St Catherine’s, Killybegs, emerged victorious on Monday last in the U16B Vocational Schools final in a keenly contested encounter against Colaiste Ailigh, Letterkenny.
St Catherine’s VS 2-10
Colaiste Ailigh 2-9
Played in the impressive facilities in Pobailscoil Gaoth Dobhair, the game pitted two evenly matched teams who both battled right to the final whistle.
Having beaten Colaiste Ailigh in the group stages of the competitions, St Catherine’s were slight favourites and started well playing into a stiff breeze. The industrious Shaun Gorrell and Odhran McGuinness worked well, hassling and harrying the Gaelscoil’s defence to create space in the full forward line for the dangerous Ryan Cunningham to open the scoring with a number of fine points. Colaiste Ailigh weathered the Fishermen’s early storm and fought their way into the game with the help of some excellently converted frees from the boot of Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí. The first half was a closely fought affair and the sides were separated by a fine individual goal for the St Catherine’s James Byrne. Half-time score: St Catherine’s 1-5, Colaiste Ailigh 0-5.
Colaiste Ailigh began the second half impressively and soon tied up the game with a well worked team goal. The probing runs of Sean Ó Riain, Brian Mac A t’Saoir and Mac Ceallabhuí were causing real problems for the Killybegs defence. However an opportunistic goal by McGuinness and further points by Michael Gallagher, Gorrell and the hard-working Cunningham gave Killybegs a five point cushion with ten minutes left. St Catherine’s were dominating possession at that stage however they failed to convert their chances and allowed the cathedral town men back into the game. With the game deep into stoppage, Colaiste Ailigh found the back of the net to reduce the deficit to a single point. There were audible gasps of relief from the Killybegs bench when referee Martin Coll blew the final whistle, with St Catherine’s scraping through by the narrowest of margins.
Both teams should be commended for producing a highly entertaining and skilful game of football, in difficult conditions. St Catherine’s now progress to meet the Tyrone winners in the Ulster Bank Corn Chuchulain.
Col Ailigh: Dónal Mac Cormaic, Fiachra MacLochlainn, San Mac an Ultaigh, Iarlaith Mac Fhionnghaile, Ross Ó Mearthaile, Diarmuid Ó Cathail, Ailín Posana, Michéal Mac Suibhne, Jeaic MacCeallabhuí, Sean Ó Riain, Eóin Mac Gaoithín, Sean Ó Braoin, Brain Mac A t’Saoir, Cathair Ó Dochartaigh
St Catherine’s Killybegs: Gareth Hickey, Rory Kee, Darragh Byrne, Kevin McGuinness, Ryan Carr, Jack McSharry(C), Callum Quinn, Shaun Gorrell, James Byrne, Nathan Moore, Odhran McGuinness, Daniel Doogan, Darragh Murrin, Ryan Cunningham, Michael Gallagher. Subs: Ryan Rose for Darragh Murrin, Darragh McGuinnes for Nathan Moore, Jordan McDaid for Michael Gallagher