GAA Football

Kilcar and Glenswilly set up Donegal SFC showpiece

Gerry McLaughlin

Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure Donegal SFC semi-finals: Kilcar 5-10 Glenties 1-11; Glenswilly 0-9 Malin 0-7

Classy Kilcar are in their first county final in 23 years after an impressive 5-10 to 1-11 victory over reigning county champions Naomh Conaill, Glenties in a goal fest in Sean MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey last night.

Three goals in the first half from Michael Hegarty, Conor Doherty and Eoin McHugh after Glenties found the net through a fisted goal from Leo McLoone after just three minutes.

That set the scene for a high quality richly entertaining battle between two very well drilled sides.

The winners were well worth their half-time lead of 3-4 to 1-6 with Patrick McBrearty, Stephen McBrearty and the McHugh clan particularly prominent.

Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty stretched the lead inside three minutes of the restart. 

Ciaran Thompson and Eoghan McGettigan replied before a flare up which included a lot of players. Yellow cards were handed out, and football resumed with Ryan McHugh pointing.

There was a chance for Naomh Conaill to close the gap when Ciaran Brennan was fouled as he pulled the trigger, but just like the first half, the penalty was saved; Eamonn McGinley doing well to get down for Eoghan McGettigan’s spot kick.

The fourth goal on 49 minutes was the highlight of a great performance by Patrick McBrearty, as he tore through the Naomh Conaill defence to rifle to the net.

A few minutes later, with Naomh Conaill now on all out attack, Eoin McHugh broke and went the length of the field to fire home the fifth goal, and it was fitting that Michael Hegarty topped it off with the final point for his side.

Glenswilly had to call on all their championship craft to get over the gritty challenge of Malin in a dogged affair in O’Donnell Park, yesterday afternoon.

Once again, the usual suspects walked tall when it really mattered. Michael Murphy (inset) weighed in with four precious points, while Neil Gallagher and Gary McFadden were all predictable key figures.

Malin certainly challenged the 2011 and 2013 county champions in the opening half and the sides were tied at 0-5 each at the interval.

Stephen, Christopher and Brendan McLaughlin were all on target for wind-assisted Malin in the opening half.

Murphy with three, Gary McFadden and Neil Gallagher replied for the Glen, who also hit five wides.

Malin actually led briefly through Brendan McLaughlin on the resumption, but the Glen hit back swiftly through Oisin Crawford and Gary McFadden.

Murphy also found the target as Malin seemed to wilt.

They were dealt a further blow when Anthony McLaughlin was given a red card after picking up two yellow cards as tempers frayed in the dying moments.

A deserved win for the Glen who were not overly impressive, but that is ideal preparation against a youthful Kilcar who have not tasted a county title since 1993 when Martin McHugh was player manager.

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