NAOMH CONAILL didn’t have it all their own way against a plucky Glenfin team in Glenswilly but still had enough to make it through to the Donegal SFC semi-finals.
Naomh Conaill 1-14 Glenfin 0-13
Having pipped Glenswilly to the last of the eight quarter-finals berths last Sunday by virtue of a fine win over Four Masters, Mark McGinty’s team were well in the contest, particularly in the first half where they led by three points at a stage.
However, Naomh Conaill had enough experience to reach a sixth semi-final on the bounce, with their early exit in 2013 by St Eunan’s and Malin in the group stage the last time they’d not made the business end of the season.
Charles McGuinness scored an excellent first half goal to make for a 1-5 to 0-6 lead at the break and although Glenfin had their moments throughout, their season came to an end.
After a quarter of an hour, it was the perceived outsiders who were in front and playing with some confidence. Odhran McGlynn had popped over two points, as did Gerard Ward from frees and Daniel McGlynn was also on target to make for a 0-5 to 0-2 Glenfin lead.
Eunan Doherty and McGuinness were the only scorers for the Martin Regan-managed side at that stage but they clicked in a four-minute spell form the 16thminute to edge from three down to two up. The goal was the first of those scores, with McGuinness fielding above his head before shooting past Liam O’Meara the square’s edge from Dermot Molloy’s precise ball from almost in the corner.
Points followed immediately from Molloy and Eoghan McGettigan, who looked dangerous throughout, to leave the Glenties-based team 1-4 to 0-5 up, despite their initial worries. O’Meara in the Glenfin goal made a good save from Molloy to ensure there was no second goal and late In the half, Glenfin’s Aaron McGlynn and Brendan McDyer from Naomh Conaill scored for their respective teams. Naomh Conaill were two up at half-time.
Glenfin, as they had in the first, started the second half on the front foot. Ward and Karl McGlynn pointed to level it up, 0-8 to Glenfin and 1-5 for Naomh Conaill.
But although Glenfin would funnel men back in numbers, Naomh Conaill in general and McGettigan in particular showed capabilities to cut through as was emphasised in the 35thminute when John Harley, the Glenfin full-back, blocked bravely. Molloy followed up with a point.
McDyer, Jeaic MacCeallbhui, McGuinness and a McGettigan break meant that Naomh Conaill had scored six on the spin to go 1-11 to 0-8 up – a huge fraction of the contest in retrospect.
Glenfin kept battling and Odhran McGlynn managed to steer over his second 45 of the afternoon, the pacey Aaron McGlynn got into score and Ross Marley popped over a peach, to bring their team to 1-11 to 0-11 down with five to play.
Naomh Conaill held firm and saw it out though, with McGettigan, McDyer and substitute Nathan Byrne keeping Glenfin at arm’s length. An Gaeltacht Lar’s team did manage to score late points from Aaron McGlynn and Ward, having lost Marley to a second yellow late on.
Naomh Conaill have more in the tank but are back in familiar territory, having made – and lost – in each of the last two finals. They’ll be looking to go one further this year, although they’re well away they’ve got to get there first.
Naomh Conaill:Stephen McGrath; Eoin Waide, AJ Gallagher, Jeaic MacCeallbhui (0-1); Eunan Doherty (0-1), Anthony Thompson, Ethan O’Donnell; Ciaran Thompson, Ultan Doherty; Brendan McDyer, Eoghan McGettigan (0-4, 1f), Kieran Gallagher; Dermot Molloy (0-2), Charles McGuinness (1-2, 1f), Leo McLoone. Subs: Marty Boyle and Nathan Byrne (0-1) for Molloy and Gallagher (47), John O’Malley and Seamus Corcoran for Waide and McDyer (60), Gallagher for McLoone (60+2 black card)
Glenfin:Liam O’Meara; David Carr, John Harkin Martin O’Donnell; Odhran McGlynn (0-3, 2 ‘45’), Frank McGlynn, Ross Marley (0-1); Jason Morrow, Stephen Ward; Ciaran Brady, Stephen Carr, Daniel McGlynn; Karl McGlynn (0-1), Gerard Ward (0-4, 3f), Aaron McGlynn (0-3). Subs: Gary Dorrian for Brady (38), Kaine McGlynn for Morrow (59).
Referee:Marc Dorrian (Gaeil Fhanada).Tags: