Downings win a second Junior B title with victory over Letterkenny Gaels

Donegal Junior B final

Tom Comack


Tom Comack


Downings win a second Junior B title  with victory over Letterkenny Gaels

Downings captain James McBride being presented with the Junior B Championship cup in O'Donnell Park on Sunday by county chairman Sean Dunnion. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD101016 TG5

Downings are celebrating Junior B championship success following their five point win over Letterkenny Gaels Sunday's final in O’Donnell Park.

Downings  2-8

Letterkenny Gaels 0-9

James McBride and Martin McBride scored the goals, one in each half, for a Downings wide who were the better team over the 60 plus minutes.

Joe Friel polished off a good move with Letterkenny Gaels' first and the game’s opening score on seven minutes.

But Downings, after early Letterkenny Gaels pressure, settled and the sides were level in the 16th minute when  Maxi Curran kicked a well struck point after turning his marker and knocking over from 30 metres.

Curran was in the thick of the action again three minutes later when he was fouled and Chris Carr converted from 20 metres for the lead point.

With Chris Carr and John Doherty getting a grip in the middle of the field and Maxi Curran and Shane McClafferty in fine form up front the scores flowed for Downings.

And by the time Marc Browne blew for half-time they had opened up a sizable six point lead.

Carr with another close in free, Shane McClafferty - after Carr rattled the crossbar - and Curran with his second kicked the points for Francie McHugh’s men.

And James McBride added the icing to the half when he first timed to the net for a 1-5 to 0-2 lead after Maxi had once again done all the spade work. Aidan Hanley scored Letterkenny Gaels' second point late in the half as Downings went in 1-5 to 0-2 in front at half-time.

Downings moved seven clear early in second half thanks to a super point on the run from wing back Brian Boyce.

That was on 34 minute,s but the champions did not score again for the best part of a quarter hour as Letterkenny Gaels clawed their way back into the game.

Thanks to two Charlie McCreevy pointed frees and one from each Niall McManus and Alan Harrington, the Gaels cut the margin to three points, 1-6 to 0-6 by the end of the third quarter.

Niall McManus missed a glorious opportunity to reduce the gap to two from a close in free from a tight angle.

But the chance was missed and Downings pulled away again with a glorious three minute spell as they reeled off 1-2 without reply to open up an eight point lead.

Substitute Martin McBride accounted for 1-1 with the goal coming at the end of a sweeping move involving Shane McClafferty and Martin Cullen.

Midfielder John Doherty kicked the other point for a 2-8 to 0-6  lead with a little over ten minutes remaining.

The champions did not score again as Letterkenny Gaels put on a late push with points from Gerard Gibbons, Joe Friel and Declan McFadden.

DOWNINGS: Brendan McGee; Ciaran McTeague, Marty McLaughlin, Conor Shiels; Gerard McGee, Hugo Davis, Brian Boyce (0-1); Chris Carr (0-2, 2f), John Doherty (0-1); Barry McBride, Maxi Curran (0-2), Martin Cullen; Luke McBride, Shane McClafferty (0-1), James McBride (1-0). Subs: Eric Roberts for B.McBride 38, Martin McBride (1-1) for L.McBride 38, Naoise Cullen for McGee 42, Paul Coyle for Curran 54, Seamus McLaughlin for Doherty 59, Patrick McGeever for Cullen 60.

LETTERKENNY GAELS;  Stephen Doherty; Aaron Diver, Bobby Carey, Anthony McDaid; Aaron Stewart, Tommy Daly, Eoin Kelly; Shane Gildea, Declan McFadden (0-1); James McGlynn, Oisin Cannon, Charlie Creevy (0-2, 2f); Joe Friel (0-2), Alan Harrington (0-2, 2f), Aidan Hanley. Subs: Noel Gildea for Daly 30, Niall McManus (0-1) for A Hanley, h/t, Ger Gibbons (0-1) for S.Gildea 46, Paul McKenna for Harrington 54.

REFERRE: Marc Brown (Four Masters).