Baile na nGalloglach 1-09
Naomh Conaill 1-11
(Chris Barrett in Moyle Park)
The men from Glenties bounced back to winning ways following defeat to Sean MacCumhaills last time out but were made to fight tooth and nail by a hard-working Milford side in an entertaining clash on Sunday afternoon.
The home side played with the aid of the strong breeze in the first half and made hay in the first 10 minutes. James Doyle clipped over after a quick counter attack to post the days’ first score. Moments later the Moyle Park side rattled the back of Stephen McGrath’s net. Luke Barrett’s 20 yard shot appeared destined for the back of the net but wing forward Cathal McGettigan made sure with a deft flick past the keeper.
The visitors struggled to adapt to the elements in the opening period, indeed they wouldn’t score until the 29th minute, as Milford extended their lead through McGettigan (2), Gary Merritt and Darragh Black. The games’ turning point arrived as the first half edged to a close in a frenetic 30 seconds. Milford spurned a guilt edged opportunity for a second goal at one end and they were made to rue that miss immediately down the other. Charles McGuinness fetched a high ball in ‘around the house’ and fired underneath Caolan McGettigan to give Naomh Conaill a real boost before the break. Brendan McDyre would have the final say of the half in injury time.
Naomh Conaill still trailed 1-5 to 1-1 at the half-time interval but those two late first half scores ensured they returned to the field with the bit between their teeth. Ex-Donegal players Eoin Waide and Anthony Thompson fired over after trademark surging runs from deep to narrow the gap to 2.
Milford’s ace marksman Cathal McGettigan kicked two excellent long range frees into the wind in response to a John O’Malley’ double for the visitors. Glenties would level the tie in the 52nd minute as they outscored the hosts 0-3 to 0-1 in the following 10 minutes, the highlight being Nathan Byrne’s sensational score from 45 metres out on the stand side.
Rory O’Donnell restored Milford’s lead with a neat point but Naomh Conaill finished stronger. Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy, who had been kept relatively quiet until that point, showed leadership and quality to land two long range points to give his side the lead for the first time in the contest as we entered injury time. As Milford pushed for a late equaliser John O’Malley, who had a fine second half, ensured the points would be returning to Davy Brennan Memorial Park with the final score of the day.
The hosts will be disappointed not to have taken anything from the game having led for the majority of the tie but Naomh Conaill showed great composure to wrestle control away from Milford late on.
Baile na nGalloglach Caolan McGettigan, Peter Curran, Conor McNulty, Conor Coll, James Doyle, Paddy Peoples, Gavin Grier, Joey Cullen, Luke Barrett, Cathal McGettigan (1-5, 2f), Christopher Barrett (0-1), Gary Merritt (0-1), Kyle Black, Pauric Curley, Darragh Black (0-1).
Subs: Conor McHugh and Rory O’Donnell (0-1) for Grier and Curley (41’), Martin Doyle for K. Black (51’).
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath, Eunan Doherty, Kevin McGettigan, Stephen Molloy, Odhran Doherty, Hughie Gallagher, Eoin Waide (0-1), Marty Boyle, Seamus Corcoran, Brendan McDyre (0-1), Dermot Molloy (0-3), Anthony Thompson (0-1), John O’Malley (0-3), Charles McGuinness (1-0), Nathan Byrne (0-1).
Subs: Logan Quinn for K. McGettigan (25’).
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings)