Carndonagh are Donegal U-14 Schools’ champions following Friday’s comfortable final victory over St Columba’s, Glenties.
Cardonagh CS 5-10
St Columba’s CS 2-7
The old adage that goals wins games was oh so true in this clash at the Convoy Centre of Excellence as Carndonagh struck five to St Columba’s two, both of which were late.
Centre half-forward and man of the match Ciaran Farren scored two of the Carndonagh goals, while Jack Doherty, Sean O’Neill, and Darragh Lafferty were the other Carn men to find the St Columba’s net.
Ryan Coylescored the two late St Columba’s goals while Danny Gallagher (3) Nathan Byrne (2) and Leo Dunphy (2) were the point scorers for St Columba’s who faced a mountain after Carndonagh hit them for three goals inside the first quarter hour.
Jack Doherty stuck for the first of the Carn three pointers when he got on the end of a Sean O’Neill cross to flick past Danny Toland, in the St Columba’s goal. That was on eight minutes and after Toland had pulled off a good save from Conor O’Donnell minutes earlier.
Darragh Lafferty on 11 minutes after Toland had parried Ciaran Farren’s strike, and O’Neill on 13 minutes, when a Farren free came back of the crossbar, drove home the other Carn goals as John Farren’s team led 3-2 to 0-1 after 13 minutes. Nathan Byrne with a long range strike - the point of the game - hit a clearly rattled St Columba’s first point in over ten minutes.
But two more Carndonagh points from Johnny Toye and Farren either side of a Danny Gallagher 35 metre free saw the Inishowen boys go in 3-4 to 0-3 in front at half-time.
With the breeze in their backs Farren and company finished the game off in the opening eight minutes of the second half as they hit 2-3 without reply to open up a 5-7 to 0-3 lead.
Farren struck for the first of his two goals within a minute of the restart and he added a second three minutes later and seconds after Conor O’Donnell had raised the first white flag of the second period. Farren picked up a second yellow card for a clash with a St Columba defender shortly afterwards.
With Carn down to 14 and Conor O’Donnell already contemplating his acceptance speech Ryan Coyle, up from centre back, did raise a faint hope of a St Columba’s fightback when he struck for two goals in the space of a minute.
But in the end Coyle’s goal and an injury time point from Byrne only served to give the final score a look of respectability about it.
The goals apart, Carndonagh were the physicially stonger and better balanced outfit and were good value for their 12 point victory against a St Columba’s side that never recovered from conceding those early goals.
Carndonagh Community School: D McCallion; O Doherty, D Doherty, A Doherty; P O’Donnell, K Doherty, CMonagle; C O’Donnell (0-1), L McLaughlin (0-1); M Friel, C Farren (2-3, 2fs), J Doherty (1-1,1f); SO’Neil (1-1), J Toye (0-3,1f), D Lafferty (1-0). Subs: L Rudden for S O’Neill (33, inj), D McGonigle for C Monagle (44), G Doherty for D Lafferty, JMcGonigle for K Doherty (56 mins)
St Columba’s Comprehensive School: D Toland; S Roarty, D O’Donnell, E Moss; M
Sweeney, R Coyle (2-0), P Bennett; N Byrne (0-2), L Dunphy (0-2); E Kittrick, D Gallagher (0-3, 3f), Calum Malley; Johnny McHugh, Joe O’Donnell, Zach Gallagher. Subs: J Gallagher for M Sweeney (black card, 12); M Bennett for E Moss (h/t); D Gallagher for Z Gallagher (45); E Byrne for P Bennett (black card, 59).
Referee: M McGlinchey (Sean MacCumhaills).