St. Mary's , Convoy pictured before Sunday's Junior A Championship quarter-final. Photo: Geraldine Diver.
Paddy Dolan was the driving force for Convoy as they deservedly edged out a battling Naomh Padraig, Muff to gain a semi-final slot in an entertaining affair in Ballybofey on Sunday.
St. Mary's, Convoy . . . 3-8
Naomh Padraig, Muff . . . 1-12
Dolan struck a fine goal in the first half and had a big hands in two others.
The 17-year-old showed maturity way beyond his years and veteran Anthony Browne also showed up well for the winners.
Convoy were well worth their half-time lead of 1-5 to 0-7, Dolan's goal was the difference.
Muff relied for inspiration on James Breslin and the McColgans who never gave up the battle.
But two second half goals from John Toye and Paul O’Leary sealed the deal for the Convoy men, despite a late rally from Muff.
And Dolan played a significant role in both goals.
Muff settled quickly and Brian McColgan got them off the mark after taking a pass from Cathal McColgan after just two minutes.
Convoy looked a bit nervous in the early stages, but Gavin Sweeney settled nerves with a well- struck point in the fifth minute.
And then Convoy struck for the really crucial score of the opening half in the 6th minute.
It began with a promising solo run from the left side. Darren Bonner gathered the loose ball and spotted Paddy Dolan out of the corner of his eye before delivering a perfect pass.
Dolan gathered quickly and sent a low daisy cutter to the back of the Muff net.
The Inishowen men were temporarily stunned by this reversal as Gavin Sweeney set up John Toye who added to Convoy’s advantage as they led by 1-2 to 0-1
Muff regrouped and managed to nail the next three scores in a row through Aiden Lynch, Brian McColgan (who blazed over with a great chance of a goal), and the accurate James Breslin.
But it was then that veteran Convoy star Anthony Browne decided to take a stand as he landed three points in a row in a period from the 17th to 22nd minutes to put Convoy back in front on a score of 1-5 to 0-4.
However the inevitable Brian McColgan and Breslin hit back for Muff to leave Convoy leading by 1-5 to 0-7 at the interval.
Convoy upped the tempo in the third quarter with the very prominent Dolan at the hub of all their efforts.
They spurned two half chances of goals before getting the all- important ones through John Toye and Paul O’Leary
Muff found the net through Oisin McColgan midway through the second half, but Convoy held out for a deserved victory.
CONVOY: Sean Patton; Keelan Gillen, John A Kee, Liam Prunty; Brian McNamee, James Kee, Benny Bonner; Raymond McNamee, Emmett Patterson; Patrick Dolan (1-1), Anthony Browne (0-41f), Gavin Sweeney; (0-1) Darren Bonner, Paul O’Leary (1-1) John Toye (1-1)
Subs; Michael Ayton for Darren Bonner (50)
MUFF: Joe McCauley; Justin Gallagher, Damian Laird, Eanna McColgan ; Chris O’Donnell , Karol Lynch, Cathal McColgan ; (0-1) Eunan Keaveny (0-1), Colm McColgan; (0-1), Dermot Keavney, James Breslin, (0-5f), Brian McColgan; (0-3) Oisin McColgan, Dermot McColgan, Aiden Lynch (0-1)
Subs; Mark Doherty for Aidan Lynch (24) Oisin McCool for Eanna McColgan (40), Martin Duffy for Brian McColgan (40) Aiden Lynch for Colm McColgan (57)
Referee Marc Brown (Four Masters)