THE champagne can finally be taken from the ice in Annagry as Naomh Mhuire were belatedly crowned champions of the All-County League Division Three thanks to a 1-7 to 1-5 win for Downings over Burt on Sunday.
A dramatic finish to the game, which is one of a spillover from last season, means Downings are now safe from the trapdoor of relegation after Paddy McGroddy’s stoppage time goal and an even later point from Finian McClafferty.
Burt’s double-jobbing last season, after winning both the Senior Hurling Championship and the Junior Football in the county and then the Ulster hurling, meant the calendar year could not fit in the backlog. Hence, though, the early season fixture and the side from the border still have four games to get the one point they require to keep their heads above water. Their chances of winning the league were a long shot at best.
It was 0-4 apiece at the break on Sunday a goal from Enda McDermott gave Burt the initiative and as time wore down they played a game of containment. However, Shane McClafferty nipped onto a loose ball and played in McGroddy, who punched the ball home.
The fall-out from the game means that Naomh Mhuire are confirmed as league champions.
Meanwhile, in the Quinn’s Corner Ulster Club Football League, Killybegs enjoyed a narrow win in the first game of Joe McBrearty’s management, defeating Glenullen from Derry 0-5 to 0-4 away from home. Kevin Martin, Conal Molloy, Benny Boyle, Jason Noctor and Matthew Smith were all on target for the Fishermen.
Elsewere, in the intermediate bracket of the competition, Sean MacCumhaill’s had a good win over Ogra Colmcille from Derry, 2-15 to 1-6. After an indifferent first half, which saw the side from the Twin Towns trail 1-3 to 0-5, Martin O’Reilly and Beeny McLaughlin posted goals.
Declan Walsh, a Donegal senior panellist, scored for his Malin team in their 3-6 to 1-10 against Maguiresbridge in Fermanagh. Paul Fildara, with a goal, rounded off the scoring. Lifford’s Naomh Padraig scored a 0-9 apiece draw against Foreglen of Derry, while Naomh Brid lost 0-18 to 0-9 against Claudy,also from Derry.