Sunday, July 29, 2012

Senior Football: Donegal End McAnespies Playoff Hopes

Note:  Contrary to the report, McAnespies are not out of the champioship since depending on other results next weekend, there could be a playoff with a won versus Connemara Gaels in the final game.

Aidan McAnespies 0-12 Donegal 2-11

Aidan McAnespies were knocked out of the running for the 2012 Boston senior football championship following a loss to Donegal.  McAnespies battled very hard to stay in it and had one of their goal chances gone in would have at least secured a draw and have had an outside chance of the playoffs.  It was a disjointed game with neither side settling into any sort of rhythm.  Donegal featured a side loaded with intercounty talent.  Louthmen Brian White, Brian Donnelly, and Derek Maguire were joined by Kevin Cassidy and Dessie Dolan.  However, the game was not decided until a late Dessie Dolan goal put four points between the teams with a minute remaining. 

Donegal's Derek Maguire gets away
from Niall Gallen.
Donegal threatened to run away with the game after the first 15 minutes.  Derek Maguire was on form at corner forward.  The first time ball worked well for Donegal and Maguire pointed, and then won a penalty shortly afterwards following a similar situation.  Brian White took it and though Paddy Coakley went the right way, the ball ended in the net.  McAnespies made some positional changes as it was clear the Maguire was on a tear.  Fergal O’Doherty was given the Maguire assignment and things improved for McAnespies.  After Kevin Cassidy looped a stylish point over the bar McAnespies nearly netted, but Peter Boyle saved well from Sean Cournane.  Boyle was called on later in the half to pull off another fine save, again from Cournane.  A free fell short and a fist from the St. Mary’s man looked goalbound but Boyle was quick to react and save.  Donegal held a 1-4 to 0-2 lead with 10 minutes left but McAnespies worked hard to get back into it.  Gareth O’Neill, Emmet Bradley, Emmet McGuckian and Colm Donnelly pulled McAnespies within four points to make it 1-7 to 0-6 at the break.

Donegal's Brian Donnelly and McAnespie's
Donie Kingston up for the kick out.
McAnespies continued the second half where they left off the first and put the first three points of the half over the bar.  Bradley put a well earned effort over, followed by Cournane, and Bradley again.  As Donegal struggled to gel, McAnespies had plenty of possession to work with.  Another high ball into McGuckian nearly ended up in the net but went just wide of the far post.  With a point between the teams a Dolan free and a Gary Reynolds point from play restored the lead to three points as Donegal did enough to remain ahead.  Again McAnespies continued to work through Gareth O’Neill and Donie Kingston in the middle.  Bradley and Donnelly reduced the deficit to a point and with six minutes to go it was all on the line.  However, Donegal secured the points with the simplest of goals from Dessie Dolan.  Kieran Williams slid the ball to Dolan who side footed past Paddy Coakley from the edge of the small square, and with a minute left McAnespies had it all to do to stay alive.  Donegal kept possession and played out the final minutes.  There will be a new name on the cup with McAnespies failing to make the playoffs for the first time since their inaugural season in 2005.

Referee:  Colm Schwer (Cill Dara)

Man of the Match:  Peter Boyle

Macs:  P. Coakley, P. McConway, M. Bogue, E. McGuckian, F. O’Doherty, N. Gallen, G. O’Neill, E. Bradley, S. Cournane, C. Donnelly, D. McKenna, C. McCrory, D. Kingston.  Donegal:  P. Boyle, D. Reynolds, M. Canning, K. Mulhern, G. Reynolds, K. Cassidy, E. Kelly, B. Donnelly, F. Clancy, D. Dolan, B. White, K. McWilliams, D. Maguire.

By Rory O'Donnell

No comments: