Burt stage strong second half comeback against MacCumhaill's to reach final

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

Burt staged a remarkable second half comeback against Sean MacCumhaill’sin the first of the Donegal semi-finals to keep their championship ambitions alive

Burt.......... .....................2-20

Sean MacCumhaill's ...... 2-11

Outplayed and out of sorts for much of the opening half, Burt came from six points down at half-time to win pulling up by nine.

The craft and experience of men like Joe Boyle, Niall Campbell and Mickey McCann was vital in this hard fought encounter in O’Donnell Park.

Sean MacCumhaill's had the better of the opening half hour and deservely led 2-8 to 0-8 at the break.

Ciaran Matthewson and Dean Hannigan scored the goals for the Finnsiders with Gavin Browne, John Anthony Chambers, Lee Henderson, Fintan Griffin and Mathewson chalking up the points.

Mathewson raised the first green flag on five minutes when put through by Kieran Brady and he threaded through a number of defenders for a 1-2 to 0-2 lead.

And with Henderson and Fintan Griffin adding quickfire points the margin was out to five with a little under ten minutes on the clock.

And while Ronan McDermott and Piaras Harrigan pulled two back for Burt, MacCumhaill's were soon seven up thanks to a Henderson free and a Dean Hannigan goal.

Hannigan was quickest to react when Padraig Doherty failed to hold a Barry Farragher lob in to the goalmouth.

Leading 2-5 to 0-4, MacCumhaill's had the look of winners about them.

And while Burt did up there game in the closing ten minutes with Enda and Ronan McDermott, Ciaran Finn and Caolan McDermott landing points, MacCumhaill were still six up at the break.

Burt were in a different mood on the resumpion and with Ciaran Dowds and Conor Carlin replacing Piaras Harrigan and Kieran Brady they were back in the game in a big way when Niall Campbell put Ronan McDermott through for a goal to cut the gap to three points.

The margin was down to two shortly after Campbell converted a close in free.

MacCumhaill's cause was not helped by the loss of Jamie De Ward to a straight red card for a late pull on Ciaran Finn.

Burt were the dominant side now and Enda McDermott missed two glorious opportunities for goals either side of points from Henderson and Campbell.

Ciaran Mathewson temporarily restored MacCumhaill's two point advantage.

Burt tails were up and the floodgates opened after Mickey McCann levelled the tie with his first touch after coming on.

And the floodgates opened shortly after following Burt's second goal when a strike from Niall Campbell was parried by Dillon Laverty and ended up in the net.

That was on 50 minutes and it was all Burt until the finish as they hit 1-9 without reply with Campbell, Ciaran Finn, and Joe Boyle all raising white flags.

Lee Henderson one of the MacCumhaill's men to play to the finish hit a late consolation point for a side who were completely out played in the second period.

BURT: Paul Burns; Marty McGrath, Padraig Doherty, Darren Grant; Caolan McDermott (0-2), Stephen Gillespie (0-1), Christopher McDermott; Ciaran Finn (0-4), Joe Boyle (0-2); Piaras Harrigan (0-2,2f), Mark Dowds, Ronan McDermott (1-2); Niall Campbell (1-4,4f), Kieran Brady, Enda McDermott (0-1). Subs: Ciaran Dowds for P Harrigan h/t;  Conor Carlin (0-1) for C Brady ht, Mickey McCann (0-1) for M Dowds 47.

SEAN MacCumhaill's: Dillon Laverty; Anthony Patton, Justin McGhee, Aaron McAuley; Bernard McMenamin, Gavin Browne (0-1), Barry Farragher; Lee Henderson (0-5,5f), Conor Griffin; Jamie DeWard, Ciaran Mathewson (1-3,1f), John Anthony Chambers (0-1); Dean Hannigan (1-0), Fintan Griffin (0-1), Josh McGhee.  Subs: Eoghan Wright for J.McGhee 52, Aaron Maguire for D Hannigan 56, Paul Doherty for J A Chambers 60, Aurelio Frietjes for C Griffin, Aaron Toner for F Griffin both 60.


REFEREE: James Connors (St Eunan’s).