Aidan McAnespies 2-11 Donegal 2-7
The junior football championship got underway with Aidan
McAnespies and Donegal taking the field on a light breezy Sunday
afternoon. It was a highly entertaining
game between two strong teams that ebbed and flowed with each side enjoying
spells on top. Donegal briefly looked
like they might turn the tables in the second half, but McAnespies almost
immediately restored their edge and pushed on to the final whistle.
|Donegal's Christy Bell is stopped by Brian O'Shaughnessy.|
It was a tightly contested first half between the Boston
rivals, and once the first 30 minutes were over McAnespies held the slightest
of leads. The sides traded points and it
was all square at three each about 20 minutes in. Donegal veteran, Kevin Curran, and Christy
McLaughlin found the mark for Donegal, while for McAnespies it was Brian
Greenan, Paul Daly, and Enda Hamill with the finishing touches.
McAnespies took control of the game
eventually with sweeping moves out of defence, and just before the half time
break it was Greenan who provided the finish to put his side four points to the
good. Donegal managed to pull the goal
back through Tony McClenaghan before the break with a downfield foray and at
the half it was a 1-4 to 1-3 McAnespies lead.
The second half saw Donegal take a brief lead after
McLaughlin finished a move that began with a long, mazy run from the lively Rory
Dunleavy. The goal provided Donegal with
a burst of energy and Ryan McCrystal was forced into making a fantastic DeGea
like save from a close range from a Mark Dunphy shot soon afterwards as Donegal
applied the pressure. McAnespies,
however, got back into pole position within minutes. Grennan’s direct run opened the space for
Diarmaid Spratt to finish from close range and it stood at 2-4 to 2-6 on the
Play moved up and down the field at speed, with Donegal looking
to pull themselves back into it and McAnespies looking for the decisive
score. Points were swapped, McLaughlin
and McCleneghan scoring for Donegal, while Hamill and Cox found the mark for
McAnespies. McCrystal proved invaluable,
pulling off another fine save down the stretch to deny what would have been an
equalizing goal as McAnespies had added a point to the lead
Spratt had the final say with an insurance point in injury
time to secure the two points and get McAnespies off to a great start against
one of the stronger junior sides in recent years.
Macs: R. McCrystal,
B. Smyth, M. McMahon, M. Bogue, D. McGarr, J. Flynn, M. Day, B. O’Shoughnessy,
D. Spratt, P. Daly, E. Hamill, B. Greenan, S. O’Kane. Donegal:
J. Byrne, M. Canny, D. Doherty, D. Green, E. Doonan, K. McColgan, T.
McCleneghan, C. Bell, K. McDevitt, E. McCarney, K. Curran, C. McLaughlin, R.
Shannon Blues 2-7 Cork 4-11
|Declan Harrington shoots for Cork.|
Following on the heels of Donegal and McAnespies were Cork
and the Blues. The Blues got off to a
blistering 1-3 to 0-1 start, the goal coming from James Feeney. Cork then
worked themselves into the game and by the time the clock hit 30 minutes were
ahead by 10 points, 3-7 to 1-6.
Seventeen year old local boy, Declan Harrington, netted one of the Cork
goals, and it was heartening to see both teams fielding a plethora of home
The Blues made a brief comeback and narrowed the gap with a
goal and two points to get off the mark following the restart, however, Cork
regained the initiative and pulled away.
Colm Caffrey netted the rebels fourth goal with about 10 minutes to go
to provide reassurance to the Cork supporters in attendance. A solid first step start for Cork in their push
for the Junior A title.
By Rory O'Donnell