Memorable May for the Magees


Memorable May for the Magees
Declan Kerr @dgldemocrat

Heading the highlights in the Donegal Sports Star Awards May review was undoubtedly the gold medals picked up by the Magee brothers Sam and Joshua who took the Slovenian International Badminton title.

The Raphoe siblings had a 2-1 sets win over Danes Mathias Bay-Smidt and Frederik Sagard Mortensen. It was one of many super sporting achievements during the month with athletics, boxing, GAA, hockey, motorcycling and soccer all featuring prominently.

Right up there was Ramelton native Conrad Logan’s role in helping Hibernian to win the Scottish Cup Final with a dramatic late 3-2 victory over Rangers at Hampden Park. It was a truly remarkable two months for the 30-year-old goalkeeper who had spent well over a year out of competitive football due to injury. His first match back being the semi-final cup win over Dundee Utd in April before becoming a regular as Hibs pushed for promotion to the Premiership. That ultimately ended in bitter disappointment as the Edinburgh side lost 3-2 in the second leg play-off promotion semi-final away to Falkirk meaning a 5-4 aggregate defeat.

The Donegal Senior Ladies also had a memorable May winning the National League Division 2 title and promotion back to the top flight after a comprehensive 3-17 to 0-13 victory over Westmeath at Parnell Park in Dublin. Seven of that squad were then on the Ulster team that took the Inter-provincial football title for the fifth successive year thanks to a 4-7 to 0-11 victory over Connacht in Kinnegad. Glenfin’s Yvonne McMonagle picked up the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award as she scored two of the Ulster goals in the decider. The other Donegal players in the panel were Hegarty sisters Niamh and Ciaran; Treasa Doherty, Katy Herron, Deirdre Foley and Laura Gallagher.

And at the end of the month the Hegarty sisters Ciara and Niamh along with Treasa Doherty, Deirdre Foley and Yvonne McMonagle were selected on the Ladies Division 2 ‘Team of the Year’.

In athletics the reigning Donegal Sports Star ‘Secondary School’ Award holder Janine Boyle of Finn Valley reached the qualifying time for the European Youth 200m Championships in Tiblisi in July with a time of 24.78 in Waterford. Other qualifiers for the Euros included her club colleagues Arlene Crossan (400m hurdles), Aaron McGlynn (800m) and Brendan O’Donnell ((hammer). On the last Sunday in May, Crossan won the 400m hurdles at an athletics meeting in Belgium setting a new PB with a time of 60.5 seconds while Boyle was a member of the Irish 4x100m relay team that reached the qualifying time for the World Junior Championships with a combined time of 46.5 seconds.

The career of young St. Johnston boxer Brett McGinty continued on the upward curve as he took another national title after the Oakleaf B.C. member defeated Jordan Meredith (Glasnevin B.C.) in the 69kg final. McGinty took the title after the fight was stopped in the second round at the National Stadium.

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Jason Quigley overcame Mexican James de La Rosa in Las Vegas with a unanimous points verdict to extend his unbeaten professional fight wins to eleven.

There was a huge achievement for the Raphoe Ladies Club as their first XV was promoted to Premier League Hockey after finishing second in Senior One.

It was a very good month for 14-year-old Kilmacrennan boy Rhys Irwin who won two races and had a total of four podium finishes at the British Superteen UK Championships at Snertherton. He followed that up with firsts in both his races on his 125 cc Aprilla at the Mondello Masters Irish Championships. In the second win he also smashed a long-standing lap record.

Meanwhile Creeslough endurance athlete Shaun Stewart won the grueling Ireland Coast to Coast Challenge which ended in Newcastle, Co. Down in the early hours of a Sunday morning having started out in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo the day before.

On the last day of May there was disappointment for Leitirmacarward’s Carl McHugh who was a member of the Plymouth Argyle side who lost to Wimbledon in an English League Division Two promotion play-off Final at Wembley. Earlier McHugh had helped his club to secure a place in the decider after a late 1-0 victory over Portsmouth gave them a 3-2 aggregate win. It was still a good season for the Donegal man who was named Argyle’s ‘Player of the Year’ in an on-line poll conducted by the Plymouth Hearld newspaper.

A fantastic Intermediate Cup run ended badly for Letterkenny Rovers on Saturday 14th May as Eamonn McConigley’s side suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat to Crumlin Utd in the Final at the Aviva Stadium. However, the Rovers players did restore a great deal of pride in the jersey just a week later with an excellent 0-0 draw away to Athlone Town in the second round of the FAI Senior Cup. Three days later and despite an impressive performance Letterkenny bowed out of the FAI Senior Cup as a late extra-time goal gave Athlone a 1-0 win and a place in the third round draw after a replay at Leckview Park.

On the first day of the month Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty won the 20th North West 10k in a time of 31:59 with Maria McCambridge first female home clocking 34.38. Staying with athletics a former Donegal Sports Star Award winner Brendan Boyce clocked 85.30 for the 20k at the IAAF World Race Walking Championship in Rome.

In boxing Shaun McShane the Leitirmacaward native got back to winning ways by defeating Youseef Al Hamid at Glasgow’s Grangemouth Sports Complex. Young Errigal C.C. cyclist Conor Halvey won his second three-day event of the season by taking victory in Kanturk, Co. Cork

On the May Bank Holiday weekend Fanad Gaels won Donegal Ladies Junior Gaeltacht title for the first time defeating Naomh Muire in the final in Glenties. Naomh Conaill retained their County Senior Gaeltacht crown with a 3-14 to 3-6 win over near neighbours Ardara in the decider at Davy Brennan Park. On the same day four Yvonne McMonagle goals helped Glenfin to retain the Ladies Senior Gaeltacht title overcoming Termon 4-9 to 3-6 in Glenties. And Downings came from behind to make it two-in-a-row Donegal Junior Gaeltacht titles with a 2-11 to 2-7 victory over hosts Naomh Conaill at Davy Brennan Park.

St. Eunan’s College won the Danske Bank Treanor Cup title with an easy 4-10 to 2-6 victory over St. Patrician High School, Carrickmacross at Drumragh, Omagh.

On the last Sunday in May, Shaun Paul Barrett’s Donegal Minors got a bit of fright before coming back to defeat Antirm 2-11 to 2-7 at Corrigan Park in Belfast. Two goals in the latter stages of the Ulster Championship quarter-final clash from St. Eunan’s Niall O’Donnell helped to secure the victory.

In Golf Carndonagh Community School won the Donegal Schools Golf Championship in Dunfanaghy.

There was rally success for the current Donegal Sports Star ‘Motorsport’ award holder Donagh Kelly when the Frosses man came from behind to win the Rally of the Lakes in Killarney. It was Kelly’s second time to win the event but with Conor Foley calling the notes this time. Driving a Subaru WRC for the first time Glenswilly’s Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett from Milford won the Carlow Rally in the third round of the National Championships.

In rowing two-time Overall Donegal Sport Star Award winner Letterkenny’s Sinead Jennings and her partner Claire Lambe finished ninth overall at the European Rowing Championships in Brendenburg, Germany.

The Letterkenny U18 rugby side were beaten by Armagh RFC with 19-12 the final score at Ravenhill.

On the soccer front Gweedore Celtic’s Marc Walsh started for the Republic of Ireland U16s who lost out 2-0 to Austria in the four-team tournament in Hungary. He also came on as sub in the win over the hosts. On the last Sunday of the month Cockhill Celtic completed a magnificent treble by defeating Letterkenny Rovers 2-0 in the League Cup Final at Bonagee thanks to a brace of goals from Gerry Gill.

Earlier in May a 2-2 home draw against Derry City Reserves was enough for Cockhill to clinch the Ulster Senior League title for the fourth consecutive year. And the second part of the treble was completed when Gavin Cullen’s side had a 2-0 win over Glengad Utd in the Knockalla Caravans Cup Final at Maginn Park.

Drumoghill F.C. clinched the Donegal Junior League Premier Division title for the first time after a 2-2 draw with Gweedore Celtic at ‘The Moss’.

It was for the most part a very difficult month for Finn Harps as it started of needing a late Ciaran Gallagher penalty-save ensure a 0-0 draw against Bohemians in Ballybofey. The best result came at the Brandywell as a late Sean Houston equalizer salvaged a point for Ollie Horgan’s side in a 2-2 draw with Derry City. But it was a different story three days later as Harps were hammered 7-0 by Dundalk in Ballybofey. That was quickly followed by a 4-0 defeat by St. Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park and Harps also made an embarrassing exit from the FAI Senior Cup after losing 1-0 to non-league Crumlin Utd in Ballybofey. But there was a chink of light at the end of the May as Horgan’s outfit halted that dreadful run with a 1-1 draw against Shamrock Rovers at the Tallaght Stadium with Dave Scully getting an early second half equalizer.

Glenea Utd Reserves made it a double by defeating Glencar Celtic 1-0 in the Saturday Cup Final thanks to an Aodhan Ferry goal while Letterkenny Rovers Youths won the Ulster Cup title with a 2-0 victory over Blaney Rovers from Monaghan at the Peacelink grounds in Clones. But there was no joy for the Donegal U13 Schoolboys side who lost 2-0 to the DDSL in the final of the Inter-League competition in Cahir, Tipperary.

On the first day of May 15-year-old Ballyshannon girl Mona McSharry won five titles at the Swim Ireland National Championships in the 200m Breaststroke, 200m Individual Medley, 50m Freestyle, 100m Breaststroke and 50m Breaststroke. The Coláiste Cholmcille student had already qualified for the European Senior Championships.

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