It was another successful month for Donegal sport and particularly for women who medalled on the national stage and abroad.
Among the highlights noted in the Donegal Sports Star Awards review was McCumhaill’s Avril McNamee being crowned World Ladies B Handball champion in the USA after defeating Ellen O’Connor from Wexford in an all-Irish final on a score of 21-0, 21-2.
On the last day of the month, Letterkenny girl Megan Keown enjoyed a big success at the Gunther Stapfer Memorial Tournament in Austria taking a third place in her weightlifting category. Megan a member of the CrossFit Club in Letterkenny was on the Irish Youth & Junior lifters team who competed at the 25th annual event hosted by WSV/ASTV Ranshofen. She is now ranked 12th Europe.
In swimming the Ballyshannon Marlins Club member Mona McSharry reached the 100m breastroke swimming semi-final at the European Championships in Glasgow. And on the first Saturday of the month there was gold for Finn Valley AC’s Daniella Jansen who was a member of the Ireland U18 4x400m relay at the Celtic Games in Scotland. The Killygordon girl ran the second leg of the race.
Staying with athletics, Finn Valley AC’s Brendan Boyce finished 19th in the 50km walk at the European Championships in Berlin in a time of four hours, two minutes and 14 seconds.
However, there was disappointment for Mark English who failed in his bid to make the 800m Final at the same Championships in Berlin.
Letterkenny AC’s Catriona Jennings won the National Half Marathon Championships in Dublin in a time of 1.22.25 and 29 seconds ahead of the runner-up. Her Letterkenny AC colleague Ciaran McGonagle won the Donegal Half-Marathon in a time of 1:15:58. And another LAC member Monica McGranaghan took the women’s category clocking 1:29.24.
The impressive Raphoe ABC fighter Leah Gallen won the Irish Cadet Boxing Championship title at the National Stadium in Dublin, stopping Sophia Hopkova in the third round. In martial arts Burnfoot’s Tristan Logue won his Jiu Jitsu division at the National League Finals. In the final the 13-year-old defeated a higher graded and older opponent.
The remarkable sporting achievements of Twins Towns man Oisin Merritt continued as he was a member of the Republic of Ireland Cerebral Palsy team who claimed a bronze medal at the 2018 IFCPF European Championships in the Netherlands. Oisin who had sustained serious head injuries from a fall in Spain four years ago helped Ireland to a 2-1 win over the Netherlands.
Merritt had played his part as Ireland topped the group after wins over Denmark, Northern Ireland and Germany.
St. Johnston man Ronan Curtis made a fine start to his professional career in England as he was on the mark twice with his first two goals for new club Portsmouth who defeated Blackpool 2-1 in a League One away fixture. Curtis just moved to the Pompey’s at the end of June from Derry City. Amber Barrett’s hot scoring streak continued in early August as the Milford woman hit the net four times for Peamount Utd in a 6-2 home league win over UCD. Barrett and Tyler Toland were also members of the Republic of Ireland senior women’s squad who had a 4-0 victory over Northern Ireland in a final World Cup qualifier game at the Tallaght Stadium. The team’s chance of making the finals had gone before this game but it was nonetheless a good finish to the campaign with St. Johnston’s Toland in the starting 11 while Barrett came on as a late second half sub.
Outstanding young jockey Dylan Browne-McMonagle was crowned champions jockey for the third year running at the famous Dingle Race Festival after saddling an amazing nine winners at the meeting. The Letterkenny teenager followed that up with four firsts in Mayo while on the last Sunday of the month McMonagle rode his 70th winner of the season at Hillsborough in Ramelton. His treble left him just six short of the record of 76. Another young jockey Brandon Wilkie McGlinchey from Letterkenny saddled three winners at a race meeting in Ballyconneely in Co Galway.
In motorsport Pettigo man Kevin Eves and Chris Melly won the the Ulster National Rally in Antrim. The Donegal crew were first in the national section of the rally in an escort.
Despite only finishing second at the Tipperary Rally, Declan Boyle and James O’Reilly still remained overall leaders of the National Championships. Cloughaneely won Rowing Club of the Championship at the All-Ireland Coastal Finals held at Ferrybank, Co. Wexford. They took home a total of 21 gold medals and ten bronze in the men’s, women’s and mixed categories.
On the first Sunday in August there was major disappointment for the Donegal senior football team who suffered a 2-17 to 1-13 defeat at the hands of Tyrone in Ballybofey in a Super 8s quarter-final. Declan Bonner’s men were four points ahead with 17 minutes of normal time remaining but then caved in as the Red Hand County romped home to an All-Ireland semi-final clash with Tyrone.
And on the same weekend dreams of a first ever All-Ireland Senior Football Final for the Donegal Ladies ended after a 2-11 to 0-11 loss to Cork at Dr. Hyde Park in Roscommon. The side managed by Maxi Curran and Damian Devaney struggled to recover from the concession of a 19th minute goal. It was a bad weekend all round for Donegal teams as the Masters missed out on a place in the All-Ireland Final after a narrow one-point defeat to Dublin in a replay at Lacken in Co. Cavan. In hurling Setanta won the All-Ireland Kilmacud Sevens Shield title in Dublin.
Kilmacrennan teenager Richard Kerr earned eight valuable points after his fine performances over two days in Thruxton, UK at the Dickies Supesport Championships which runs alongside the British Superbike Championships.
At the same venue another young Kilmac man Caolan Irwin finished ninth in the Superstock 600 class and which left him in eighth place overall in the championship. His younger brother Rhys had eight and ninth place finishes in his two races. On the first day of the month, Letterkenny Rovers won the Ulster Youth Cup Final thanks to a 2-0 win over Dunfanaghy at Dry Arch Park.
Ramelton native Conrad Logan enjoyed a super start as his club Mansfield had a 3-0 win over Newport County at the One Call Stadium in their opening League 2 game of the new season. It was a special weekend for Ramelton brothers Shane and Barry McNamee who both scored for two different clubs in the FAI Senior Cup. Shane got his first senior goals, hitting the net twice, for Derry in a record breaking 12-2 away win over Blarney Utd. Meanwhile, Barry was also on the mark as Cork comfortably advanced to the second round with a 5-1 victory over non-league Home Farm in Dublin.
Leitirmacaward’s Carl McHugh was on the mark for Motherwell in an exciting 3-3 home draw with Rangers in a Scottish Premier Division game.
August was very good for Finn Harps whose fine form continued with a 3-0 win over Wexford FC in Ballybofey as Ciaran Gallagher kept another clean sheet. Ollie Horgan’s side then came from behind to book a place in the second round of the FAI Senior Cup thanks to a 3-1 extra-time win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds with the goals coming from Sam Todd, Mikey Place and Jacob Borg with his first for the club. In the middle of the month Harps moved closer to a promotion play-off place thanks to a 3-1 away win over Athlone Town at Lissywollen
As expected Horgan’s men bowed out of the FAI Senior Cup after a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Premier Division leaders Dundalk at Oriel Park where Burnfoot native Georgie Kelly got his debut goal for the hosts. But Harps bounced back to guarantee themselves a promotion play-off place thanks to a 2-0 win over Galway Utd at Finn Park where Mikey Place and Mark Timlin got the all important goals.
At underage level the Finn Harps U17s secured their place in the Mark Farren Cup Final thanks to a 3-2 extra-time win over Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. But there was disappointment for the the Harps U19 side who lost 3-1 to St. Patrick’s Athletic in the Enda McGuill Cup Final in Ballybofey.
There was success for young Donegal teams at the Ulster-Connacht Surf/Lifesaving Championships in Rossnowlagh. The Junior Girls took a gold, silver and two joint bronze medals. Letterkenny man Aidan Callaghan was first in his age category and seventh overall in the Dun Laoghaire Triathlon.
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