Galbally can shoot their way past Dungloe to Ulster IFC Final with or without goals
Ulster Club IFC semi-final: Dungloe (Donegal) v Galbally (Tyrone) (Celtic Park, Derry, 4pm tomorrow)
FAR be it from me to disagree with a legend like Tony Boyle, especially about his own club Dungloe, but it may not be true that ‘Something’s gotta give’ in terms of goal-scoring in this game against Galbally.
The Donegal side haven’t conceded a major score for since their county group stages, while their Tyrone counterparts stuck seven past Derry’s Glenullin at this same venue in their Ulster quarter-final.
Yet almost as significant as the Pearse’s triumphing by 19 points, 7-12 to 1-11, was the fact that they registered 19 scores. That’s some going in autumn club football, although the pitch was in pristine condition on a sunny day.
Dungloe, like Glenullin, scored 1-11 in a very different last eight encounter, winning by double scores against Antrim’s Dunloy, who managed just seven points. However, the goal, from Shaun McGee, came in the 54th minute, and the Rosses men had to battle back from trailing by six points to three at half-time.
Much has been made of Tyrone club football’s failings on the provincial stage, with only two senior wins in more than half a century of the competition, both of those by one club, Errigal Ciaran.
Yet there is a spread of quality ‘among the bushes’. Galbally are back up as a senior side for next season, having only gone down last year, and are bursting with talent in their early 20s.
Liam Rafferty is their berst-known player, one that Tyrone wanted to use as a half-forward rather than in the defensive roles he has performed for the Red Hands previously. The thinking behind that was clear against Glenullin, where he coolly converted goal number seven, having created plenty of chances from centre half-forward.
The Pearse’s looked a classic modern team – defending in numbers and then counter-attacking at pace. Inside forwards Daniel Kerr and Conor Donaghy both bagged two goals apiece as Glenullin were ripped to shreds.
Dungloe also have a few players of a similar ripening vintage who won the Donegal U16 Division One title nine years ago, including the Curran brothers, Barry and Mark, Ryan McBride, Danny Rodgers, and Matthew Ward.
Galbally must be favoured, and not only because of how they disposed of Glenullin. Tyrone teams have reached four of the last five Ulster Intermediate Finals, with Pomeroy and the Moy winning in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
If the Pearse’s play close to their capacity then Paddy Crozier will be taking charge of them in the decider against either ‘Banty’ McEnaney’s Corduff of Monaghan or Cavan’s Castlerahan - whether or not they find the Dungloe net.