Christopher’s 2-9 Donegal 4-14
The second Junior A football semi-final was a surprisingly one-sided affair as Donegal handily defeated Christopher’s. There were 3 goals in the first half as the Donegal forward line showed some great quickness and inter-passing, and 2 sendings off pretty much doomed Christopher’s to their fate as they were down 2 players a few minutes into the second half.
|Eoghan McGettigan on the move for Donegal.|
Donegal took a commanding lead into the half time break thanks to 3 goals that rocked Christopher’s. The first came early from Christy McLaughlin who side-footed from close range after Ashley Carr found him with a hand pass across the face of goal. Donegal added a second from Eoghan McGettigan, the Donegal U21 player rifled a shot to the near corner from inside the 21, and late in the half it was Carr taking the third for himself.
Christopher’s looked sluggish compared to a sprightly Donegal, and did themselves no favors after Murt Hunt was sent off following an off the ball strike on Sean Winston. Even at this early stage a goal would be required to get back into the game, and Christopher’s could only match Donegal in the points column. Conor O’Keefe floated over a couple of lovely efforts for Christopher’s, but Donegal’s McGettigan and Carr did likewise for the northerners. There could have been a fourth goal after McLaughlin was fouled in the box, but the wily corner forward’s spot kick hit the top of the crossbar and over for a point.
|Up for Grabs between Darren Grant and Killian Ryan.|
The second half saw Christopher’s almost in with a goal chance, but after the referee blew for a free in another red card was shown, this time to Mark Delaney. Christopher’s now down 2 players and 10 points. The hole got deeper for Christopher’s after McGettigan hit the back of the net again a few minutes later. At this stage with most of the second half to play the game was more or less decided.
Dan Kenneally netted after a high ball into the box, and Chris Moynihan put a lovely point over the bar, but the scores only served as a teaser for what might have been from a Christopher’s viewpoint had they managed to retain a full complement of personnel. Donegal controlled matters for the remainder and basically saw out the clock. The result sets up a north and south final with Donegal meeting Cork, the last 2 champions on the Junior A championship with Cork defending and Donegal the 2016 winners.
Christopher’s: Mark Delaney, Mark Russell, Murt Hunt, Sean McHugh, Pat Kenneally, Tom Kinsley, James Horgan, Killian Ryan, TJ Stenson, Chris Moynihan, Pat Kerrigan, Dan Kenneally, Conor O’Keefe.
Donegal: Lee McCarron, Declan McBride, Gavin Reilly, Sean Winston, Darren Doherty, Aidan McLaughlin, Darren Grant, Mark Dunphy, Ciaran McDevitt, Rocky Ivers, Eoghan McGettigan, Ashley Carr, Christy McLaughlin.By Rory O'Donnell