Goals the difference as Naomh Conaill defeat Kilcar in Senior B quarter-final

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NAOMH CONAILL are into the semi-finals of the Senior B Championship following a six-point win over Kilcar in Ballybofey.

Naomh Conaill 2-14 Kilcar 0-14

Goals in either half by Logan Quinn and Mark Gallagher gave Naomh Conaill a passage into the last four.

Quinn netted in the 17th minute and Gallagher tucked home the second in the 54th minute as Seamus O’Malley’s team booked a place in next weekend’s semis.

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In a bright opening, Kilcar were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead by the sixth minute with Glen McBrearty, Cormac Cannon, Declan Gallagher and James Cunningham posting the points.

Paul McGuinness’ brace began Naomh Conaill’s scoring and they were level thanks to quick-fire points from McGuinness and Joe Kennedy.

The pendulum was swinging either way, but Naomh Conaill were in raptured when Quinn smashed to the net after a fine move in the 17th minute.

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A neat point by Seamus Ellis came immediately afterwards and they were three in front.

But Kilcar leveled the game three times in the final ten minutes of the first half.

Gerard McBrearty (frree), Gallagher and Dermot McGinley drew them level heading for the final couple of minutes.

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Kennedy’s free was cancelled out by Gallagher and a magnificent point by Cannon had the Towney men on an even keel at the short whistle after McGuinness inches Naomh Conaill in front.

There’d been goal chances at both ends in the opening stanza as well as the goal for Quinn.

Johnny McLoone was denied by Kilcar goalkeeper Kevin Boyle and a follow-up by Quinn crashed off a defender while Naomh Conaill netminder Anthony Byrne brilliantly denied Ashley Carr.

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Kilcar’s Pauric Sweeney was in for a shot at goal 13 minutes into the second half, but he shot at Byrne from a good position, with the narrowest of margins between them and Naomh Conaill ahead by a point.

Soon after, Naomh Conaill were inches from a three-pointer themselves as Kieran Gallagher opted to loft the ball across to the back post for the in-rushing McGuinness, but the pass was just out of his reach.

Kilcar were closer still when Glen McBrearty rattled the crossbar eight minutes from the end and Byrne had to be on guard to throw himself onto a shot by Gallagher.

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In the 54th minute, Mark Gallagher fired to the net after taking a pass from Kieran Gallagher to seal the deal.

Naomh Conaill: Anthony Byrne; Dermot Ward, Ciaran Brennan, Ultan Doherty; JD Boyle (0-1), Johnny Bonner, Seamus Ellis (0-1); Hughie Gallagher, Kieran Gallagher (0-1); Logan Quinn (1-1), Johnny McLoone (0-1), Paul McGuinness (0-5, 1f); Jamie McHugh, Joe Kennedy (0-2, 1f), Mark Gallagher (1-1). Subs: Conal McNelis (0-1) for Kennedy (38), Martin Gallagher for Ward (49), Michael McLoone for McHugh (56).

Kilcar: Kevin Boyle; Jordan Mooney, Pauric McShane, Christopher Cunningham; Ryan McGinley, Daniel Lyons, James Cunningham (0-1); David McShane, Glenn McBrearty (0-1); Pauric Sweeney, Cormac Cannon (0-3), Dermot McGinley (0-2); Ashley Carr, Gerard McBrearty (0-2, 1f), Declan Gallagher (0-5, 1f). Subs: Barry Doherty for Sweeney (51).

Referee: Aidan McAleer (Naomh Padraig, Muff).

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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