Monday, August 30, 2010

Senior Football Final: Donegal Blow by McAnespies in Powerful Display.

Aiden McAnespies 0-8 Donegal 2-10

Donegal saved their best till last. Having sputtered through much of the season, and then having to play three games in the last week of the season, one being the semi-final Thursday night, Donegal swept to the senior football title with a display of hunger and power. There were several stars for the northerners, Brian Kelly at center forward worked extremely hard for the 60 minutes –and set up Donegal’s first goal for Paddy Kelly, for whom the victory must have been particularly satisfying. Ger Reddin at center back, like Brian Kelly, also put in a worthy 60 minutes of effort and covered well for his corner backs. Once Donegal had put together a four-point salvo in the middle of the second half, there was no question over who would be walking away with the cup.

Thomas Corrigan and the McAnespies forward line
had a frustrating day against a tight Donegal defence.
The game started with the tactics fairly clear. McAnespies were out to give room to the corner forwards and hit them at every opportunity. The problem was that when the chances came neither Thomas Corrigan nor CJ McGourty had their shooting boots on. It proved to be a very frustrating afternoon for the normally deadly McAnespies corner forwards. With the McAnespies wing forwards also largely out of the game a long afternoon loomed for red and white. Ger Reddin dropped back in support of the full back line, and picked up plenty of ball breaking from the challenges between corner back and forward. After 15 minutes McAnespies held a two points to one advantage. Collie Carr opened Donegal’s account, while McGourty pointed twice for McAnespies – once from a free and then from play. Donegal took the lead for good shortly after the McGourty score with a goal that resulted from Brian Kelly not giving up on the play and winning the ball on the McAnespies 21. Kelly passed to his namesake Paddy unmarked in front of goal, and the Ballylongford man made sure. Donegal followed with a Brian Kelly pointed free and a hard won John O’Loughlin point. McAnespies hit back with a McGourty point following some good interchanges between Corrigan and Tiernan Diamond in the lead up to the score. Just before half time a second goal from Donegal had Macs reeling. Sean Burke found Brian Kelly, and big Malin man buried the ball from 14 yards. At the half the two goals was the difference between the teams.

John O'Loughlin puts Donegal eight points up
in the second half.
With virtually nothing going their way McAnespies urgently needed to make some sort of change and Luke Sweetman was introduced for Tiernan Diamond. Sweetman added some strength to McAnespies forward line, but in the end the change proved to be largely cosmetic. Dan Graham and Paddy Kelly traded points with Neil Donaghy and Sweetman to open the half. Sweetman could have had a goal but his punched effort came off the top of the crossbar and over. Then Donegal put the game away with four points on the trot to open a 10 point lead. With Neil Collins and Reddin at the back, O’Loughlin in midfield, and both Kelly’s all performing at a level that McAnespies could not cope with, points went over from a Collie Carr free, O’ Loughlin, Burke, and Brian Kelly. McGourty, who had been brought deeper pointed twice late, and Burke traded a score with Colm McCrory at the end. Donegal were jubilant at the sound of the final whistle, and having lost out to McAnespies two years ago in the final, the feeling must have been particularly sweet.

Macs: S. Connolly, B. O’Reilly, T. McClelland, M. Bogue, D. Wylie, C. O’Sullivan, N. Donaghy (0-1), B. McGarr, C. McCrory (0-1), T. Diamond, D. Tobin, T. Corrigan, CJ McGourty (0-5). Sub: L. Sweetman (0-1). Donegal: M. Boyle, T. McGuire, N. Collins, D. Graham (0-1), G. Reddin, K. Lillis, M. McGinty, J. O’Loughlin (0-2), B. Lafferty, B. Kelly (1-2), C. Carr (0-2), P. Kelly (1-1), S. Burke (0-2).

By Rory O'Donnell

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Rory congrats great job done all year. Very much appreicated all your coverage on all games and keeping the table very updated.