THE QUARTER-FINALS of the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Donegal SFC took place over the weekend and here’s our Aura Leisure Centre Team of the Week.
Glenswilly, Kilcar, Malin and Naomh Conaill were the four winners on a busy weekend, with the semi-final pairings now confirmed.
They will see Glenswilly take on Malin and Kilcar face Naomh Conaill – both on Sunday – while Killybegs and Glenfin will have to clash in a relegation play-off. At the weekend, Ardara and Four Masters preserved their senior status.
1 – Ciaran Sharkey (Dungloe)
FOR the second round in succession, Ciaran Sharkey gets the vote. That might be no consolation to the Dungloe goalkeeper, whose side were six points up before going down to Malin, 0-13 to 1-8. Sharkey made two top class saves to try and stem the tide. First he made a point-blank save from Dan McDaid and then managed to deny Paul McLaughlin in a one-on-one situation.
2 – Aaron Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
NAOMH CONAILL remain on course to retain the Dr Maguire and showed their strength with a 1-13 to 1-8 win over St Eunan’s in Ballybofey yesterday. Aaron Thompson was detailed with marking Niall O’Donnell and as well as keeping the Donegal minors’ joint-captain Niall O’Donnell scoreless, got up the field when the need arose and one such run saw him score his side’s last point.
3 – Caolan Ward (St Eunan’s)
CAOLAN WARD began in a more attacking role, but once Jimmy White threw the ball in, he was right back in to mind the house. Ward was one of the better performers on show on Sunday evening. Even though his St Eunan’s side lost to Naomh Conaill, Ward could not be faulted and his performance was perhaps another nudge in the direction of the watching Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher.
4 – Kevin Breslin (Four Masters)
FOUR MASTERS fell through the trapdoor of relegation in the All-County Football League Division 1 last season and were skating on thin ice in championship circles this season. However, their 1-13 to 0-7 win over Glenfin in Killygordon on Saturday means they’ll not have to worry on that front. Kevin Breslin had a great game in their full-back line to prevent Glenfin from getting a goal that would’ve reignited their chances.
5 – Barry Shovlin (Kilcar)
ALTHOUGH Kilcar did almost all of their best work in an offensive sense in the 0-19 to 0-4 win over Termon on Saturday, they defended well too – something that they don’t always get credit for. Barry Shovlin scored a brilliant point from long-range in the first half and then made the bravest of blocks to deny Daire McDaid with just two minutes left. It was very unfortunate that Shovlin picked up what looked like a serious injury in making that block.
6 – Kenneth Doherty (Ardara)
KENNETH DOHERY remains such a vital cog for Ardara. Doherty was stationed at centre half-back in the side’s SFC relegation play-off win over Killybegs and had a fine hour as the Pearse Park men retained their SFC status. The side from Kentucky can rest easy in the county’s premier competition following their 1-9 to 1-5 win over Killybegs in Dunkineely on Sunday.
7 – Eoin Waide (Naomh Conaill)
FOR a while in the first half between Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s, the Letterkenny side were competent in their match-ups and the forward line of the county champions’ wasn’t functioning as it might have. However, in coming from deep and comfortable on the ball, Eoin Waide (pictured above) provided an extra dimension to the Naomh Conaill attack and his point late in the first half meant parity at the break.[adrotate group=”84″]
8 – Michael Hegarty (Kilcar)
KILCAR are just one step away from a first final appearance in 23 years and on Saturday night the team from Towney had an uncomplicated 0-19 to 0-4 success over Termon. Michael Hegarty graced the Donegal jersey until 2011 and is still one of the most consistent club players around. His four points from play and much else besides laid the foundation for victory at MacCumhaill Park.
9 – Anthony Kelly (Malin)
ANTHONY KELLY has long since been one of the rocks that Malin have built their footballing fortunes on and now the Inishowen team can look forward to only a second ever Donegal SFC semi-final. On Sunday against Dungloe at O’Donnell Park, Kelly helped his team grapple the initiative to take control of the second half and seal their place in the last four.
10 – Darren O’Leary (MacCumhaill’s)
ANOTHER man who won’t be able to field again in this season’s championship following his side’s loss, Darren O’Leary of MacCumhaill’s was his team’s stand-out performer in their nine-point loss against Glenswilly in Letterkenny. O’Leary scored an excellent 1-8, with his goal right before half-time and seven precise frees meant only Michael Murphy – with 2-5 – matched him over the weekend.
11 – Gary McFadden (Glenswilly)
GLENSWILLY have certainly played their way back into the championship picture following their opening round loss against Ardara back in May. On Saturday at O’Donnell Park they were the first of the four confirmed quarter-finalists following a 2-20 to 1-14 victory over MacCumhaill’s. Gary McFadden played a starring role in that success, hitting a fine personal total of six points from play.
12 – Christy Fildara (Malin)
CHRISTY Fildara was a late inclusion on the Malin team against Dungloe in Letterkenny on Sunday afternoon but it didn’t take long for him to make his mark, bursting clear after three minutes to open the scoring. He also scored the last point of the game and in-between provided his team with a constant outlet with his incredible pace.
13 – Adam Neely (Dungloe)
AT one stage on Sunday afternoon, it looked as though Dungloe were headed for the semi-final draw. Six up in the first half and then four ahead with quarter of an hour left, the team from Rosses Park were in a good position. They would go down to Malin in the end, although it was Adam Neely who was at the centre of all Dungloe’s positive work. He scored 1-4 in all, 1-2 from play and his late black card was unfortunate late on.
14 – Seamus Corcoran (Naomh Conaill)
SEAMUS CORCORAN lined up with the No 14 jersey on his back for Naomh Conaill against St Eunan’s although his role was more detailed than that. Corcoran played more of a roving role for his team and got stuck in back in the engineroom when the need arose. Scored a point four minutes into the second half when the scores were tied at the time.
15 – Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)
GLENSWILLY manager Michael Canning must’ve held his breath a few short weeks ago when Michael Murphy had to be helped from the field in an All-County Football League Division 1 loss against St Michael’s. Murphy returned to help his side overcome Bundoran in the group stages and another top class performance on Saturday – when he scored 2-5 against MacCumhaill’s including a goal 11 seconds into the second half – means they’re right back in the mix.Tags: