IT IS NO SURPRISE that Naomh Colmcille and Naomh Ultan dominate the latest Team of the Week, selected from the weekend’s Donegal Club Championship matches.
On Saturday night, Naomh Ultan overcame Red Hughs in the Junior Championship final replay in Ballybofey while Naomh Colmcille advanced to the Intermediate final thanks to a superb win over Gaeil Fhánada on Sunday.
- Gary McDaid (Naomh Colmcille)
ALTHOUGH Tony Blake returned from holiday to take his place in the Naomh Colmcille squad, Francie Martin kept faith with McDaid, who justified his selection.
Made a brilliant save to deny Michael Sweeney a goal, making a superb block with his feet at point-blank range and he was a steady figure throughout. Had no chance with Johnny Friel’s goal for Gaeil Fhánada.
2. Ricky Hegarty (Naomh Colmcille)
ANOTHER brilliant display by the teak-tough defender who has been immense for Naomh Colmcille in their march to the Intermediate final.
Again kept his man scoreless and rarely concedes an inch. Hegarty stood tall from first whistle to last.
3. Ryan McKinley (Naomh Colmcille)
HIS tussle with Michael Sweeney was the duel of the last two weekends. On his 32nd birthday, McKinley really rose to the occasion.
Kept Sweeney at bay throughout and Sweeney only got away from him once with Gary McDaid making a save on that occasion. McKinley was Man of the Match after an inspirational performance.
4. Conor Shovlin (Naomh Ultan)
SHOVLIN embodied the commitment of the Naomh Ultan side in their defeat of Red Hughs.
When Donal Reid’s team asked the questions during their comeback, it was thanks to the likes of Shovlin that Naomh Ultan didn’t fall away.
5. Dermot Gallier (Naomh Ultan)
ONE of the better performers on show during Saturday evening’s junior final replay in Ballybofey, Gallier’s display was a launchpad for Naomh Ultan’s winning of the game.
Was involved quite a bit in attack and also mucked in when he was needed at the other end.
6. Daniel Gallagher (Naomh Ultan)
GALLAGHER caused Red Hughs no end of trouble with his penetrating runs from deep.
Red Hughs couldn’t cope with his incisions, which were central to several scores. Gallagher excelled as Naomh Ultan took the spoils.
7. John Fullerton (Naomh Colmcille, pictured above)
THEY’VE dubbed him ‘Bear’ for a reason! Fullerton put his body on the line several times to keep Gaeil Fhánada at arm’s length on Sunday. Has really come of age this summer for Naomh Colmcille since making the place his own and he was outstanding in the semi-final replay.
8. Michael Lynch (Naomh Colmcille)
CONTINUES to impress with his nerveless place kicking. Boomed over three from long range against Gaeil Fhánada, including one ’45 and a free that was touching 50 metres.
His fine fielding skills are also a big outlet for Naomh Colmcille and Francie Martin has predicted a call-up to the county under-21 squad.
9. Donal Murrin (Naomh Ultan)
SHONE at midfield as Naomh Ultan won the junior final replay against Red Hughs.
Turned in a hard-working display and won his share of possession as Brendan McGready’s men got over the line in a thriller. Murrin was the pick of midfielders on show at MacCumhaill Park.
10. Oran Hilley (Naomh Colmcille)
HILLEY epitomised the heart and hunger in Naomh Colmcille. He simply never stopped.
Played with high energy and intensity and it was from his soaring run forward that Conor Grant was played in for the third Naomh Colmcille goal.
11. Eddie Gillespie (Naomh Comcille)
FRANCIE Martin admits that he’s unsure as to Gillespie’s best position. Was deployed in the half-forward line and he netted a fine goal in the 25th minute, surging into space and firing past Paul O’Connor.
Gillespie would traditionally be regarded as a defender, but he has another string to his bow.
12. Cian Kennedy (Naomh Ultan)
FOUR minutes into added time, Stephen McMenamin’s intervention put the ball out for a ’45. The teams were deadlocked in the junior final replay after Red Hughs fought back from six down to draw level.
Kennedy was ice cool as he arched over the ’45 to win the title for the Dunkineely side. It was a kick that capped off a fine evening for Kennedy.
13. Calvin Bradley (Red Hughs)
BRADLEY carried the fight to Naomh Ultan and offered a persistent threat for Red Hughs.
Is a handful for any defence and he netted one of the goals for his side as a looping effort deceived Daniel McGlynn.
14. Mark Dowds (Naomh Colmcille)
DOWDS finished a superb team move for a goal two minutes from the end of Sunday’s semi-final replay.
Dowds scored a point in the first half and it was a tireless hour by the Rooskey man, who spent much of his time foraging back.
15. Aaron Byrne (Naomh Ultan)
BYRNE scored Naomh Ultan’s second goal against Red Hughs when he stepped in to punish Luke Kelly’s error.
Byrne also scored two points and his contribution was vital to Naomh Ultan’s winning of the final.