Killybegs are Ulster Ogsport champions


Killybegs are Ulster Ogsport champions

Killybegs are Ulster Ógsport champions after a great day's football in Aughnamullen, Co Monaghan on Saturday.

Killybegs, as Donegal champions, were on the road at 6.30 in the morning arriving at 9 a.m. for the draw. Eight counties took part with Derry opting not to field. Killybegs wsere drawn in Gropu B along with Enniskillen Gaels, Longstone (Down) and Carrickmore (Tyrone).

In Group A were Cavan Gaels, Latton (Monaghan) Granemore (Armagh and St. James's, Aldergrove (Antrim).

Killybegs started against Enniskillen Gaels and led 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time. An early second half goal from Timmy Gorrell helped them to a 1-7 to 1-3 win.

With no break, it was Longstone next and it was a 0-5-0-3 half-time lead and with scores from Eoin McGing, Karl Gallagher and 'keeper Corey Byrne, they ran out comfortable 0-10 to 0-4 winners.

The last game was against Carrickmore, who were also unbeaten. Killybegs started slowly conceding two goals in the openig five minutes and were four points down at the break. In an inspired second half, led by Seamus Og Byrne, Karl Gallagher kicked some great points and Gorrell hit a rocket of a goal, but it came too late as they lost by the minimum, 1-8 to 2-6.

However, they were in the semi-final and faced local side Latton, who topped Group A on score difference, +31 after 3 games! The weather improved and it was a typical Donegal-Monaghan game, tough and ahrd. Killybegs trailed by 0-4 to 0-2 at the brak but three great points from Karl Gallagher kicked three points to edge ahead. Latton came back and took the lead by in a great move Seamus Og goaled to put Killybegs two up and they held on with great blocks from McGing, Byrne and Charlie Breslin. Final score 1-5 to 0-6.

The final was then against Carrickmore, who had beaten Aldergrove from Belfast in the other semi. Nerves played a part early and scores were hard to get. Killybegs were solid at the back and always had the option of Gallagher who now had 2 marking him. This freed up Killybegs men and Patrick Dowd made the hard running that lead to points from Gallagher (2), McGing and Ross Conneely. Killybegs went into half-time leading 0-4 to 0-3.

Carrickmore fancied their chances in the second half playing with the elements but the Killybegs boys showed great heart and spirit and matched their Tyrone opponents score for score.

A nail biting last few minutes had the Fishermen a point up and then a free was awarded 40 meters out. Resisting the short option, Gallagher curled the free expertly over the bar and Killybegs were two up. Carrickmore had a brilliant move stopped on the goal line by a full stretch save from Corey Byrne. The ball went wide from the resultant scramble and the referee blew the full time whistle.

Final score Killybegs 0-8, Carrickmore 0-6

Killybegs are only the second Donegal team to win the competition after St.Eunans. Captain Cillian Gildea accepted the Shield on behalf of a delighted team, management and proud parents.

It was a good day all round for Donegal as the two co-ordinators of the day were Naul McCole and Paul Callaghan. The team came home to a great reception in the town and were really grateful to the Killybegs Senior and Minor board for organising the homecoming. Great credit also to St. Catherine's marching band who accompanied the team into town with very short notice.

Team: Corey Byrne, Eoin McGing, Cillian Gildea (capt.), Charlie Breslin, Timmy Gorrell, Seamus Og Byrne, Karl Gallagher, Ross Conneely, Conor Cunningham, Patrick Dowd.

Management: Dermot Slua Boyle, Marty McGing and Manus Boyle (absent due to his big 50 birthday party!!)