Donegal and the Connemara Gaels served up the best game of the season so far in front a good crowd of supporters. It was an exciting contest that ended all square thanks to a goal in the final minutes from Mikey Kerr for the Gaels. The result leaves a slim opening for the Gaels to get the bye into the senior football final should Aidan McAnespies defeat Donegal in the final game of the league portion on Wednesday night.
Paddy McGee Fires Home for the Gaels
Late in the First half.
There was not much between the teams all game long. The Gaels relied on the running of Jack Bambrick and Colman Mulkerrin at times, each player produced some wonderful points. Donegal played well through the lines and a goal from Darren Grant in the first half gave the northerers a slight edge. Lee Carr was lively up front and tagged a couple of good points. Tom Duignan suffered a game ending injury after a foray forward, twisting his knee, which was a blow to the Gaels efforts. A goal late in the half from Paddy McGee meant that it was a 1-6 to 1-5 Donegal lead at the break.
The second half saw Donegal edge in to a 3 point lead, with Ryan Caffrey frees keeping the Gaels in touch. It started to look like Donegal were wrapping up another win with Shane Carthy providing the scores when needed. The Gaels made a big push towards the end, and were rewarded with the goal from Kerr who latched on to a rebound and put the ball into the far bottom corner. A fair result in the end that keeps the door slightly open for the Gaels to get the bye into the final.
Sean Kelly Showed some Flashes of old Form
with a couple of great scores on Sunday.
Wolfe Tones added another win in the junior A football championship to finish top and make the final. The Tones held Galway scoreless in the first half, while at the other end got some great scores from Sean Kelly, and steady free taking of Gavin Walsh added 3 more points. The missed opportunities were adding up for Galway, and just before the break Walsh netted to put the Tones into a 1-5 lead.
Enter JJ Doyle in the second half for Galway and the wily veteran’s shooting from frees and play chipped away at the Tones lead until there was just the goal in it 10 minutes into the second half. Galway and Doyle were unable to keep up the momentum, the water break may not have done them any favours as the Tones retook the field with renewed purpose and netted a second goal from Dan Kenneally to take the wind out of the westerner’s sails. The Tones nursed the 2 goal cushion and ended up 2-9 to 0-7 winners. The win puts the Tones straight into the final awaiting the winners of Cork and Galway next weekend.
McAnespie's Peter O'Connell Drives Forward.
Aidan McAnespies had a comfortable win against the Shannon Blues, netting two penalty kicks in the first half. The first was for a foot block and Robbie Croft slotted home to the keeper’s right. The second soon after came after Eoin Gormley was held in the box after being played though by a superb Peter O’Connell pass. Croft stepped up and the put this one to the left of the keeper. The Blues battled gamely and were rewarded with points from Darren Wallace, Maurice Young and Mike Moylan, but McAnespies were just too strong. The second half saw another 2 goals for the Macs who will now play a Wednesday night game against Donegal to round out the league portion of the competition.
The Junior B Football championship ended with a playoff required between Kerry and the Connemara Gaels. Christopher’s defeated the Gaels in a close run affair. The Gaels led by 9 points to 2 at the break but Christopher’s stormed back with a 4 goal second half and ended up 4 point victors to secure a semi-final place against Sean Og’s next week. The winners of Kerry and the Gaels will meet Donegal in the other semi-final on Saturday.
Mark Delaney Rises High for Christopher's.
Junior B Hurling sees Worcester into the final after defeating the Wolves of New Hampshire on Saturday in Canton. Portland Junior C Footballers went 4 for 4 with a win over Sean Og’s Sunday and have the automatic place in the final.
Some teams to be decided for next weekend’s games, the schedule is at and will be updated as soon as the results are in.
By Rory O'Donnell
Photos by Rachel O'Driscoll