BRENDAN DUNLEAVY predicted that his Sean MacCumhaills wouldn’t go out without a fight and he was true to his word as the Twin Towns men pushed Glenswilly all the way.
Glenswilly 1-14 Sean MacCumhaills 2-07
They dared to dream, buoyed on and enriched by Brian Lafferty’s early goal on a night when the Finnsiders came close to upsetting the odds against last year’s county finalists.
Dunleavy said there was a big display in his team and they had Glenswilly rattled when Martin O’Reilly played an inviting ball across goal for Lafferty to turn home a fifth-minute goal.
Photo caption: Gary McFadden of Glenswilly in possession ahead of Sean MacCumhaill’s Steven O’Reilly. Photo: Christopher Doherty
They led 1-2 to 0-2 by the eighth minute with Stephen Mulligan and O’Reilly hitting the points.
Glenswilly, who welcomed Ciaran Bonner back from injury, lost Neil Gallagher to injury in the 19th minute.
The midfielder hit a point before his departure with Gary McFadden (2) and Darren McGinley also on target in a lively opening.
Lafferty was on fire in those early moments and he slammed over a fantastic couple of points to add to the goal.
Although Oisin Crawford, Michael Murphy and McGinley hit points for Glenswilly to draw level, MacCumhaills had the upper hand at the short whistle thanks to a converted O’Reilly free in added time.
Glenswilly had plenty of chances, but their conversion rate is something that will have Michael Canning concerned over the next two weeks – particularly with St Eunan’s awaiting in the quarter-final.
Glenswilly kicked ten wides in the first half and had another eleven in the second half with a further eight attempts kicked into the hands of Chris Patton, the MacCumhaills goalkeeper.
However, it was from one of those efforts that Glenswilly got their second goal, a score that would prove vital in the victory.
Leon Kelly, Murphy and McGinley arched over points to put Glenswilly ahead.
In the 42nd minute, Caolan Kelly’s long-range kick fell into Patton’s arms, but the umpires behind him adjudged the netminder to have carried the ball over the goal-line.
When Brian Farrelly swung over, Glenswilly were in front by six with 16 minutes remaining.O’Reilly and Gary Wilson reeled in the deficit, but the tie seemed beyond the visitors when McFadden and Leon Kelly made it a six-point game.
MacCumhaills refused to wilt, though, and the impressive Mulligan beat Philip O’Donnell with a cracking finish to the net with two minutes remaining.
Glenswilly had already sealed their place in the last eight, but for good measure they made it three wins from three as Murphy – who had a titanic tussle with MacCumhaills’ gritty Nathan Gavigan throughout – tapped over a late free.
Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Ruairi Crawford, Eamon Ward, Cormac Callaghan;
Oisin Crawford (0-1), Caolan Kelly, Aidan McDevitt; Neil Gallagher (0-1); Ciaran Bonner; Cathal Gallagher, Gary McFadden (0-3, 2f), Brian Farrelly (0-1); Michael Murphy (0-3, 3f), Darren McGinley (0-3). Subs: Leon Kelly (0-2) for N.Gallagher (19), Ethan Sweeney for Farrelly (46), Paul O’Brien for Bonner (50), Gerard McGrenra for C.Gallagher (56).
Sean MacCumhaills: Chris Patton (1-0, own goal); Gerard Grindle, Marty Gallagher, Ronan McMenamin; Gary Wilson (0-1), Gary Dunnion, Andrew McCloskey; Pat McNulty, Nathan Gavigan; Stephen Mulligan (1-1, 1f), Martin O’Reilly (0-3, 2f), Steven O’ReillyAlan Patton, Brian Lafferty (1-2), Chris Gallen. Subs: Aaron Kelly for McNulty (43), Joe Dunnion for McCloskey (56).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).Tags: