Killybegs withstand big challenge from Buncrana but they held on to clinch the Division Three league title

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

Killybegs withstand big challenge from Buncrana but they held on to clinch the Division Three league title

Killybegs are Division Three champions (again) after they held their nerve to get the better of Buncrana in the second of the play-off games in Convoy

Killybegs 0-14

Buncrana  0-12

The big turning points of the game was a penalty save by Kevin Martin from John Campbell in the opening half and it helped the Fishermen into a three points half-time lead.

But they had to withstand a great comeback as Buncrana got level in the second half, but they were then reduced to 14 men in the 51st minute and Killybegs were able to finish the game off.

Killybegs opened at in whirlwind fashion and reeled  off three points in the opening three minutes.

Michael Gallagher, inside 15 seconds, got them off the mark and  Hugh McFadden converted from a 50 metre free for the second.

It was all Killybegs at this stage with Hugh McFadden and Evan Broderick doing well in the middle of the field and Michael Gallagher and Ryan Cunningham carving the openings up front.

John Campbell got Buncrana off the mark with a close in free on four minutes but it was a three point game again shortly after when Ryan Cunningham pointed.  

Oisin Doherty and Ryan Cunningham traded pointe before Ben Bradley had a fine point for Buncrana who were coming more into the game reduced the margin to two points.

And shortly after Buncrana had a glorious opportunity to go in front when Darach O’Connor was brought down for a penalty.

But Kevin Martin, in the Killybegs goal, pulled off a brilliant save from John Campbell and from the clearance Killybegs broke up the field and Hugh McFadden made it a three point game once again.  

However, Buncrana hung in and they matched Killybegs as the two posted two points each in the closing minutes of the half.

Half-time: Killybegs 0-8, Buncrana 0-5.

Buncrana had the better of the opening exchanges of the second period and they outscored Killybegs 0-5 to 0-2 in the opening 12 minutes to tie up the game at 0-10 each.

Oisin Doherty (2), John Campbell (2), and one from Caolan McGonagle were the Buncrana scorers with Ryan Cunningham and Hugh McFadden hitting the target for Killybegs. McFadden restored the lead for Killybegs from a close in free after being uncharacteristically wide from a 30 metre free.

The sides were still level at 0-11 each when Buncrana were reduced to 14 after Oisin Flaherty was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Eoghan Bán Gallagher.

That was with nine minutes left on the clock. With the extra man Killybegs finished the stronger and thanks to late points from Jack McSharry, Michael Gallagher and McFadden to one from John Campbell they finally sealed the win.

KILLYBEGS: Kevin Martin; Christopher Cunningham, Ciaran Conaghan, John Bán Gallagher; David McGuinness, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Jack McSharry (0-1); Hugh McFadden (0-6,5f), Evan Broderick; Ryan Carr, Daniel Breslin, Michael Gallagher  (0-2); Christopher Murrin , Paul Cunningham, Ryan Cunningham (0-5,2f)

Subs; Brendan Maguire for C Cunningham (black card  39); Shaun Gorrell for P Cunningham 60.;


BUNCRANA: Sean Parker; Stephen Doherty, Conor Grant, Adran McColgan; Aidan Stokes,William McLaughlin, Ryan McElhinney; Peter McLaughlin, Caolan McGonagle (0-3,2f); Adrian Doherty, Oisin Doherty (0-3,1f), Oisin Flaherty; Ben Bradley (0-1), John Campbell (0-5,5f), Darach O’Connor.

REFEREE: Siobhan Coyle (Gaeil Fhanada)