Refreshing football in Towney
The match billed as the game of the Michael Murphy Senior Championship in Towney on Sunday certainly lived up to its billing.
Kilcar came good in the final quarter of a thrilling encounter that did much to restore faith in the game of Gaelic football.
But while Kilcar were the winners, Gaoth Dobhair would have left a sun-drenched Towney very disappointed that they did not get something from the game. The Magheragallon based side were a match for the home side, but just had to give second best in the final quarter.
What was really refreshing about the contest was the tactics of both sides. It was all-out attacking football from first whistle to last.
There was no hint of packing defences, with chances being created at either end. It was a brave call for Gaoth Dobhair to adopt that approach away from home, but I feel it is one that they should persist with. They have the players to play that expansive game and when they get Kieran Gillespie back, they will be even stronger. Remember, most of this side are still U-21 and are still developing.
Kilcar were clearly relieved to get out with the win, after struggling at times to contain the free-running Gaoth Dobhair side. They can thank especially Stephen McBrearty and Ryan McHugh for top class contributions. McBrearty looked really sharp but if the rumours that he has pulled out of the Donegal senior panel are true, that is disappointing given Sunday's display.
Overall, it was just a great spectacle. Gaoth Dobhair now have two home games against Glenswilly and Ardara and they need to be true to themselves and continue their attacking style.
No doubt when Glenswilly arrive in Towney for the final round of games, we can expect a much different type of game. Much will depend on how the clash between Gaoth Dobhair and Glenswilly goes in round two. A Gaoth Dobhair win or draw will leave everything to play for in those final games.
But getting back to what we witnessed in Kilcar on Sunday - wouldn’t it be nice for teams to be rewarded for putting the emphasis on attack. Aodh Ruadh have been doing that this year and it is paying dividends. If you have young legs, then you should use them!
Heartbreak for Ladies
The Donegal Ladies have plenty of reason to be unhappy with the outcome of their Division One League final against Cork. There were two big calls in the last five minutes which went against them; a free in to Cork when their player lost control of the ball and collided with Nicole McLaughlin. At worst it was just a collision, but it probably was a free out as the Cork player dived forward to collide with the Donegal defender. The free put Cork two points ahead at a vital stage.
Then a challenge by Karen Guthrie to get the ball away on the ground before a Cork player went down to collect, also went against Donegal and led directly to Yvonne McMonagle being sin-binned.
Overall, it was a marvellous performance by the Donegal girls, who can hold their heads high, and there could be a long summer ahead if they can maintain their momentum.
I was in Roarty’s Bar in Glencolmcille on Saturday night to witness the finale of the Glencolmcille Darts League and they put on a big show. The quality of the darts, like the smoke, ebbed and flowed, but the performance of Dermot McGuire was worthy of a much bigger stage.
The best final of the night was in the new category - the Youth section - where Colin Doherty held his nerve to get the better of Aidan McGinley in a very close encounter.
Well done to all concerned - especially Norman Fuller, Anthony Gallagher and Damian Carr