AUGUST PRODUCED MANY memorable moments in Donegal sport with the headline grabbers.
By Declan Kerr (Donegal Sports Star PRO)
These included Kieran Murray, Ciaran Doherty, Avril McNamee, Mark English and Hugh Gallagher who all performed on the world stage doing their county and country proud.
Ramelton’s Kieran Murray (pictured above) won two golds in the 5k and 1,500m while also taking a bronze in the 800m at the World Transplant Games in Argentina. Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty claimed a silver medal in the World Masters Steeplechase in Lyon, France. Also in Lyon 91-year-old Carrigart man Hughie Gallagher won three golds in the Hammer, Weight Throw and Weight Pentathlon and a silver in the Javelin.
Avril McNamee from Ballybofey reached the semi-finals of both the Women’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ singles at the World Handball Championship Calgary, Canada.
It was a busy month for the reigning Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Mark English who won the 800m Final at the National Track & Field Championships in Santry.
Later in the month he missed out on a place in the World Athletic 800m Final in Beijing finishing fifth in his semi-final in a time of 1.45.55, which ranked him 10th overall. However, there was still great news for English who was also a member of the Irish 4x400m relay team that set a new national record in Beijing but failed to qualify for the final when finishing 8th in a heat in Beijing.
In the middle of the month Raphoe Boxing Club’s Peter O’Donnell, managing the Irish senior team for the first time, saw two of his fighters win gold at the European Championships in Bulgaria.
Belfast’s Michael Conlan won his 56kg final bout while Westmeath’s Joe Ward was triumphant in the light heavy-weight decider.
Right at the end of August another former Overall Donegal Sports Award winner Letterkenny’s Sinead Jennings and her partner Claire Lambe posted the fastest time of the round to qualify for the quarter-finals of the lightweight double sculls at the World Rowing Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
Kilmacrennan’s Richard Kerr took his first podium in the BSB Motostar Championship at Caldwell Park in Lincolnshire. The youngster on a Honda produced a fantastic final lap to take third place. Kerr had previously finished 16th and 15th respectively in two races at the Truxton Track in the UK.
Another talented young lad Ronan Whyte, from Ardara, won all five of his games for the Irish U16 team at the Home International Snooker competition held in Leeds. Ronan, a member of the North West Snooker Club in Letterkenny, was part of the Irish team that had wins over Scotland, Belgium, Northern Ireland and Wales. The only defeat was against England.
The 2013 Overall Donegal Sports Star Award winner Jason Quigley continued his unbeaten start in professional boxing with a second round win over Michael Faulk in California.
In the middle of August Donagh Kelly won the Irish Tarmac Championship Drivers title after crossing the line first in the Ulster Rally in Enniskillen. Donagh and navigator Kevin Flanagan have now completed the double after winning the National Rally Championship earlier in the summer. Ardara’s Declan Gallagher and co-driver Ryan Moore finished in a fine third place at the 4×4 Exporter Galway Summer Rally.
Letterkenny man Sean McFadden finished second in his age category at the Copenhagen Ironman Triathlon. Earlier in the month McFadden had won the final race in the 100 mile Chain Driven Cycles Ultra TT series from Sligo to Longford and back in a time of 4.19.44.
Tirconaill AC’s Mary McLoone won two gold medals at the National Track & Field Championships in Santry. The Doochary woman won her 10th Triple Jump title as well as taking first place in the Long Jump.
Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney (pictured above) won the Male Over 50 gold medal at the National Half Marathon Championships in Dublin crossing the line first in a time of 1:12:26. And on the first day of the month James Kelly of Finn Valley AC set a new Celtic Games record as he won the U-16 Shot Putt throwing 17.68m in Glasgow. The previous record of 17.56m was set by his brother John.
16-year-old Courtney Greene from Meenmore, Dungloe won the Working Hunter Ponies Competition at the Dublin Horse Show.
Staying with the equine sport Letterkenny jockey Dylan Browne-McMonagle (pictured above) became the youngest ever winner of the famous Dingle Derby on the horse Lets Go owned by his uncle Adrian Browne. The 12-year-old also won two other races in a memorable weekend at the Co. Kerry racecourse. Young Oisin Orr had the biggest win of his career to date riding Balmont Mast to victory at Dundalk.
It was a good month for cycling with Adam McGeever from Gweedore, a member of the AAA club, winning three gold medals at the National Youth Cycling Championships in Westport. He also won both the U11 road race and time trial in Omagh. Dunlewey’s Amanda Gallagher made it back-to-back wins in the time-trial at the Irish National Cycling Championships in Westport. Amanda also took silvers in the Road Race and the Criterium.
Meanwhile Ciara Doogan of Errigal Cycling Club (pictured above) won both the time trail and the road race at the Junior National Cycling Championships in Cong, Co Mayo. The previous week the 17-year-old had produced a fine ride to finish 25th in the Women’s Junior Road Race at the European Road Championships in Tartu, Estonia. It was her first major international road race championships.
The reigning Young Donegal Sports Star Award holder town Karl Griffin finished third in a time of 1:48:13 at an international meeting in Ninove near Brussels while at the start of the month Finn Valley’s Janine Boyle was third home in the U-18 100m at the Celtic Games in Glasgow in a time of 12.21.
Staying with athletics Anne-Marie McGlynn took silver in the 3000m Steeplechase at the National Track & Field Championships in Santry and at the same venue Brendan Boyce was second in the 10k Walk. Young Lifford AC member Tom Mullen of rounded of a great season by winning in the Ulster U15 Combined Events Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.
In the middle of August Carndonagh fighter Labhaoise Clarke was most unlucky to lose by a majority decision to a Belarussian opponent in a European Junior Quarter-Final in the 54kg category.
On the GAA front Donegal’s dream of a second All-Ireland title in the space of three years after losing heavily to Mayo on a score of 2-13 to 0-11 in an All-Ireland Quarter-final at Croke Park.
While there was also heartbreak for the Donegal senior ladies who lost 2-13 to 2-11 Armagh in an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Quarter-final in Clones. But, one of their star players Yvonne McMonagle was honoured for her outstanding performances in the historic championship run by being named the Ladies Gaelic Football Association’s July ‘Player of the Month’.
In golf Kyle McCarron, Keelan Quigg, Garrett Mallon, Ryan Gribben and Kyle McCarron were members of the North West G.C. team from Buncrana that won the Ulster Final of the AIG Barton Shield at Knock Golf Club in Belfast defeating Warrenpoint.
The team was captained by John O’Donnell. There was martial arts success for Lifford’s Three Rivers Shotokan Club at the Rene Small International Cup in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare with golds for Ciaran Crawford and Emma Dolan, Natasha Doherty (silver) and bronze for Jamie-Lee Simpson. In the middle of the month Loughros Point Rowing Club took second place in the Men’s Open Classic at the All-Ireland Rowing Championships in Kerry.
On the last Friday in August Finn Harps moved back up to second in the League of Ireland First Division with a 3-2 away win over Cabinteely. Two Kevin McHugh goals and one from Nathan Boyle had Harps 3-0 up at the break but the hosts came back with two second half goals. The previous week Ollie Horgan’s side had recorded a crucial 1-0 win over Shelbourne in Ballybofey after losing their place at the top of the League of Ireland First Division to Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park at the beginning of August.
Ex-Letterkenny Rovers lad Dale Gorman played his first full 90 minutes for Stevenage FC in their 2-0 home win over Hartepool. Gorman had made his competitive debut the previous week as a sub in the 2-1 defeat by Ipswich Town in a Capital One Cup game at Portman Road.
Gweedore Celtic’s Marc Walsh (pictured above) and Bonagee Utd’s Connor O’Reilly were members of the the Republic of Ireland Development squad who defeated St Josephs Boys 3-1 in the first game of the Hibernia Cup. Both lads also featured in the 2-1 loss to Sunderland. Walsh scored the first goal in the 3-2 third/fourth place play-off against Northern Ireland. Leitirmacaward’s Carl McHugh was on the Plymouth Argyle side that had at 4-1 victory over Carlisle in English League Division 2.
Two Donegal girls Nicole Gordon (Greencastle) and Zoe McGlynn (Raphoe) started for the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly that ended 1-1 against Scotland in Listowel. Sarah Jane McDonald (Greencastle) came on as a second half sub. McGlynn also started and it was from her corner that the equalizer arrived in the second 1-1 draw against the Scots. McDonald and Gordon both came on as subs.
In triathlon on the first day of August Letterkenny 24/7’s Siobhan Gallagher was third woman home in the Omagh Tri Lough Sprint Triathlon. The following day Siobhan was first in the Velocity Man Triathlon in Moville. Meanwhile her club colleague John Cannon won a gold medal at Dublin’s Ironman 70.3.
John had previously taken gold at the National Championships in Athlone in his age group. In the middle of August another 24/7’s Triona McMenamin won the women’s race at the Lough Neagh Sprint Triathlon in Ballyronan, Derry and another club member Aidan Callagan finished fourth in the senior men’s category.
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