean McClafferty, Daniel Scott, Cian McFadden, Ciaran Ferry, Daniel O Rabhbriagh, Martin Ferry, Lee O’Brien, Joe Coll (1-1), Sean Ferry, John McGarvey (1-3), Seosamh Harley, Cillian Gallagher (1-0), Sean Mc Garvey, Ciaran McGeady (1-0). Subs: Seamus Coll on for Shane Ferry.
Referee: Shane Toolan (Aodh Ruadh)