Monday, August 15, 2016

Saturday August 13 - Junior B Football Final

Connemara Gaels 0-6 Donegal 2-10

Donegal captured their second junior B football championship in a row with a comprehensive win over the Connemara Gaels on Saturday evening.  Donegal were simply too strong in most areas of the field, though two first half goals were real blows to the Gaels cause.  The Connemara men had kept the game close coming up to half time, but after the goals quickly found themselves chasing not only the game, but also the Donegal men for most of the second half.

Colm McCarron shoots for Donegal
At the end of the first 30 minutes it was Donegal with a seven point lead.  The northerners netted twice, both goals were daggers into the hearts of the Gaels.  The Gaels were well in the game and although the majority of chances fell to the northerners, there was just two points between the sides before the unluckiest of goals from a Gaels standpoint.  A half blocked Conor McCormick shot took a crazy spin that deceived everyone, including Gaels keeper, James O’Donnell, and the spin on the ball changed its trajectory from going wide to just inside the post.  The second goal was a very well worked score, Colm McCarron turned nicely and opened up space for himself on the 45.  His floated ball found Padraig McLaughlin running behind the defence and the wing forward’s cheeky chip nestled in the corner of the Gaels net, the score came just before half time, a great time for Donegal and a terrible time for Connemara.

The Gaels had survived on a PJ Kelly point for much of the half, while three scores went over the bar for Donegal, coming from John Duggan, Eunan Doherty, and Duggan again.  Then came that first goal.  The Gaels had gathered themselves from the blow, and another Kelly point followed by a great score from Sean Mannion had them back in sight with half time approaching, cue McLaughlin and goal number two.  2-4 to 0-3 for Donegal at the break.

Donegal retained the Junior B Football Championship Saturday afternoon.
After the Gaels had leveled matters in the points column, Donegal took a hold of affairs and put three unanswered points over the bar.  A Duggan free was followed by a well worked score, finished off by Matthew Cutliffe, and Conor McCormack added a beauty from distance.  The Gaels kept up the fight and tried to get the ball into PJ Kelly at corner forward, however, John Deery was alert to the danger on most occasions.

McCormack in the half back line and Simon Owens in midfield kept Donegal motoring.  Time was the Gaels enemy and Donegal’s friend as the gap between the sides remained unchanged coming into the final 15 minutes.  The points then seemed to come easier for Donegal who had the win in their sights, and at the final whistle the celebrations started for the Tir Chonaill men.

Gaels:  James O’Donnell, Chris Lafferty, Coleman Conroy, Kevin Walsh, Ruaidhri Fennell, Donal Reaney, Padraic Condron, Sean Mannion, Caomhan Keane, AJ Maguire, Stephen Murray, PJ Kelly, Kevin Owens. 

Donegal:  Jason McDaid, Neil McEneaney, John Deery, Tommy Devitt, Hugh Devine, Conor McCormick, Simon Owens, Eunan Doherty, Padraig Mclaughlin, Colm McCarron, Ciaran McDevitt, Matthew Cutliffe.

By Rory O'Donnell

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