The Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure Championship Finals weekend got off to a fine start yesterday with four great games of football with all matches going to the wire.
The flagship game was the Intermediate A final between Dungloe and Cloughaneely. Prior to that the same two teams battled in the Reserve final with An Clochán Liath laying siege to the Cloich Cheann Fhaola goals in the last few minutes but heroic defending seem them hold out to retain the title. The first three photos below show the victorious Cloughaneely side, the Dungloe Reserve team and James Coll, the County Dry Cleaners Man of the Match
In the A final, Dungloe played with the elements in the first half dominating possession but not reflecting it on the scoreboard until the last ten minutes of the half when some fine scores saw them turnover at the break with a 0-7 to 0-2 lead. Despite playing into the breeze the Rosses side opened the scoring with two second half points to lead by seven. Three goals in ten minutes – one a penalty rebound (john Fitzgerald), one a long range shot that caught defenders and goalkeeper unawares (Michael Fitzgerald) and a second penalty where John Fitzgerald made no mistake – would have fazed most teams. Dungloe, however, fought back and scored the last three points to earn a replay and a well-deserved second shot at the title. The second Cathal McLaughlin Cup decider will be “finish-on-the-day” and will be played next weekend. Details on times, dates and venue will be decided this evening after the two Senior championship finals.