PROMOTION PLAY-OFFS: Killybegs to seal Division Three title on Saturday

PROMOTION PLAY-OFFS: Killybegs to seal Division Three title on Saturday

Killybegs' league season will come to an end this Saturday evening in Convoy when they play their second game in the play-off series of games to decide the Division Three title and promotion.

After finishing level with Naomh Brid and Buncrana in the league on 27 points, they were initially awarded the Division Three title and cup, having a superior score difference. But then a few weeks later, it was all change. The Donegal CCC, after taking advice from Croke Park, ruled that score difference could not be used, and play-offs were held.

Killybegs were not happy. Neither were Naomh Brid, who would have finished second on score difference. Appeals were lodged to Ulster, but in the end, it was back to the playing fields.

The first game took place on Sunday last with Killybegs, really up for the game, came out on top by 3-10 to 2-5. It was a good game of football and the final margin didn't do justice to Naomh Brid.

The Trummon Park side didn't make enough use of their chances and may have been guilty of tactics near the end which could cost them in the future. They went for goals, when awarded close-in frees, instead of taking their points. They could have escaped with a four point deficit, but instead they could find themselves in a difficult position for their final game (against Buncrana) which will take place on the weekend of 25th November.

Sunday's game between Killybegs and Naomh Brid was an entertaining encounter with a number of talking points. Naomh Brid had midfielder Tommy Gallagher sent off on a straight red card after an incident at midfield which was reported by the linesman, Declan Callaghan. At the time of going to press no decision had been made by Naomh Brid, who were awaiting the referee's report on the matter, but they could well lodge an appeal.

Naomh Brid could have had a penalty at the start of the second half when Clint Walsh, by some distance their most impressive player, broke through and fired for goal and seemed to be tugged back. But then Killybegs could claim that directly before the Naomh Brid goal in the opening half, Daniel Breslin, was fouled at midfield as he released the ball. The free went against Breslin for a 'throw ball' but he was absolutely clattered as he released it.

Killybegs had Rory Gallagher on the line, helping out John Cunningham and the backroom team and the Fermanagh manager was fairly vocal, both in the warm-up and throughout the game. Killybegs were really up for the contest. It was easy to feel their motivation and they were also more controlled than Naomh Brid, probably because of the experience at playing at a higher level of senior championship.

You would expect that they will complete the deal on Saturday when they take on Buncrana in the second of the three game series. Buncrana have shown very poor form towards the end of the league and championship and were relegated from the Intermediate Championship to Junior next year. They also lost out in the U-21 to Burt.

If, as expected, Killybegs get the win over Buncrana on Saturday, they will (again) be declared Division Three champions and the fight will remain for the second promotion spot between Naomh Brid and Buncrana.