Monday, August 26, 2013

Junior B Footbal Final: Donegal v Aidan McAnespies

Donegal 3-14 Aidan McAnespies 1-14

Donegal Captain Jason McDaid looks a happy man!
It took extra time to separate Aidan McAnespies and Donegal in the junior B football final.  It appeared to be all over with 10 minutes of normal time to go, even though Donegal held a one man advantage.  Playing down a man, McAnespies still looked very much in control and had held their opponents scoreless up to that point in the half.  Donegal struck with 2 goals and a point in the space of 2 minutes and almost won the game in the 60 minutes, but Owen Fleming pointed for McAnespies to force the extra time.  Still, Donegal had got a second chance, and they made sure they took it scoring 7 points to McAnespies' one in the overtime period.

At the end of the first half it was McAnespies who led by a point.  After Donegal had pointed twice from Matthew and the young Kieran McDevitt, Jonathan Downey netted following a good move involving Stephen Magill and Paddy Stones.  McAnespies then built the lead to three points with John Kindregan and John Roche, both of whom had just played in the junior hurling final, Downey and Stones playing well.  Donegal strung four points together as they came back into the game.  Jonathan Byrne grabbed a foothold in midfield and Jason McDaid and Hugh Devine converted.  Owen Fleming and Stones pointed just before the half to make it a 1-5 to 0-7 half time lead for McAnespies.

Brian Kelly up highest for this ball.
The second half saw McAnespies outplay Donegal in most facets of the game and with 10 minutes to go it looked as though the 2011 champions had it in the bag.  Donegal looked all out of ideas and did not score, and truth be told, did not look like they had a score in them, for the first 20 minutes.  The points sailed over the bar from Owen McCosker, Stones, Magill, Paddy McCusker, Downey and Fleming.  What was disconcerting from a Donegal viewpoint was that John Roche had been sent off 10 minutes into the half for a second yellow card, so the northerners had an extra man.  McAnespies played simple, sensible football and looked like they were the side with the man advantage.  Things were to change dramatically.  In the space of 3 minutes Donegal had reduced the lead to a point.  The high ball into Brian Kelly, who had been moved to a forward position, eventually paid off.  Jonathan Byrne and substitute Paul Boyce netted a minute apart.  Jason McDaid pointed and Donegal had new life.  Donegal were now winning the battle for possession.  Kelly pointed and Boyce put the go ahead score over the bar.  Fleming forced the extra time with a point in the last minute.

Donegal took full advantage of the second chance and their cause was helped after Downey was shown a second yellow card.  Substitute Barney Boyle got first score of the additional time, Kelly the next and Jason McDaid netted.  After the turnaround it was curtains for McAnespies as Declan Slevin was shown the line, wing back Hugh Devine pointed the last 2 scores of the game and the junior B football championship was delivered to Donegal.

Referee:  Sean Joy (Kerry)

Man of the Match:  Jonathan Byrne (Donegal)

Donegal:  M. Byrne, P. McCafferty, P. Doherty, M. Coleman, D. Doherty, H. Devine (0-3), B. Kelly (0-1), J. Byrne (1-0), K. McDevitt (0-2), J. Doogan, E. Byrne, J. McDaid (1-4), M. Cunniffe (0-1).  Subs:  P. Boyce (1-0), Barry Boyle (0-1).  Aidan McAnespies:  N. Duffy, G. Trainor, A. Kellet, E. Daly, P. McCusker (0-1), D. Gormley, J. Kindregan, J. Downey (1-2), P. Stones (0-2), J. Roche (0-1), S. Magill (0-4), O. Fleming (0-4), O. McCosker (0-1).  Subs:  D. Slevin, J. McKenna.

By Rory O'Donnell

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