WE’VE HEARD IT before and we’ll no doubt hear it again.
St Columba’s Comprehensive Glenties 3-10 Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town 0-12
“Goals win games,” is occasionally an overused utterance but it certainly proved to be the case this afternoon at Pairc na Gael in Letterkenny, where St Columba’s Comprehensive School Glenties defeated Abbey Vocational School in the semi-final of the Donegal Senior A Schools Football Championship.
Martin Regan’s side fashioned three such scores, which ultimately proved to be the difference.
Also, they outscored their opponents from play 3-6 to 0-4 and that’s without Eoghan McGettigan – the Naomh Conaill senior and Donegal county minor – who has a hip injury.
Photo caption: The St Columba’s Comprehensive School Glenties side that overcame Abbey Vocational School this afternoon at Pairc na Gael in Letterkenny
The first of those goals, though Simon Breslin, set them on their way. The second from Paul McGuinness was a huge score of create a cushion before half-time and Kieran Gallagher’s third late on merely confirmed victory.
Magh Ene Bundoran and St Columba’s Stranorlar will meet early next week in the other last four tie.
Abbey had made slightly the better start, with their prowess from placed balls keeping their side of the scoreboard ticking over. Jack Keaney was kicking off the right and Nathan Ward to telling effect on the left.
The team managed by Pauric O’Donnell were 0-4 to 0-2 up on 12 minutes but a minute later saw their clean sheet get dirtied. A long ball in from Jack Brennan fell to Breslin, who stabbed home at the second attempt.
Then, a minute before the break, McGuinness rounded off an excellent move to goal.
This time the long ball came in from the boot of Brian Whyte and Breslin slapped down a cushioned pass for McGuinness to score a second goal, which made it 2-5 to 0-7 at the interval for St Columba’s Glenties.
Abbey Vocational School
Points were traded as the second half took shape but when Abbey put over three in a row – thanks to Ward, Brendan McCole and Peadar Mogan – they were only four down.
After Breslin put the gap out to five again, Patrick Gallagher in the St Columba’s goal made a top-class save from Daniel Brennan moments before the impressive Jack Brennan pointed at the other side.
The four-point swing at that stage in the game – only 10 minutes remained – was huge and with Abbey failing to cut their teeth into their arrears, Kieran Gallagher’s goal a minute from time, following Eoghan Harkin’s pass, sealed the final place.
Both teams, as a result of reaching the county semi-finals, will represent Donegal come Ulster but for St Columba’s Glenties, they’ll worry about the province after more pressing domestic matters.
St Columba’s, Glenties: Patrick Gallagher; Eoghan Harkin, Brian Whyte, Cian Doherty; Sennan Boyle, John Ross Molloy, Danny Walsh; Kieran Gallagher (1-0), Adam McHugh; Paul McGuinness (1-0), Jack Brennan (0-4), Johnny Sweeney (0-1); Stefan Boyle (0-4, 4f), Simon Breslin (1-1), Jack Flannery. Subs: Oisin Brennan for McHugh (43), Shane McDevitt for Harkin (57), Harkin for Brennan (60).
Abbey Vocational School: Gavin Mulreaney; Peadar Mogan (0-1), Dan Meehan, John Relihan; Conor Breslin, Aaron McCrea, Ryan Hegarty; Brendan McCole (0-1), Thomas McGowan; Nathan Ward (0-6, 5f), Jack Keaney (0-3, 3f), Cathal Canavan; Jamie Crawford, Neil Ward, Daniel Brennan (0-1). Subs: Tom O’Grady for Crawford (41), Oisin Reid for Hegarty (44).
Referee: Declan Callaghan (Kilcar).