Donegal Senior Reserve Final: Glenswilly worthy winners

Diarmaid Doherty


Diarmaid Doherty

Glenswilly celebrate after winning the senior reserve championship in MacCumhaill Park. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDP1910 Ardara v Glenswilly TG9
Those who don’t believe in pre-match superstitions, try telling Glenswilly’s goal hero, Shane Carberry.

Those who don’t believe in pre-match superstitions, try telling Glenswilly’s goal hero, Shane Carberry.

Glenswilly 1-8

Ardara 0-9

The forward was handed the No. 20 jersey ahead of Sunday’s Senior Reserve Final, the same number worn by Michael Murphy in the senior final of 2011.

And just like Murphy did on that occasion, Carberry produced the goods, scoring the all-important goal in a rip-roaring second half.

But as Carberry’s manager, Aidy Glackin, pointed out afterwards, this victory was about so much more than Carberry’s goal.

“I’m delighted for Shane, but it’s not about one individual, it’s about a group,” Glackin said.

“We said all along we are a chain that won’t be broken and that’s the way it proved. Even when the Ardara team pushed us, I knew our boys had it in them to go up the pitch and find a winner and that’s the way it turned out.”

For Ardara, it was a case of so near and yet so far. They might not have been at their best, but they still managed to stay in touch with their opponents.

Prompted by the efforts of Stephen Gildea, who hit four second half points, three from frees, they refused to throw in the towel despite the fact they were chasing the game for much of the second half.

Their hard work and determination saw them get to back within a point of Glenswilly before Gildea drew them level just before the finish with a well taken free.

But credit to Glenswilly, they found an answer in injury time with two points of their own from Carberry and Christopher McMonagle to finally kill off Ardara’s brave challenge.

Glenswilly had started this final the brighter and kicked two delightful points early on to move into the lead. Daniel McConnell, with barely thirty seconds gone on the watch, knocked over a fine score from wide on the left and his fellow half back, Ciaran Gibbons kicked a second on 5 minutes following good approach work from Dermot McGinley, Charley Bonner and Brian McDaid.

But frustratingly for Glenswilly, they were unable to kick on and once they settled into their game, Ardara began to carry a threat at the other end. Paul Watters worked himself a good opening before finding his range for his team’s opening score on 8 minutes.

They had chances to draw level but kicked a succession of poor wides and it was a problem that soon found its way into the Glenswilly game as well. Time and again they had chances to increase their advantage but after getting themselves into good positions, their shooting let them down.

Towards the end of a hugely disappointing first half, Ardara eventually kicked the equaliser when on 28 minutes, Peter McHugh kicked a delightful point on the run from 30 metres.

However, there was still time for Glenswilly to respond and Caoimhin Marley’s well taken score ensured his team would lead at half time by a point, 0-3 to 0-2.

Thankfully, the second half proved a much more enjoyable affair. The half opened with Carberry’s goal three minutes in. A long pass was pumped in towards goal by McMonagle where Carberry fetched the ball, turned his man and fired low past keeper Patrick Gavigan into the bottom corner.

It was a wonderful finish from Carberry and it was a score that was to prove so crucial at the finish.

Ardara had brought in Noel Gallagher and Lorcan O’Donnell for the second half and they certainly made a positive impact - Gallagher scoring an early point to reduce the defecit to just a goal.

Gildea kicked his first free of the afternoon but Glenswilly, playing so much better after the break, added points of their own through Brian Shorty McDaid and Ryan Diver.

Another free from Ardara, this time from Paul Watters left it 1-5 to 0-5 after 41 minutes and while Caoimhin Marley hit a point for Glenswily, Gildea, Johnny Herron and Gildea again ensured that Ardara trailed by only a point with nine minutes to go, 1-6 to 0-8.

Both teams made changes as players tired but with the decider delicately poised, Ardara did brilliantly to win a free on 59 minutes and despite the difficult angle, Stephen Gildea found his range again.

However, just as the game entered injury time, substitute, Ryan McLaughlin won a soft free for Glenswilly which was converted by Carberry. There was still plenty of time for Ardara to find a response of their own. But Glenswilly held firm, won a turn-over and McMonagle ventured forward to kick a fantastic point off the outside of his right boot.

It was a wonderful score and capped a memorable afternoon for a Glenswilly team who were deserving winners.

ARDARA: Patrick Gavigan; Nicolas Breslin, Patrick Gallagher, Sean McLochlann; Kelvin Slowey, Francis Boyle, Johnny Herron (0-1); Johnny McGill, Eoin O’Donnell; Kyle Gallagher, Peter McHugh (0-1), Paul Watters (0-2, 1f); Gerard McCabe, Stephen Gildea (0-4, 3f), Jack Brennan.

Subs: Noel Gallagher (0-1) for McCabe (half time) Lorcan O’Donnell for K Gallagher (half time), Kevin Byrne for F Boyle (35), Killian Boyle for P Gallagher (40), Joe Melly for S McLochlann (53)

GLENSWILLY: Frank Carberry; Brian McDaid (0-1), Paddy McFadden, Mark McAteer; Ciaran Gibbons (0-1), Daniel McConnell (0-1), Barry Molloy; Padraig Boyle, Christopher McMonagle (0-1); Charley Bonner, Caoimhin Marley (0-2), John McFadden; Ryan Diver (0-1), Dermot McGinley, Shane Carberry (1-1, 1f).

Subs: Paddy Diver for P Boyle (49), Ryan McLaughlin for J McFadden (52), Ryan Toner for D. McGinley (56), Ciaran Hunter for C Bonner (57).

Referee: Ryan Walsh (Bundoran).