IN THIS GAME, sometimes timing is everything and Glenswilly, just weeks after they looked submerged in the quicksand, became the first team to move into the SFC semi-finals.
Glenswilly 2-20 Sean MacCumhaills 1-14
The Championship’s title sponsor, Michael Murphy, was in deadly mode here as Glenswilly advanced beyond MacCumhaills into the semis. Their growing momentum will surely be a concern for whoever they’re paired with in tomorrow evening’s draw.
There were four in front, 0-12 to 1-5, at half-time but, as if to serve notice of their intent, Murphy hit the net with just eleven seconds gone in the second half.[adrotate group=”59″]
Glenswilly won the throw in, transferred it to Murphy and he did the rest, including a tidy finish, despite losing his footing, past substitute goalkeeper Carl Dunnion.
A minute from the end, Murphy picked up possession in the middle of the park before surging forward and slamming to the back of the net before he was taken off to a huge ovation from the Glenswilly supporters.
After being carried off during a League game against St Michael’s last month, Murphy’s season looked over. At the same point in time, the team’s campaign was in real danger of unravelling.[adrotate group=”38″]
Glenswilly lost to Ardara in their opening Championship game in May and they were in last chance saloon. They got a second wind when, without Murphy, they overcame Dungloe.
The whispers became shouts a week later when, following further scans on that injured knee, Murphy lined out and played a lead role as Michael Canning’s men emphatically won 3-12 to 0-7 in Bundoran.
The returns of Murphy and Neil Gallagher have considerably added to Glenswilly’s arsenal and there was, for the most part, a gulf here.[adrotate group=”37″]
Glenswilly could even afford to withdraw Gallagher 12 minutes from the end, after he posted a lethal point having taken receipt of Murphy’s arrowed cross-field pass.
By then, it was all rather academic. Although MacCumhaills – who did get hope in the form of a Darren O’Leary goal in the 28th minute – kept up the fight to the finish, Glenswilly ticked on the scores.
They had eight different players on the board, with Murphy hitting 2-5 and Gary McFadden helping himself to 0-6, while a late cameo by former Donegal player Ciaran Bonner is another warning shot to prospective opponents for next week’s semi-finals.[adrotate group=”81″]
Sean MacCumhaills, already without the power of James Lynch around the middle of the park following his departure for Australia, were dealt a hammer blow in the form of an injury to their captain, Steven O’Reilly.
An injury sustained in training during the week meant that O’Reilly was unable to take up his sentry in the engine room, meaning Damian Devaney was minus his midfield partnership from the group stage.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, MacCumhaills lost their goalkeeper, Chris Patton, to an injury in the 22nd minute.[adrotate group=”46″]
By contrast, Glenswilly’s injury worries have abated in recent weeks and they’ve been boosted by the rather stellar additions of Murphy and Gallagher to their first XV again.
Glenswilly began bright with Murphy, Gary McFadden, Neil Gallagher and McFadden again giving them a four-point lead.
Indeed, they might have had a goal when Murphy slipped a deft ball through for Gallagher. The midfielder strode into position, but shot over rather than under the crossbar.[adrotate group=”82″]
Glenswilly always seemed to be in control of things, bar that spell late in the first half when O’Leary netted, with McFadden and Joe Gibbons converting clinical scores before Murphy spun around his man to slot over to put five between them.
After Patton was withdrawn injured, Glenswilly turned the screw a little deeper and Brian Farrelly brilliantly sent over a point from a position wide on the right-hand side.
It took a goal-line intervention by Ronan McMenamin to keep out a goal-bound shot at close-range by Cathal Gallagher and, when Murphy played the resulting ’45 short, Farrell drilled over.[adrotate group=”53″]
Pattons’ replacement, Carl Dunnion, made a fine save to beat away an improvised effort by Murphy, who smashed first time after the ball fell invitingly at his feet.
But MacCumhaills gave themselves a kiss of life when O’Leary – who scored 1-8 in all – batted home a goal and the margins would have been even closer but Alan Patton went for power and not precision after Kelly again fisted dangerously across the goal face.
Patton might reflect that he could or, perhaps, should have hit the net, when O’Leary’s fisted effort rebounded out.
Referee Robbie O’Donnell awarded a free out and Glenswilly survived. The Glenmen led 0-12 to 1-5 as they parted ways at the interval, with Murphy and McFadden each landing their fourth points of the day.
The stopwatches had hardly been set when Murphy hit the net and Glenswilly were on their way.
Glenswilly: James Gallagher; Cormac Callaghan, Eamonn Ward, Ryan Diver (0-1); Oisin Crawford, Aidan McDevitt, Joe Gibbons (0-2); Neil Gallagher (0-2), Caolan Kelly (0-1); Ciaran Gibbons, Cathal Gallagher, Brian Farrelly (0-2); Darren McGinley (0-1), Michael Murphy (2-5, 1f), Gary McFadden (0-6). Subs: Christopher McMonagle for N.Gallagher (48), Paddy McFadden for Farrelly (51), Caoimhinn Marley for McGinley (53), Sean Burke for Callaghan (58), Ciaran Bonner for Murphy (59), Ethan Sweeney for Crawford (59).
Sean MacCumhaills: Chris Patton; Ronan McMenamin, Andrew McCloskey, Martin Gallagher; Gary Dunnion, John Lynch, Joe Dunnion; Alan Patton, Gary Wilson; Stephen Mulligan (0-2, 1f), Martin O’Reilly (0-2, 1f), Aaron Kelly (0-1); Adam Lynch, Darren O’Leary (1-8, 8f), Brian Lafferty (0-1). Subs: Carl Dunnion for C.Patton (22), Steven O’Reilly for A.Lynch (54), Conor Griffin for A.Patton (54).
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).Tags: