THIS SUNDAY, Malin are aiming to become the first Inishowen team in 63 years to reach the Donegal SFC final.
Only once before has a team from the Inishowen peninsula contest the senior championship final.
Carndonagh lost the 1953 final to Gaoth Dobhair, but pushed the then kingpins of Donegal football right to the wire as the star-studded Magheragallon side only won 1-5 to 1-4.
This Sunday, Malin will meet Glenswilly at O’Donnell Park in the first of this year’s semi-finals.
In 1953, Carn played Ardara in their semi-finals and won 2-8 to 1-10.
Ardara led by six points at half-time and by eight early in the second half.
“The hour ended with last season’s junior champions moving into the last round,” as one reporter of the time wrote.[adrotate group=”38″]
“That Ardara beat themselves can be said without injustice to anyone. An eight-point advantage five minutes after the interval should be sufficient for any side but when Carn turned on the heat the south-western champions had little to offer in reply.”
Cmong the stars for Carn who, it was noted, lined out in the semi without Colm Toland, were Lucius Nangle at centre-back, whose ‘lengthy and accurate free-kicks in particular were of great advantage to his side’ as well as Harvey ‘the minor at midfield’ and ‘O’Connor and Smith in attack, McCarron and Sean Smith in defence were the other trumps in the Inishowen hands.’
A Breslin goal had Ardara on their way, but the Carn goals by Nangle and Duggan broke new ground in Donegal – and they went to a place no Inishowen side has gone since.[adrotate group=”53″]
The Carndonagh team that played against Ardara in the ’53 semi-final was: J.A McLaughlin; H Smith, J Smith, J McConalogue; P Carolan, L Nangle, N McCarron; F Harvey, D McLaughlin; P McLaughlin, J Smith, P Healy; H Doherty, P O’Connor, P Duggan.
“Two Carn men were selected for the senior county team and we all know the worth of Nangle and Toland. There seems to be quite a vein of football in Carn these times,” it was reported.
For the final, there were fears over the availability of McConalogue, Healy and Toland while Nangle was set to transfer to a bank in Tipp, though he ended up staying for the final.[adrotate group=”85″]
The preview of the final remarked: “However, Carn have a better reserve of ‘outside’ players than most clubs and it is possible that among those at the alcohol factory and other places, they may find adequate substitutes for those not available.”
The final was played in wretched conditions but it was said that: ‘The worst day of the season produced the best game.’
Paddy Carr netted for Gaoth Dobhair and, while Tom Casserley scored a goal for Carn, the dream wasn’t to be as Gaoth Dobhair took hold of Dr Maguire.
“It was the nearest Inishowen ever got to winning the Championship,” said Fr Seán Ó Gallchóir in his book ‘The Story of the Donegal Senior Football Championship, 1919-2001’.[adrotate group=”70″]
“And about Gaoth Dobhair pubs late at night, still, they will tell you that Carn played a few fellows that epic day that never stood on Donegal soil before that day or since. Allegedly.”
The Carndonagh team that lined out in the final was: J.A McLaughlin; B Carroll, S Smith, H Smith; N McCarron, L Nangle, D McLaughlin; C Toland, P Harvey; P McLaughlin, T Casserley, J Smith; H Doherty, P O’Connor, PJ Gallagher.
One other standout feature from the media coverage of the time was the correspondent’s comments on the Donegal senior football team selectors and their selections.
He wrote: “In a crowd as large as that last Sunday, it was impossible to see everyone but I think I am right in saying that, once again, the county selectors were conspicuous by their absence.
“One was playing in the match, another was more than engaged in that fine job of stewarding.[adrotate group=”59″]
“The County Secretary was, as always, on the sideline, but that, so far as I am aware, was the total muster of those who will shortly meet to choose the team to play Derry.
“When they do gather I wonder on what basis they will go in picking the players. Obviously not on current form, since some of them aren’t conversant with how the players are now playing.
“The old PR system of two from each club, which appeared to be the guide last season, may again be invoked, but we know where it got us then and, worse luck, some of us have a very sinking feeling about where it, coupled with the selection committee’s obvious neglect of duty, will land us in the tough Dr Lagan Cup schedule.”Tags: