Naomh Conaill proved too strong for local rivals, Ardara, in the Southern Minor Championship semi-final in Fintra on Sunday morning.
Naomh Conaill 3-12
Naomh Conaill, thanks to the work of man of the match, Ethan O’Donnell, led by 1-6 to 0-6 at the break, the goal coming in the 29th minute when O’Donnell played a 1-2 with Eoghan McGettigan and flicked the return to the net from close range. Paul McGuinness almost had a second a minute later as his effort went just over.
Shane O’Donnell accounted for four of the Ardara first half points, but was also off target with a number of frees. At the other end Charles McGuinness was very sharp, converting the three chances he got to add to an opening point from Maitis McKelvey with JD Boyle their other scorer.
Jack Brennan, along with O’Donnell, was at the start of anything good for Ardara and he and Kevin Whyte got the other Ardara first half scores.
The game was effectively put to bed in the opening minutes of the second half as Ethan O’Donnell cut open the Ardara defence and laid on a second goal for Paul McGinness and points followed from McKelvey, Charles McGuinness and an excellent effort from Eoghan McGettigan.
Naomh Conaill were able to aborb the blow of losing Ciaran Gallagher to a second yellow, but things were evened when Kevin Whyte also saw yellow for the second time for Ardara.
Lorcan O’Donnell missed an easy free for Ardara and when the ball came back off the crossbar, Naomh Conaill broke quickly only for McGettigan to be hauled down by Brian Whyte, who saw black. Charles McGuinness pointed the free to put Naomh Conaill 2-10 to 0-6 ahead.
Ardara did stage a mini comeback in the final quarter with Lorcan O’Donnell hitting two frees, but the game was closed out by Naomh Conaill as Eoghan McGettigan set off on a mazy run to finish to the net.
Naomh Conaill: Tony Byrne; Gerard Doherty, Kevin McGettigan, Charlie McDonald; Logan Quinn, Maitis McKelvey (0-2), Ultan Doherty; Charles McGuinness (0-4,4f), Stephen Moore; JD Boyle (0-1), Ethan O’Donnell (1-0), Ciaran Gallagher; Paul McGuinness (1-1), Eoghan McGettigan (1-1), David Keeney. Subs., Paul Quinn (0-1) for McGuinness; Jeaic McKelvey (0-1) for Keeney; Mark McNelis for G Doherty; Jamie Cranley for U Doherty; Stephen Griffin for JD Boyle.
Ardara: Patrick Gallagher; Joe Melly, Daniel Breslin, Liam Sweeney; Conor Gallagher, John Ross Molloy, David Weir; Shane O’Donnell (0-4,2f), Tony Harkin; Lorcan O’Donnell (0-2,2f), Kevin Whyte (0-1), Evan Spence; Eunan Maguire, Oran Boyle, Jack Brennan (0-1). Subs., Brian Whyte for Breslin; Senan Boyle for Spence; Ciaran McCabe for Maguire.
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)
Dungloe/Na Rossa 1-21
The second semi-final in Glenties yesterday afternoon was a thriller with extra-time needed to separate the sides.
Dungloe/Na Rossa held the upper hand in the opening half and led 0-8 to 0-4 at half-time, but within a minute of the restart Cormac Cannon goaled for Kilcar and the south-west side went on to take a narrow lead and with time almost up, they led by a goal.
In the end it took a late goal from Ryan Greene to take the tie to extra-time. The Dungloe/Na Rossa side were able to introduce county minor Christian Bonner, who was recovering from tonsilitis, and did not start. Bonner made a huge difference, hitting three points and driving Dungloe/Na Rossa to a divisional final (which will be played in two weeks’ time).
Conor Doherty, Stephen McBrearty and Cormac Cannon were the only scorers for the losers.
A number of the Dungloe minors are involved with the Senior Reserve side who will replay their county final against St. Eunan’s on Saturday next.
Dungloe/Na Rossa: D Rodgers; D Reilly, C McCahill, B O’Donnell; C Greene, J McDyer, M Curran (0-1); M Ward, D Sweeney; C Ward (0-1), S McMonagle (0-3), D McGee (0-3); R Greene (1-4), A Neely (0-4), B Curran (0-2). Subs., R Connors, C Bonner (0-3), R McGonagle, S Ward Boyle, A Boyle.
Kilcar: M Cunningham; P McShane, D Lyons, J J McNelis; P McShane, A McClean, B O’Donnell; S McBrearty (0-6), C Cannon (1-1); S Redmond, E O’Donnell, G Molloy; C Doherty (1-5), J Campbell, J Mooney.
Referee: N McCready (Aodh Ruadh)