Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sun Aug 19 - Junior A Football Semi-Final: Christopher's v Donegal

Christopher’s 2-9 Donegal 4-14

The second Junior A football semi-final was a surprisingly one-sided affair as Donegal handily defeated Christopher’s.  There were 3 goals in the first half as the Donegal forward line showed some great quickness and inter-passing, and 2 sendings off pretty much doomed Christopher’s to their fate as they were down 2 players a few minutes into the second half.

Eoghan McGettigan on the move for Donegal.
Donegal took a commanding lead into the half time break thanks to 3 goals that rocked Christopher’s.  The first came early from Christy McLaughlin who side-footed from close range after Ashley Carr found him with a hand pass across the face of goal.  Donegal added a second from Eoghan McGettigan, the Donegal U21 player rifled a shot to the near corner from inside the 21, and late in the half it was Carr taking the third for himself.

Christopher’s looked sluggish compared to a sprightly Donegal, and did themselves no favors after Murt Hunt was sent off following an off the ball strike on Sean Winston.  Even at this early stage a goal would be required to get back into the game, and Christopher’s could only match Donegal in the points column.  Conor O’Keefe floated over a couple of lovely efforts for Christopher’s, but Donegal’s McGettigan and Carr did likewise for the northerners.  There could have been a fourth goal after McLaughlin was fouled in the box, but the wily corner forward’s spot kick hit the top of the crossbar and over for a point.

Up for Grabs between Darren Grant and Killian Ryan.
The second half saw Christopher’s almost in with a goal chance, but after the referee blew for a free in another red card was shown, this time to Mark Delaney.  Christopher’s now down 2 players and 10 points.  The hole got deeper for Christopher’s after McGettigan hit the back of the net again a few minutes later.  At this stage with most of the second half to play the game was more or less decided.

Dan Kenneally netted after a high ball into the box, and Chris Moynihan put a lovely point over the bar, but the scores only served as a teaser for what might have been from a Christopher’s viewpoint had they managed to retain a full complement of personnel.  Donegal controlled matters for the remainder and basically saw out the clock.  The result sets up a north and south final with Donegal meeting Cork, the last 2 champions on the Junior A championship with Cork defending and Donegal the 2016 winners.

Christopher’s:  Mark Delaney, Mark Russell, Murt Hunt, Sean McHugh, Pat Kenneally, Tom Kinsley, James Horgan, Killian Ryan, TJ Stenson, Chris Moynihan, Pat Kerrigan, Dan Kenneally, Conor O’Keefe.

Donegal:  Lee McCarron, Declan McBride, Gavin Reilly, Sean Winston, Darren Doherty, Aidan McLaughlin, Darren Grant, Mark Dunphy, Ciaran McDevitt, Rocky Ivers, Eoghan McGettigan, Ashley Carr, Christy McLaughlin.
By Rory O'Donnell

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