STEPHEN WARD’S 40th minute goal lit the bonfires in Brockagh as Glenfin overcame Naomh Colmcille to win the Donegal Under-21 ‘B’ Football Championship final in Convoy.
Glenfin 1-08 Naomh Colmcille 0-05
Glenfin pulled clear in the second half for a deserved win that was propelled by that moment when Ward netted from close range.
They didn’t have it completely their own way, but they were pretty comfortable during the second half, once they survived a missed Naomh Colmcille penalty on 47 minutes.
Andrew Walsh, the goalkeeper, was one of the heroes of the hour for the victors, saving a penalty by Oran Hilley and making a fine stop from the rebound before making another vital interception to keep Stephen Gallagher at bay.
The big score of the night was Ward’s goal and there was no way back when Naomh Colmcille saw their chances slip.
Picture caption: Glenfin corner-forward Stephen Carr in possession of the ball but under pressure from Naomh Colmcille’s Stephen Gallagher. Picture courtesy of Gary Foy, newsandsportfiles
Naomh Colmcille had shown some bouncebackability in their previous outings in this competition, coming from four down to defeat Urris and then turning an eight-point deficit on its head in last weekend’s semi-final against Killybegs.
Ryan McKinley, the Naomh Colmcille manager, showed two changes to his team from their extra-time win over Killybegs.
Ian Fitzpatrick and Oisin Hassett were restored to the line-up after college exams in Limerick resulted in their absence form the roster last weekend.
They were in arrears here, too as corner-back Daithi Carr, from play, and two frees from Conor Bride saw Glenfin cancel out the opening point of the evening, a Michael Lynch free.
Willie Gillespie swung over to reduce the arreas, but a Stephen Carr free had Glenfin two ahead again.
In between times, Andrew Walsh did well to tip a Gillespie effort onto the post when a goal seemed on for the former Donegal panellist.
The gap at that stage might have been wider but, after being allowed a good advantage by referee Shane Toolan having been impeded Glenfin midfielder Jason Marley prodded wide.
Three minutes from the break, McDaid came to the rescue when he got down to deny Packie McGrath after be bore his way through on goal. With McGrath pulled down on his way, Toolan awarded a free from which Carr opened up a three-point margin.
At the midway point, Naomh Colmcille had themselves within a point again, thanks to two magnificent long-range points.
Conor Grant, off the outside of his right boot, could hardly have judged the wind and the angles better and Michael Lynch boomed over a 45-metre free.
Glenfin led 0-5 to 0-4 at the short whistle and it took another fine save by McDaid to keep the sheet clean when he turned away a powerful drive by McGrath after a neat move involving Daithi Carr and Stephen Carr.
Ten minutes into the second half, the crucial goal arrived.
Jason Marley sent Eoin Donnellan on his way and his lofted ball across goal left Naomh Colmcille at sea. Ward was inches out when he applied the finish to give Glenfin a four-point cushion.
Naomh Colmcille were handed a golden opportunity to get themselves right back in it when, with 13 minutes remaining, Lynch – now stationed at full-forward – was pulled down by Daithi Carr and a penalty was given.
Hilley was denied not once, but twice by Walsh, who saved a tame first effort and then got down the other way to keep out the rebound.
Not long after, Walsh beat away Stephen Gallagher’s effort and, when Eoin Donnellan clipped over a point at the other end, there was a sense that the way back was too much for Naomh Colmcille.
Glenfin made the win safe when Carr lit the touch paper with an excellent kick from the left-hand side that raised the decibels and Marley added the cherry to end Glenfin’s 40th anniversary year on a winning note.
Glenfin: Andrew Walsh; Daniel Harkin, Ronan Gallagher, Daithi Carr (0-1); Martin O’Donnell, Aodhfin McGlynn, Jason Morrow; Jason Marley (0-1), Packie McGrath; Matthew McGinley, Stephen Ward (1-0), Eoin Donnellan (0-1); Conor McBride (0-2, 2f), Ronan Carlin, Stephen Carr (0-3, 2f). Subs: Ethan O’Donnell for McGinley (36), Kyle Doherty for Donnellan (56), Damien Doherty for Carlin (59).
Naomh Colmcille: Gary McDaid; Ryan Dowds, John Fullerton, Ian Fitzpatrick; Oran Hilley, Michael Friel, Jordan McDaid; Daniel Clarke (0-1, 1f), Michael Lynch (0-2, 2f); Conor Grant (0-1), Oisin Hassett, Stephen Gallagher; Conor Matthewson, Gavin McDaid, Willie Gillespie (0-1). Subs: David McNamee for Hassett (46), Louis Cole for Gavin McDaid (58), Cormac Friel for Jordan McDaid (58), Peter Scott for Grant (60).
Referee: Shane Toolan (Aodh Ruadh).Tags: