Glenswilly denied in thrilling Ulster final

Glenswilly denied in thrilling Ulster final
There was no dream ending for Glenswilly but they put it up to Ballinderry in the Ulster Club final in Healy Park, Omagh.

There was no dream ending for Glenswilly but they put it up to Ballinderry in the Ulster Club final in Healy Park, Omagh.

Glenswilly 2-6

Ballinderry 1-13

In the end the scoring power, especially from long range, of the Derry side, was the deciding factor. In the final ten minutes the Donegal side were out on their feet, but they can be proud of their performance.

They went in with a game plan of allowing the Derry men take short kick-outs and in the end Ballinderry were able to build and build and it took its toll.

Glenswilly got off a dream start with Michael Murphy finding the net on 25 seconds. It seemed he was going for a point with his left, but it looped over Michael Conlan and went in off the post.

With Ballinderry unsettled, Glenswilly had the chances to put much more daylight between the teams in the opening quarter, but they hit a number of wides and all they had to show was a ‘45’ converted by Murphy on seven minutes.

But then Ballinderry began to find their feet and a way through the crowded Glenswilly defence. Colin Devlin got them on the board on 10 minutes and by the 20th minute James Conway and Dermot McGuckin had reduced the leeway to the minimum.

Glenswilly got their second point thanks to a magnificent pass from Michael Murphy to the overlapping Caolan Kelly, who found the range from 20m.

But the final ten minutes proved a disaster for the Donegal side. Colin Devlin and Conleth Gilligan, from frees, had Ballinderry level by the 25th minute.

Half a minute later Ballinderry got their goal and there was an amount of luck attached as a Ryan Bell effort for a point was blocked but fell into the path of Michael McIver to flick past Philip O’Donnell.

In added time Ciaran Bonner saw his effort come back off an upright and Ballinderry got away with a double hop in the middle of the field before Dermot McGuckin fired over to leave Ballinderry ahead by 1-6 to 1-2 at the break.

The excitement levels were intense at the start of the second half as Glenswilly hit back to hit the front. Colin Kelly pointed within 12 seconds and although James Conway replied, Glenswilly were in front thanks to a great goal fashioned from a long way with Kealan McFadden and finally Michael Murphy providing the pass for Caolan Kelly to palm home.

Michael Murphy levelled a minute later and then after great blocking by Neil Gallagher deep in defence, Darren McGinley put Glenswilly in front with just seven minutes of the half played.

Ballinderry’s response was decisive and by the 48th minute they were three in front with points from the excellent Conleth Gilligan, Colin Devlin, Daniel McKindless and Aaron Devlin.

Colin Kelly was almost in for a goal but the Donegal side could only just one point before the end, another magnificent effort from Michael Murphy, which reduced the margin to two with nine minutes left.

Ballinderry turned the screw with Darren Conway and a Gilligan 47m free sealing victory.

Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Brian McDaid, Eamon Ward, John McFadden; Caolan Kelly (1-1), Ruairi Crawford, James Pat McDaid; Neil Gallagher, Ciaran Bonner; Joe Gibbons, Kealan McFadden, Gary McFadden; Colin Kelly (0-1), Michael Murphy (1-3, one 45), Darren McGinley (0-1). Subs., Aidan McDevitt for J McFadden ht; Brian Farrelly for K McFadden 48; Barry Molloy for M Pat McDaid 53; Ryan Diver for Crawford 59

Ballinderry: Michael Conlan; Ryan Scott, Conor Nevin, Michael McIver; Raymond Wilson, Gareth McKinless, Darren Lawn; Kevin McGuckin, James Conway (0-1); Daniel McKinless, Kevin Moss McGuckin, Dermot McGuckin (0-2); Colin Devlin (0-2,1f), Ryan Bell, Conleth Gilligan (0-1,f). Subs., Aaron Devlin for Lawn 39; Enda Muldoon for Moss McGuckin 40; Darren Conway for McIver 49; Raymond Wilkinson for C Devlin 58

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)