Patrick McBrearty ensures Kilcar ease to SFC semi-finals after routine win over Bundoran

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KILCAR SWEPT ASIDE the challenge of an understrength Bundoran to become the third team in the hat for the semi-finals of the Donegal SFC with Patrick McBrearty scoring eight points.

Kilcar 1-20 Bundoran 1-9

Last year’s beaten finalists might’ve had some uncertain flashbacks at throw-in, with the incessant rain at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey similar to that in which they were pipped to the title by Glenswilly by  a point. Patrick McBrearty’s eight points today certainly helped.

But by the end of the hour, Barry Doherty’s side justified their favouritism with the sunshine making frequent appearances. They join St Michael’s and Naomh Conaill in the last four, ahead of the final quarter-final with St Eunan’s meeting Gaoth Dobhair.

When the clouds receded, Kilcar, inside of just nine minutes, were 1-2 to 0-0 in front and seemingly about to lay the foundations for the victory that many had predicted would come to their way. The goal came from Ryan McHugh, a trademarked slapped effort, following a well won turnover and run from Patrick McBrearty.

Bundoran were without the services of Jamie Brennan, who was sent off in their last group game and the Seasiders were dealt a further blow when Tommy Hourihane was unable to start having picked up an injury in the warm-up.

However, in late call-up Christy Keaney, they had a man who was willing to pull them back into the contest. Keaney smashed home a penalty on 13 minutes after Timmy Govorov had been taken down by Barry McGinley, who was black-carded as a consequence.

Eamonn McGinley, the Kilcar goalkeeper, had to make an awkward enough save from Govorov moments beforehand and when Keaney brought his personal first half total to 1-2, Kilcar’s lead was down to two, 1-4 to 1-2.

Ryan McHugh, with a plumb 45, and Ciaran McGinley’s second of the half did give Kilcar some breathing space and that advantage might’ve been more had Bundoran goalkeeper Ashley Mulhern not scampered from his line to save from Conor Doherty.

Bundoran kept chipping away and points from Alan Russell and a stylish free from Gary Clancy again took them back to two down, only for a pair of frees from Patrick McBrearty and a nice Brían O’Donnell point on the run meant the team from Towney were 1-10 to 1-4 in front and looking comfortable enough, despite the odd scare.

The heavens burst again momentarily at the start of the second half and two more Patrick McBrearty frees and Mark McHugh and Stephen McBrearty scores put Kilcar in a decent position, 1-14 to 1-5 ahead by the 40th minute.

Stephen McBrearty spurned a decent goal chance on 43 minutes having been set free by Mark McHugh, although at that early stage it wasn’t going to make an awful lot of difference to the final outcome. Kilcar were in cruise control. Ryan McHugh’s point on 51 minutes meant for an 11-point lead, 1-17 to 1-6.

Kilcar still had plenty in the tank from then on but were content to see it out.

Kilcar: Eamonn McGinley; Barry McGinley, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Ryan McHugh (1-4, 2f, ’45’), Barry Shovlin, Brían O’Donnell (0-1); Michael Hegarty, Ciaran McGinley (0-2); Eoin McHugh (0-2), Mark McHugh (0-1), Matthew McClean; Stephen McBrearty (0-2), Patrick McBrearty (0-8, 5f), Conor Doherty. Subs: Stephen Shovlin for B McGinley (13, black card), Aodhan McGinley and Andrew McClean for O’Donnell (36), Mark Sweeney for M McClean (48) Aodhan McGinley for B Shovlin (55), Ashley Carr for S McBrearty (57), Daniel Lyons for E McHugh (60),

Bundoran: Ashley Mulhern; Peter McGonigle, James Keaney, Diarmuid McCaughey; Paul Murphy, Michael McEniff, Paul Brennan; Ciaran McCaughey (0-1), Niall Dunne; Alan Russell (0-2), Timmy Govorov, Diarmuid Spratt; Cian McEniff, Christy Keaney (1-2, 1-0 pen), Gary Clancy (0-4, 3f). Subs: Fearghal McKiernan for Govorov (41), Niall Carr for Spratt (50), Sean Gilmartin for D McCaughey (53), Dara Hoey for  Dunne (60), Paul Delaney for C McEniff (60+2).

Referee: Enda McFeely (St Mary’s, Convoy).

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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