The Gaels booked their place in the quarter finals thanks to a three point win over Donegal. The Gaels took the field minus several of their squad though pulled out the win, and concerningly for them, conceded 4 goals. It could be said that the first 2 were more Gaels lack of concentration, but for the second 2 Donegal opened the Gaels defence a little too easily - something that will need correcting before the westerners face Kerry in next Sunday's quarter final.
|Damien Comer has his eye on this one.|
The Gaels held a four point lead at the break. The
men will be shaking their heads that it was not at least seven. At the very end of the half Donegal won a
free and with players attention on an injured Donegal man, Ryan Rafferty took a
quick one and netted - the goal stood.
The Gaels had built up a 7 point lead over the 30 minutes. Two goals, one from Michael Lundy and another
from Robbie Kiely went in. Points came
from the boots of Coleman Mulkerrins, Kiely, Niall Maguire, and Noel
Graham. Ryan Hyde and Damien Comer
looked comfortable in the middle of the field.
Donegal however kept pace thanks to Gary Maguire goal, and Rafferty's
late effort. Maguire took full advantage
of a poor clearance from the Gaels defence and exerted maximum punishment. At the break it was 2-8 to 2-4 in favour of
|Michael Lundy with Tom Caldwell in attendance.|
The second half saw the Gaels maintain their lead, though there were a number of missed chances to extend it. The Gaels continued to enjoy an edge in the possession stakes. A 1-2 to 0-1 start to the half extended the Gaels lead to 8 points. Niall Maguire finished the goal following a Ryan Hyde interception in the middle of the field. However, when going forward Donegal always looked like making something happen. The northerners kept the game interesting. The Gaels defence opened up for Rafferty about mid way though the half and the quick corner forward put the ball past Eoin Conneely to narrow the gap to 5 points. The Gaels built up again the lead once more, outscoring Donegal 3 points to one. A fourth Donegal goal went in however, this time from Sean Burke and once again the gap was narrowed to 4 points. Donegal pointed once more and with time running out there was a goal in it. The final whistle went before Donegal had another chance to try and net a fifth - and tie the game, though they needed the win. The Gaels finished joint second with Christopher's. As it turned out it was Christopher's name that was pulled out of the hat for the bye into the semi-final. The Gaels have a quarter final date with Kerry next Sunday.
Gaels: E. Connelly, D. Doolan, L. Cullen, S. Conneely, C. Cullen, R. Kiely (1-1), D. Comer (0-3), R. Hyde, M. Lundy (1-1), N. Graham (0-4), K. Owens, C. Mulkerrins (0-3), N. McGuire (1-1). Donegal: G. Sheilds, M. Canny, A. Williams, S. Tim, T. Caldwell, J. Dolan (0-1), S. Burke (1-2), C. Bell, S. Brennan, P. Hughes (0-1), P. McLoughlin, G. Maguire (1-1), R. Rafferty (2-1). Sub: N. McConnell (0-1).
By Rory O'Donnell