MICKEY GALLAGHER was the hero of the hour as Killybegs overcame Letterkenny Gaels in the Under-21 B Championship final.
Killybegs 1-12 Letterkenny Gaels 1-9
Gallagher scored 1-5 in the second half, including 1-4 in a deadly nine-minute spell, but they still needed a trio of late points, one by Gallagher and two from midfielder Shaun Gorrell, to win it.
Kalvin Holian’s goal and a free from Shane Graham had brought Letterkenny Gaels level again, but Killybegs, managed by Donegal senior panelist Hugh McFadden, dug it out to claim the silverware.[adrotate group=”53″]
The 17-year-old Gallagher came to life to light the touchpaper and get the bonfires blazing around the south-west fishing port.
His goal came in the 46th minute as Eoghan Ban Gallagher, following a superb move, offloaded to the St Catherine’s VS student, who slotted past Shane Graham, the Letterkenny Gaels ‘keeper.
The teams had been level five times before Gallagher drilled over three points in as many minutes.[adrotate group=”85″]
Gallagher tacked on a fourth point before he fired home the golden goal and sent Killybegs on their way to the win – but not before being made sweat.
Holian pounced on a loose ball and smashed to the net. Goalkeeper Graham drilled over a free to level it, but Killybegs did the business in the closing stages to take the crown.
Killybegs advanced to the final after a 1-13 to 1-11 win over Bundoran on Saturday with Letterkenny Gaels sealing a passage through thanks to a 1-14 to 1-11 success against Naomh Colmcille.[adrotate group=”83″]
The teams had been level four times in the first half, but it was Killybegs who held a slender lead, 0-5 to 0-4, at the interval after a half that saw Evan Broderick score the first and last points.
Broderick took just 30 seconds before he opened the Killybegs account, but when the Fishermen headed down the concrete steps of the tunnel at the break, they were ruing a wasteful half.
They might’ve been in front, but Killybegs squandered a succession of chances in the opening half-an-hour, kicking eight wides and dropping another shot into the arms of Graham.
Cormac Cannon scored all of the Gaels’ four points in the first half.[adrotate group=”82″]
Cannon’s free in the ninth minute put Gaels ahead, but Killybegs – who posted four wides in the opening ten minutes – got their noses in front again.
Daniel O’Keeney stroked over a glorious point to level it and David McGuinness found the range from a difficult position out on the stand side.
Another Cannon free, after a foul on Joe Friel, leveled the tie and Cannon, under pressure and while falling drew Gaels back onto an even keel again after Broderick converted a free.[adrotate group=”38″]
Broderick’s third of the afternoon gave Killybegs an ever-so-slight advantage at the short whistle.
Cannon drew his men level again, but Killybegs finally got a bit of breathing space when Gallagher hit a purple patch that proved to be the winning of the day for the Fintra men.
Killybegs: Brandon McGinley; Joshua Krosendijk, Niall Carberry, Darragh McClean; David McGuinness (0-1), Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Owen Gallagher; Jack McSharry, Shaun Gorrell (0-2); Mark Finnerty, Evan Broderick (0-3, 1f), Declan Nolan; Callum Quinn, Mickey Gallagher (1-5), Daniel O’Keeney (0-1). Subs: Jack Behan for Carberry (16), Jordan McDaid for Quinn (58), Ryan McCloskey for Gorrell (60), Conan Shine for Nolan (60).
Letterkenny Gaels: Shane Graham (0-2, 1f, 1 ‘45); Brian Diver, Conor Browne, Cahir Doherty (0-1); Anthony Diver, Conor Coll, Aaron Diver; Paddy Doherty, Eoin Kelly; Donal O’Malley, Shay Doherty, Joe Friel; Cormac Cannon (0-5, 3f), Kalvin Holian (1-0), Sean McDonagh (0-1). Subs: Aidan Hanley for O’Malley (40), Christopher Quinn for Aaron Diver (60, black card).
Referee: James Connors (St Eunan’s).Tags: