A COMBINED TOTAL of 10 points from Aidan McLaughlin and Damien Diver drove Naomh Padraig, Muff, to the final of the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Junior A Football Championship.
Naomh Padraig, Muff 0-13 Red Hughs 1-8
Red Hughs were least year’s beaten finalists, when they went down against Naomh Ultan in Ballybofey and this evening in horrid conditions in Convoy, did hold a three-point half-time advantage.
However, Naomh Padraig made the use of a crossfield breeze that was more in their favour than not in the second half to get over the line.
Red Hughs had late chances but the normally so reliable Damien Browne missed three late frees, two of them from close range and Calvin Bradley also missed the target as the hopes of the Killygordon side got swept away in the gust.
McLaughlin, a star of the Donegal minors’ Ulster championship success, was excellent throughout. From wing-back he scored four points in the first half, two with the outside of the boot.
However, his side were playing catch-up for the most part following a goal on 14 minutes from Bradley, whose smart pick-up when facing away from goal enabled him to turn and get the chance to shoot past Joe McCauley in the Naomh Padraig goals.
That made the score 1-4 to 0-3 for Red Hughs and with Browne, who would score five points in all, effective from the dead ball, the half-time advantage was 1-7 to 0-7.
However, Diver, who had scored two points in the first half, got the first three of the second and when substitute Mark Duffy showed his accuracy on 42 minutes, Naomh Padraif were 0-11 to 1-7 in front.
A minute later, Bradley almost got a second goal when he worked space for himself but McLaughlin – who else? – was on hand to make a telling and brave block from point-black range.
Browne’s fifth point levelled it on 44 minutes before Diver’s sixth, following a run of half the length of the field from McLaughlin, edged Naomh Padraig back in front on the 49th minute.
Five minutes from time Oisin McColgan doubled that lead and although Red Hughs had chances to get back into it they didn’t have enough chalk on their cue when it came to it.
Naomh Padraig now await the winner of the semi-final between Letterkenny Gaels and Downings.
Naomh Padraig: Joe McCauley; Justin Gallagher, Damien Laird, Enda McColgan (0-1); James Curran, Anthony McColgan, Aidan McLaughlin (0-4, 1f); Cathal McColgan,Eunan Keaveney; Oisin McCool, Martin Duffy, Stephen McLaughlin; Oisin McColgan (0-1), Damien Diver (0-6, 3f), Brian McColgan. Subs: Aidan Lynch for Martin Duffy and Mark Duffy (0-1) for McCool, (half-time); Barry McColgan for J Curran (49).
Red Hughs: Ciaran Kelly; Shane McGinley, Sean Sweeney, Dylan Irwin; P J Gallagher, Gerard Melaugh, Cathal Doherty; Eugene Browne, Damien Browne (0-5, 4f); David Gallen, Pauric McMenamin, James Carlin; Colm Melaugh (0-2), Martin Bonnar, Calvin Bradley (1-1). Subs: Stephen McMenamin for Gallen (half-time); Alan Mongan for Irwin (56) David Gallen for Doherty (58).
Referee: Enda McFeeley (St Mary’s, Convoy).Tags: