MacCumhaill's recover from poor start to beat Na Magha


MacCumhaill's recover from poor start to beat Na Magha

Sean MacCumhail’s are into the semi-final of the Ulster Junior Championship following a fantastic win over Derry champions Na Magha at Celtic Park on Sunday.

Na Magha 1-13

MacCumhail's 1-17

Eamon McAuley's men recovered from the concession of a first minute goal in an absorbing clash that was in the balance until the final moments with captain Lee Henderson, Conor Gallagher and Gerard Gilmore the stand out performers.

Na Magha, without a match in almost seven weeks, looked short of match practise and will rue some bad second half wides.

The second half dismissal of corner forward David White for two bookable offences forced the Donegal men to dig deep but they deserved to hold on with keeper Dylan Laverty making a crucial late save from Alan Grant to rubber stamp their passage to the last four.

Na Magha's blistering start threatened to blow the Donegal champions away as full forward Breandan Quigley hit 1-01 for the Derry side before 90 seconds had elapsed.

When Deaglan Foley made it 1-02 to no score, spectators could have been forgiven for believing a mis-match was about to unfold.

Far from it and while it looked ominous for McAuley's team at that point, the Donegal champions settled impressively and had reduced the deficit to a single point by the 13th minute with captain Lee Henderson unerringly accurate from placed balls on his way to a first half tally of 0-08, including five frees and one '65'.

Henderson grabbed MacCumhaill's opening two scores before full forward Gilmore took an excellent catch, turned Malachy McCarron and fired over a lovely point for 1-03 to 0-03.

Whatever slight breeze there was probably favoured Na Magha in the opening half but they could never put any daylight between themselves and MacCumhaill’s who reeled them in to level by the 23rd minute through a lovely Gallagher point.

From there to half-time, the Donegal men took control, Henderson with two points and Gallagher again from play leaving them 0-11 to 1-6 up at the interval.

A Foley (free) and a Brendan Douban brace brought it back to a one point game at 0-13 to 1-09 by the 41st minute.

However, the crucial score of the game arrived within second of Douban's second point and it came at the opposite end.

The restart found its way to Gilmore along the right hand side with the full forward showing good pace to get away from his marker before finding a brilliant low finish into the far corner.

The goal stopped the Na Magha momentum in its tracks and from there, MacCumhaill's managed the game impressively.

They now go on to meet Down champions Liatroim in the last four.

Na Magha: Barry Robinson; Ciaron McCarron, Malachy McCarron, James McAdam; Niall McCallion, Alan Grant (0-1), Aodhan O'Donnell; Bliadhan Glass, Dermot Shiels; Robbie Hegarty, Deaglan Foley (0-6, 4f), Brendan Douban (0-2); Daryl Connolly (0-1), Breandan Quigley (1-3), Connor Shiels.

Subs: Feargal McAnaney for C Shiels, H/T; Matt Temple for J McAdam, 48mins; Paul Doherty for D Connolly, 54mins;

MacCumhaills: Dylan Laverty; Anthony Patton, Jamesie Donnelly, Bernard McMenamin; Michael Lillis, Gavin Browne, Conor Griffin; Patrick Hannigan, Lee Henderson (0-10, 5f, 1 sixty-five) ; Barry McGranaghan, Conor Gallagher (0-5), Sean Curran (0-1); David White, Gerard Gilmore (1-1), Aaron McAuley.

Subs: Aaron McAuley for A Barnes, 49; John Anthony Chambers for A Patton, 61; Kyle Tourish for B McGranaghan, 62.

Referee: Colin Murray (Down)