DONEGAL GAA

Journey ends for Donegal Junior champions Naomh Colmcille in All-Ireland semi-final

Conor McKenna

Reporter:

Conor McKenna

Journey ends for Donegal Junior champions Naomh Colmcille in All-Ireland semi-final

Willie Gillespie . . . scorer of four points for Naomh Colmcille

Naomh Colmcille exited the AIB All-Ireland Junior Championship, falling to a defeat to Cork side Knocknagree, in what was a scrappy encounter played out in TEG Cusack Park.

Knocknagree 2-9
Naomh Colmcille 0-7

Ryan McKinley’s charges never really got going, always playing second fiddle to Knocknagree, which be hugely disappointing for the Donegal side, after such a promising year. The concession of two first half goals were killer blows and in the end were decisive.
Anthony O’Connor opened the scoring for the Cork outfit with a short range free, before James Dennehy got the games first goal, which had more than an element of fortune, with Dennehy aiming for a point and the ball ending up in the back of the net.
Naomh Colmcille would concede another sloppy goal shortly after, with an awful pass from Alex Devenney finding its way to John F. Daly, who found Anthony O’Connor with a pass, with the same player finding the net from close range.
This was a massive blow for Naomh Colmcille, which they never really recovered from and the excellent Willie Gillespie reduced his sides deficit to seven points with a free, but it was Knocknagree who had the advantage at half time, leading on a scoreline of 2-4 to 0-3.
The Donegal outfit played a lot better after the interval, but ultimately Knocknagree cruised home to victory, against a Naomh Colmcille side who ended the game with 13 men, with Lynch brothers Michael and William both sent off in stoppage time.
Donagh Moynihan’s fisted effort proved to be the final score, with his side advancing to face Westmeath’s Multyfarnham in the final, with the Leinster Champions overcoming Lahardane MacHales in today’s other semi-final encounter.
It has been an outstanding season for Naomh Colmcille, who will ultimately be disappointed with today’s performance, but will certainly not fear anyone playing Intermediate Championship in the upcoming campaign.

Scorers for Knocknagree: James Dennehy 1-0, Anthony O’Connor 0-2 (2 frees), Donagh Moynihan 0-2, Eoghan McSweeney 0-2, John F. Daly 1-0, Fintan O’Connor 0-2, Chris White 0-1

Scorers for Naomh Colmcille: Willie Gillespie 0-4 (4f), Matthew Crossan 0-2, Daniel Clarke 0-1.

KNOCKNAGREE: Patrick Doyle; Michael Mahoney, Paul O’Connor, Gary O’Connor; Karl Daly, Keelan Buckley, Donagh Moynihan; Danny Cooper, Padraig Collins; James Dennehy, John F. Daly, Eoghan McSweeney; Matthew Dilworth, Anthony O’Connor, Fintan O’Connor. Subs: Andrew Sheehan for Karl Daly (28 B/C), Chris White for Cooper (ht), Tomas Cooper for McSweeney (56), Chris O’Leary for Collins (61), Tadgh Long for John F. Daly (61).
NAOMH COLMCILLE: John Roulstone; Gerard Curran, Alex Devenney, Paul Friel; Ricky Hegarty, Ciaran Devine, Kevin Gallagher; Michael Lynch, Daniel Clarke; John Fullerton, Ryan McErlean, Oran Hilley; Matthew Crossan, Willie Gillespie, William Lynch. Subs: Michael Friel for Curran (HT), Eddie Gillespie for Gallagher (37).
REFEREE: John Gilmartin (Sligo)