Monday, August 7, 2023

Sun Aug 6- Donegal v McAnespie's- Men's Senior Football Semi-Final

 Donegal ran away with the game in their semi-final face-off with McAnespie's on Sunday. The last game of the day was the main event, drawing huge crowds who anxiously anticipated the outcome that would decide who the Connemara Gaels will face next Sunday in the Championship Final. 

Donegal wasted no time in racking up three points before McAnespie's could get their footing. A goal from David Garland (12) further asserted their dominance on the field. Points from numbers 11, Shane Carthy, and 13, Darragh Roche, followed. With Donegal banking 1-5 and McAnespie's still failing to secure a score, it was clear that the men in green and gold had the upper hand from the get go. Finally, Ruairi Scott (9) kicked a point that put something on the scoreboard for Mac's and lifted their spirits. 

Try as they might, McAnespie's could not seem to get their head in the game. Their confidence had taken a knock in the first 15 minutes and they struggled to regain it. They secured several points thanks to number 14, Iarla O'Sullivan who carried the scoring for his side. A failed goal attempt from Eoin Gormley (12) further frustrated McAnespie's. With every missed goal attempt, their management encouraged them to 'take their points', a strategy they began to adopt when it was already too late. At the half-time whistle, Donegal held a six-point lead. 

Mac's made hard work for themselves in the second half. Knowing they were at a disadvantage, they came back to the pitch with an increased pressure weighing on them. A point from number 11, Shane Pettit, put them five points behind, with lot's of time to bridge the gap and get back into the game. Donegal settled right into the second half and a goal from David Garland, (12) reaffirmed their spot in the lead. Number 10, Shane O'Donnell, had his own moment of glory with a third goal for the green and gold, that sent crowds into chaos. Now, Donegal's lead seemed secure. However, they were not letting up. Their defenders worked overtime to keep out the desperate Mac's whose attempts at goals were repeatedly deterred. 

The disadvantage was taking a toll on McAnespie's. It's likely that the pressure was to blame for their missed opportunities. Donegal continued to rally ahead at full speed. Another goal from Garland (12) put the final nail in the coffin. At this point, some of the McAnespie's team had accepted defeat while others allowed frustrations to rise and cause friction on the field. Donegal's goalie received a black card resulting from a toussle with a McAnespie's player. Confrontation was no use at this stage- the winner was clear. The semi-final came to a finish with a final score of Donegal 4-20 to McAnespie's 0-15. 

This win secured Donegal a spot in the Men's Senior Championship final, which will take place next Sunday August 13th at 5pm. 

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