Connemara Gaels 0-7 Donegal 3-14
Donegal and the Gaels raised the curtain on Sunday afternoon, with Donegal very much the favoured side. Featuring four American Born players in the team, the Gaels made a game of it for three quarters but in the final 15 minutes Donegal found more space in which to operate and put paid to the Gaels challenge.
|A Donegal hand finds the ball as Brian Joyce |
tries to burst the tackle.
Donegal looked the more dangerous side over the first 30 minutes, though the Gaels battled hard. On at least two occasions Donegal were through for a goal, however, Bosco O’Halloran did well to tip the ball over the bar for the first, and Rocky Ivers shot narrowly wide for the second. Donegal did clock up some points, Christy McLoughlin accounted for three in the first half, Niall McConnell two, and Kevin Curran the sixth. The Gaels back line worked hard to prevent Donegal from getting away from them and with Brian Joyce playing well in midfield and Joe Casey making forward runs, the forward line depended on Tom Sally McDonagh and Kevin Owens for scores. McDonagh delivered three times and Owens once and at the break it was 0-6 to 0-4 in favour of the northerners.
|Christy Bell in Full Flight.|
Donegal converted a major to begin the second period. Darren Green finished a move in which Christy Bell and Rocky Ivers combined to open up the Gaels back line. The Clonmany man made no mistake from 14 yards. Donegal enjoyed most of the possession but missed some good scoring chances, and Gaels managed to keep themselves in the game for the first 15 minutes of the second period. Casey, Conor Lohan, and Owens wiped out the goal with three points on the trot, but as the half wore on Donegal got stronger and Gaels faded. Niall McConnell and Christy Bell put three points over the bar between them, and Bell then delivered the hammer blow with a goal of his own creation. Bell beat his defender and buried the ball from close range. After McConnell and Green added to the ever extending Donegal lead, substitute Barney Friel netted the third for Donegal. A convincing win for the Tir Chonaill men and the Gaels still looking for a point in the junior A championship.
Gaels: B. O’Halloran, B. O’Connell, C. Conroy, J. Casey, M. McDonagh, S. Murray, B. Joyce, C. Lafferty, J. Geoghan, T. McDonagh, PJ Kelly, K. Owens. Donegal: B. Farrelly, P. McNulty, D. Renath, D. McBride, E. Doonan, D. Doherty, M. McGinty, C. Bell, C. McLoughlin, K. Curran, R. Ivers, D. Green, N. McConnell
By Rory O'Donnell