The magic journey continues for the Glen men

The magic journey continues for the Glen men
Glenswilly are doing Donegal proud as they reached their first Ulster club final with victory over Roslea in Healy Park, Omagh on Sunday.

Glenswilly are doing Donegal proud as they reached their first Ulster club final with victory over Roslea in Healy Park, Omagh on Sunday.

Glenswilly 3-9

Roslea 2-8

They were in control for much of the game but then allowed Roslea back into the contest in the third quarter, conceding two goals, the second one of the soft variety, but they pulled away again to win comfortably.

They are only the fourth Donegal club to reach an Ulster final and will be hoping to join St. Joseph’s as the only Donegal winners of the competition.

“They were saying during the week where was Glenswilly. Well, it’s on the map now,” said Ciaran Bonner afterwards.

The Glen men have left some room for improvement, especially in the full-back line, but in Colin Kelly and Michael Murphy, their goalscorers, they have plenty of punch up front.

It was a special weekend for manager Gary McDaid as his wife, Mandy, gave birth to a baby son, Jack, on Friday.

Roslea started well with a point from Seamie Quigley after just 40 seconds, but within a minute Glenswilly were in control with Darren McGinley creating the opening for Colin Kelly and although his effort was half stopped by the Roslea ‘keeper Sean Boyle, he allowed it dribble over the line.

The Fermanagh champions had just one tactic, lashing it in high to the Quigleys and they got further reward on two minutes with Quigley fielding and firing over.

But then Glenswilly pulled away with a Murphy free and Darren McGinley, Ciaran Bonner and Gary McFadden adding points before a great move started by Darren McGinley saw Kealan McFadden and Colin Kelly set up Michael Murphy to fire home the second goal.

Roslea had their best period in the final ten minutes of the half with two more points from Quigley, one a spectacular effort from distance, and another from James McMahon but Michael Murphy had the final point of the half from a free to leave Glenswilly 2-5 to 0-5 ahead at the break. They had one or two other chances with James Pat McDaid denied by a last ditch save by Conor Quigley on 23 minutes.

It was no more than they deserved and the Roslea threat was very much one-dimensional.

The third quarter saw Roslea have another good period with two early points and it looked as if the game was over as a contest when Glenswilly hit their third goal, Colin Kelly flicking a Michael Murphy 47m free to the net.

The ‘45’ had come about after a great break from Darren McGinley who was through on goal but decided to offload when he could he could easily have found the net himself.

But Roslea hit back with a Quigley penalty after Niall Cosgrove was fouled and then a lob from full-back Conor Mulligan was completely misjudged by Philip O’Donnell and ended in the Glenswilly net. O’Donnell seemed to think the ball was going over the crossbar. He had made a great save after just six minutes of the game to deny Niall Cosgrove.

Cool heads were needed and Joe Gibbons, Colin Kelly and Gary McFadden added the points that eased Glenswilly into the decider with Ballinderry.

It was a day when the so called lesser players stood up to the plate for Glenswilly with Joe Gibbons, Eamon Ward, James Pat McDaid and Darren McGinley especially to the fore. McGinley was instrumental in all good things for them in the opening half, especially the first two Glenswilly goals.

They had trouble in the opening minutes with the Quigleys, but rectified the problem by putting extra players under the dropping ball.

Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Brian McDaid, JP McDaid, Eamon Ward; Caolan Kelly, John McFadden, Ruairi Crawford; Neil Gallagher, Ciaran Bonner (0-1); Joe Gibbons (0-1), Kealan McFadden, Gary McFadden (0-3,2f); Darren McGinley (0-1), Michael Murphy (1-2,2f), Colin Kelly (2-1). Subs., Brian Farrelly for D McGinley 52; Cathal Gallagher for C Kelly 54; Ryan Diver for K McFadden 58; Barry Molloy for Gibbons 61.

Roslea: Sean Boyle; Niall McMahon, Conor Mulligan (1-0), Conor Quigley; Marty Beagan, Niall Cassidy, James McMahon (0-1); Kevin Cosgrove (0-1), James Sherry; Niall Cosgrove, Shane McMahon, Peter Lynch (0-1); Marty Renfrew, Seamie Quigley (1-4,1-0pen,3f), Sean Quigley. Subs., Dermie Reilly (0-1) for McMahon 25; Brendan Sherlock for S McMahon 44; Shane Lynch for J McMahon 55;

Referee: Conor Branagan (Down)