Naomh Conaill set up a mouth watering Democrat Cup title decider with neighbours Ardara following Sunday’s victory over Glenswilly in Davy Brennan Memorial Park.
Naomh Conaill 1-14
In what was a crunch tie for both sides, a late scoring flurry from Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy, Leo McLoone and Marty Boyle was enough to see Naomh Conaill over the line at the end of what was a highly entertaining contest.
This was especially so in the second half as Naomh Conaill twice responded when they looked in a spot of bother.
In the end it was the golden boot of Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy and the driving runs of Anthony Thompson and Leo McLoone that steered them away from trouble when Glenswilly threatened.
Molloy, with six points, four of them in the second period, was his team’s top scorer and along with Anthony Thompson, Leo McLoone, Thomas Donoghue, Marty Boyle and Jamie Gallagher were the men that stood up and were counted when the going got tough.
Glenswilly may have ended up in the losing corner but this was a gutsy performance from the county champions who lined out with Michael Murphy (in Australia) and the injured trio of Kealan McFadden and the Kelly brothers Caolan and Leon.
They certainly put it up to their hosts and were in the contest for well over 55 minutes as Naomh Conaill only pulled away for the last time in the closing three minutes of normal time and the four minutes of additional time added on by referee Jimmy White.
Gary McFadden and Neil Gallagher held the middle for long periods for the county champions while Darren McGinley, Ciaran Bonner and Brian Farrelly showed up well in attack.
It was only in the closing minutes that Brick and company finally unlocked a no nonsense defence which had been held together by the efforts of Eamon Ward, Ruairi Crawford and James Pat McDaid.
Despite playing with the strong wind Naomh Conaill were slow to settle and all they had to show for their the opening quarter hour was a John O’Malley pointed free, until Darragh Gallagher pounced for their goal in the opening seconds of the second quarter.
Gallagher got on the end of a high delivery in front of the post and from five metres he gave Philip O’Donnell between the Glenswilly posts no chance.
The goal could have not been more timely as it came less than a minute after Brian Farrelly was sent free by Gerard McGrenra to drill to the Naomh Conaill net and a 1-1 to 0-1 lead for the visitors. Ciaran Bonner on 13 minutes had opened the Glenswilly account with a well struck point.
Awakened by Gallagher’s goal Naomh Conaill added further points from Leon Thompson, Brick Molloy (2), and Johnny McLoone to one from Darren McGinley to go in 1-5 to 1-2 ahead at half-time.
A three point advantage given the strength of the wind scarcely looked enough. And when Darren McGinley and Gary McFadden reduced the margin to one within six minutes of the restart, it was very much like that was going to be the case.
But three points in the space of ten minutes from goalscorer Gallagher, Brick Molloy and Anthony Thompson saw the locals move four clear again into the early minutes of the fourth quarter.
And while McFadden and Neil Gallagher kept the tie alive, it was a three point game with less than ten minutes of normal time remaining when Leon Thompson polished off a good move with a white flag.
But in a game of many twists and turns there was one more sting in the tail when second half substitute Martin McGinley palmed goal number two to tie up the game.
However, with the game on a knife edge Naomh Conaill simply stepped up another gear as the posted five points without response from Brick Molloy (3), Leo McLoone and Marty Boyle to run out convincing winners.
Gary McFadden had a late point for Glenswilly, but with the horse bolted it was scarcely even a consolation score.
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Thomas Donoghue, Johnny Bonner, Ciaran Boyle; Marty Boyle (0-1), Anthony Thompson (0-1), Jamie Gallagher; Leo McLoone (0-1), Martin Regan; John O’Malley (0-1,f), Owen Waide, Darragh Gallagher (1-1); Dermot Molloy (0-6,4f), Johnny McLoone (0-1), Leon Thompson (0-2). Subs: Jason Campbell for C. Boyle (42); Jamie Molloy for M. Regan (51); Seamus Corcoran for J. O’Malley (59).
Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Rory McDaid, Eamon Ward, Brian ‘Shorty’ McDaid; Ruairi Crawford, Joe Gibbons, James Pat McDaid; Gary McFadden (0-3,3f), Neil Gallagher (0-1); Darren McGinley (0-2), Ciaran Bonner (0-1), Sean McFadden; Brian Farrelly (1-0), Gerard McGrenra, Barry Molloy. Subs: Martin McGinley (1-0) for G. McGrenra (43); Bryan McDaid for B. Molloy (56).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).
Man of the match
Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy kicked six points, four in the second half with three of them in the late scoring burst that sealed the win. His two first half points gave Naomh Conaill breathing space at half-time. He got a run for his money from Anthony Thompson and Glenswilly’s Darren McGinley and Gary McFadden.
Naomh Conaill’s three points between the 57th and 59th minutes that regained their three point advantage shortly after Martin McGinley had level the game with Glenswilly’s second goal, finally turned the tie in favour of the winners.
Jimmy White may have made one or two decision that were open to question but there were no more than a couple at most. But they had no bearing in the outcome and once again he was in total control and had a fine game.
Gaoth Dobhair 0-6
Ardara made sure they are going to have a big say who is crowned All County Football League Division One champions following Saturday night’s victory over Gaoth Dobhair at Pearse Park.
Coupled with the win by Naomh Conaill on Sunday, the scene is set for a local derby showdown to decide the destination of the Democrat Cup.
In driving wind and rain Ardara laid the foundation for victory in the first half as they led 0-4 to 0-2 at half-time, having played into the elements. Declan Gavigan, Thomas Maguire, Jimmy O’Connell and Peter McNelis all landed Ardara’s first half points with Fionan Diver keeping Gaoth Dobhair’s hopes alive.
Ardara pulled away in the early minutes of the second half thanks to a McNelis point and a goal from the penalty spot from Gareth Concarr. But leading 1-5, to 0-2, the game was soon back in the melting pot when Kevin Cassidy pointed and Diver converted from the penalty spot and quickly added a point to leave just a point between the sides.
However, Ardara’s quick passing running game paid off and they scored three points without response from Paddy McGrath and Concarr to go four in front once more. And while Cassidy scored another Gaoth Dobhair point Peter McNelis closed out the game with two late strikes before James Carroll rounded off the scoring on the stroke of time.
Ardara: Declan Gallagher; Kevin Breslin, Kenneth Doherty, Martin Sweeney; Declan Gavigan (0-1), Paddy McGarth, Thomas Maguire (0-1); Jimmy O’Connell (0-1), Francis Diver (0-1); Peter McNelis (0-3), Peter McHugh, Conor Classon; Damien Diver, Gareth Concarr (1-2,1-0pen), Kevin Breslin. Subs: Stephen McHugh for D. Diver (49); Stephen Boyle for F. Diver (54); Oisin O’Donnell for M. Sweeney (58).
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; Anthony Blair, Eamonn McGee, Christopher McFadden; Paul Mulligan, Joe Duffy, Danny Curran; Donal McBride, Ronan MacNiallais; Michael McKelvey, James Gallagher, Fionan Diver (1-4,pen,4f); Odhran MacNaillais, Peter McGee, Kevin Cassidy (0-1). Subs: James Carroll (0-1) for O. MacNiallais (37); Thomas Diver for M. McKelvey (37); Noel Kelly for O. MacNiallais (49).
Referee: Michael McShane (Kilcar)
Four Masters 1-9
Four Masters consigned Cloughaneely to the automatic relegation spot with a four point win in Donegal Town on Sunday.
Cloughaneely had started the brighter with the breeze at their back, a Denis Boyle free and Shaun McGarvey effort from play giving them a 2 point advantage. Luke Keaney responded with point for the home side and Barry Monaghan soon had an equaliser with a fine effort from the sideline on the stand side.
Two Denis Boyle frees restored Cloughaneely’s 2 point lead but they had too many wides with the breeze advantage and as Francis McMullin pointed from play to reduce the margin to one at half-time, the signs were looking ominus for Cloughaneely.
A Michael Doherty 45 on 35 minutes restored parity and Four Masters began to win their one on one battles around the pitch. Luke Keaney was dominant and a flick to Doherty left him through on Michael McGinley but a cynical trip by Denis Ferry resulted in a penalty which Raymie McGroary stepped up to coolly slot to the Clougahneely net.
Shaun Maguire pulled one back for the visitors but Keaney and McMullin added to their tallies to restore the 4 point home lead. Cloughaneely were again wasteful with some bad wides before Denis Boyle scored 2 frees to reduce the margin to 2 again. Raymie McGroary was successfully attacking from right half back and set up Conot McMonagle for a fine effort over his shoulder.
Michael Doherty added another and whilst Denis Boyle responded with a late free, it was man of the match Luke Keaney who had the last word with another fine score from long range.
Four Masters: Paul Durcan, Damien Cassidy, Conor Browne, Darren Walsh, Raymie McGroary (1-00), Conor Rooney, Josh Lacey, Francis McMullin (0-2), Barry Monaghan (0-1), Davy Crawford, Luke Keaney (0-3), Danny McGarrigle, Conor McMonagle (0-1), Michael Doherty (0-2), Oisin McGinty. Subs used Benny Cassidy and Conor McDaid.
Cloughaneely: Michael McGinley, Michael Lynch, Denis Ferry, Kevin McFadden, Joseph Gallagher, Kevin Mulhern, Paddy McClafferty, Michael McCausland, Joe Friel, Brian Cuffe, Denis Boyle (0-6), Darren McGeever, Sean McBride, Shaun Maguire (0-1), Shaun McGarvey (0-1)
Division One Reserve
Four Masters 2-13
Four Masters reserves secured the Division one league title for the second time in three years with an emphatic twelve point win over Cloughanleely in Donegal Town on Sunday afternoon. Leading at 1-07 to 0-4, Damien Dunnion’s men pushed on in the second half to land the silverware in with an excellent performance.
A well worked move involving Jamie McCrea, Rory O’Donnell and Charlie Gallagher resulted in a Conor McDaid goal to open the scoring. Rory O’Donnell and Hugh McPartlan added points before Martin McGuire opened the visitors account. By the 20th minute Four Masters were leading by 1-7 to 0-1 as their full-forward line dominated but Cloughaneely responded before half-time with 3 from Declan McFadden (2) and Martin McGuire.
P J McFadden closed the gap further for the visitors but that was as good as it got, as O’Donnell, Earley and McDaid continued the full-forward line dominance with good scores from play. Darren Ferry responded for the visitors but Four Masters tagged on two further points before a Declan Bushell goal brought the curtain down on another successful season for the Four Masters reserve squad.
Four Masters: James McDaid, Barry Farragher, Shane Browne, Ryan O’Donnell, Pauric Harvey, Jamie McCrea, John Boyle, Charlie Gallagher, Ciaran Cassidy, Hugh McPartlan (0-1), Derek McGinty (0-2), Benny Cassidy (0-1), Ryan Earley (0-3), Conor McDaid (1-03), Rory O’Donnell (0-3). Subs: Declan Bushell (1-0), Barry O’Donnell, Francis Sweeney, Enda Bonner and Niall Cassidy.
Cloughaneely: Sean McCalfferty, Michael McClafferty, Daniel Ferry, Cian McFadden, Shane Brogan, Donal Curran, Patrick Brady, Kevin Scanlon, Eamon Curran, Declan McFadden (0-2), Neil Collins, Darren Ferry (0-1), P J McFadden (0-1), Martin McGuire (0-2), John McGarvey (0-1).
St. Michael’s 0-11
Martin O’Reilly was the toast of Sean MacCumhaill’s on Sunday night after he scored a goal and five points in his side’s narrow victory over county finalists St. Michael’s.
The win moves MacCumhaill’s out of relegation play-off territory as they joined Bundoran on 14 points just one ahead of Naomh Columba who are on 13 points with one game still to play.
Naomh Columba’s last game is away to Glenfin, with the men from Naomh Columba needing a win to move them ahead of both MacCumhaill’s and Bundoran, while draw would set up a three way play-off to determine who face Glenfin in the relegation play-off. MacCumhaill’s will be hoping for Glenfin win, which would take them out of the equation.
MacCumhaill’s led 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time thanks to O’Reilly’s goal and while they lived dangerously in the second half they held on for the narrow win that could yet prove a Division Two saver.
St. Michael’s, who had already booked a place in the promotion play-off, were well below par and found it hard to break down a close marking home defence.
And to add to a poor showing from St. Michael’s Daniel McLaughlin blasted a second half penalty wide.
Sean MacCumhaill’s: Rory Patton; John Lynch, Joe Dunnion, Shane Duffy; Darren McGowan, Shane McNulty (0-1), Gary Dunnion; Paddy McNulty, Pat McNulty; David White (0-2,1f), Barney Lafferty (0-2), Andrew Bonner; Marty O’Reilly (1-5,3f), Shaun mcGowan, Bernard McGeehan.
St. Michael’s: Ciaran Gallagher; Stephen Black, Stephen Doak, Brendan Rodden; Peter Witherow, Michael McGinley, Michael Gallagher; Michael Cannon, Ciaran ‘Rock’ Gallagher; Daniel McLaughlin, Brian McLaughlin, Christy Toye; Raymond McLaughlin, Colm McFadden, Stephen Coyle. Subs. Martin Breslin for M. Cannon; Andrew Kelly for S. Coyle.
Naomh Columba 0-9
Patrick McBrearty scored three goals and eight points as Kilcar rounded off their league season with an emphatic win over neighbours Naomh Columba, in Towney, on Sunday afternoon.
With Kilcar having already booked their place in the Division Two final, bragging rights were all that were at stake for James McHugh and his men in this local derby clash.
For Naomh Columba, it was a different story altogether as they needed the points to secure their Division Two status. However, now as a result of this defeat and Sean MacCumhaill’s surprise win over St. Michael’s, Naomh Columba must take the points from their final game away to Glenfin, if they are to avoid getting dragged into a relegation play-off with Glenfin.
Naomh Columba started Sunday’s tie the better and they raced into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes with points from Brendan Dohertry, Noel Hegarty (2) and Oisin McGinley, before McBrearty kicked Kilcar’s first point.
McBrearty raised another white flag shortly afterwards before he struck for the first of his three goals. With Kilcar gaining an edge McBrearty and Declan McCloskey added two more points before half time to two from Noel Hegarty to leave it 1-5 to 0-6 at the interval.
Kilcar continued to dominate on the resumption and they had pushed their advantage out to four points before McBrearty pounced for goal number two and a seven point advantage.
Veteran Hegarty did respond with two more points for Naomh Columba, but it was all Kilcar from there to the finish as McBrearty and Ciaran McGinley both found the net and McBrearty knocked over three more points.
Kilcar: Kevin Campbell; Stephen Shovlin, Patrick Gallagher, Pauric Carr; Luke Carr, Conor McShane, Michel Hegarty (0-1); Ciaran McGinley (1-0), David McShane; Mark Sweeney (0-1), Conor McManus, Keith Cunningham; Glen McBrearty, Patrick McBrearty (3-8), Declan Gallagher. Subs: Declan McCloskey (0-1), Barry Shovlin, Barry Doherty, Philip O’Donnell, Pauric Sweeney.
Naomh Columba: Pauric O’Donnell; Clement O’Gara, Martin Cunningham, Kevin McNern; Kevin ‘Beag’ Cunningham, Kevin Cunningham, Kieran McBrearty; Oisin McGinley (0-1), Andtrew O’Gara; Dermot McGuire, Brendan Doherty (0-1), Darragh O’Donnell. Subs: Noel Hegarty (0-6), Noel McGinley (0-1); Brian McGinley.
Naomh Brid 4-11
Paul McGrory scored three goals as Naomh Brid maintained their push for promotion with this thirteen point victory over Buncrana at Trummon.
David Walsh scored the other goal and also posted a point on a day that McGrory, Pauric McDaid and Shane Walsh were on fire in front of the posts and scored 3-9 between them.
The win means that Naomh Brid join Buncrana on 21 points behind clear leaders Naomh Mhuire. But with Buncrana having played their last game on Sunday and Naomh Brid with still one game remaining the two promotion play-off places seem to be between Naomh Brid, Aodh Ruadh (20 points with two games to play) and St. Naul’s (17 pts with five games left).
Naomh Brid: Stephen Doherty; Jamie Timoney, Sam Burgess, Maurice Quinn; Sean Gormley, J.P. Langan, Stephen Quinn; Dermot Langan, Thomas Gallagher; David Walsh (1-1), Pauric McDaid (0-3,2f), Gary McCafferty; Shane Walsh (0-5,1f), Paul McGrory (1-1), Declan McCafferty (0-1).
Red Hughs 0-12
Robert Emmetts 0-7
Damien Browne as Red Hughs moved to second place in the Division Four League table and the prospect of a promotion play-off with either Naomh Ultan, Sunday’s opponents Robert Emmetts, or Naomh Padraig, Lifford.
Red Hughs: Michael Shiels; Gary Kelly, Carl Scanlon, Peadar McGlinchey; Alan Mongan, Kevin Melaugh, Karl Gallen; Michael McMenamin, Eugene Brown (0-1); Calvin Bradley, Martin Bonner (0-2), Gerard Gallagher (0-1), Colm Melaugh, Richard Gallen, Damien Browne (0-8). Sub. P.J. Gallagher for K. Gallen.