27 Jun 2022

Naomh Conaill win again to stay on track for Division 1 league honours

In a very entertaining game, Ethan O'Donnell's goal seconds into the second half sent Naomh Conaill on their way

Naomh  Conaill win again to stay on track for Division 1 league honours

Captains Kevin McGettigan and Odhran Mac Niallais (stand-in) with referee Val Murray for the toss

In a game that seemed like a full-blown challlenge game at times, Naomh Conaill got the win that keeps them on track for league honours against Gaoth Dobhair in Davy Brennan Memorial Park.

Naomh Conaill 3-16

Gaoth Dobhair 3-11

The game was re-arranged from Sunday last and was reversed to Glenties. For the good crowd on a fine evening for football, there was plenty to be thankful for.

In a very entertaining first half, both sides were let off the leash and allowed to play free-flowing football.

Naomh Conaill had the opening two points, a Charles McGuinness mark and an effort from distance from Ciaran Thompson.

Gaoth Dobhair hit back on six minutes with the best player on the field in the opening half Dáire Ó Baoill powering through the middle (a feature of the half). He found Fionnan Coyle and the chance seemed to be gone but the ball broke and Ó Baoill was on hand to tap home.

Ethan Harkin added a point but then Naomh Conaill had their patch with Dermot Molloy pointing before Brendan McDyer got in to sidefoot home a lead goal - 1-3 to 1-1.

Jeaic Mac Ceallabhui added to the total while Ethan Harkin converted a free for Gaoth Dobhair.

The second Gaoth Dobhair goal was the highlight of the opening half with Cian Mulligan at the start and end of a great move. Eamon McGee was the target man and he laid it back to Mulligan who played a wonderful one-two with Ethan Harkin to continue and fire home. The return ball from Harkin, palmed back to Mulligan, opened the Naomh Conaill defence.

Ciaran Thompson levelled, again from distance and there was almost a third Gaoth Dobhair goal as Stephen McGrath fumbled a 48m free from Daithi Roberts but it didn't cross the line.

Brendan McDyer edged Naomh Conaill back in front four minutes from the break but points from Ethan Harkin (free) and Cian Mulligan had Gaoth Dobhair a point ahead at the break - Gaoth Dobhair 2-4, Naomh Conaill 1-6.

We were treated to an exhibition of scoring in the second half starting with a goal after ust 24 seconds from Ethan O'Donnell followed by a point from Ciaran Thompson with just 63 seconds on the clock.

Gaoth  Dobhair would keep plugging but for the rest of the game they could never get closer than two points. Ethan Harkin had three points interspersed between two more from the impressive Thompson.

Paul McGuinness came in for Naomh Conaill and was involved in a great move started by Thompson with Dermot Molloy and Eunan Doherty also involved before Charles McGuinness palmed home a third goal.

Points were exchanged before Gaoth Dobhair got the lead back to three again with five minutes left, the final touch seemingly coming off a Naomh Conaill defender to leave it 3-12 to 3-9.

But a late burst of points from Charles McGuinness (2) and Kevin McGettigan sealed the win for the home side.

These sides could meet again in the latter stages of the championship and one would expect a much tougher contest then.

Naomh Conaill scorers:  Ciaran Thompson 0-5; Charles McGuinness (mark)  1-3; Brendan McDyer 1-1; Ethan O'Donnell 1-0; Jeaic Mac Ceallabhui 0-3; Kevin McGettigan, Dermot Molloy, John O'Malley, Seamus Corcoran 0-1 each

Gaoth Dobhair scorers: Ethan Harkin 0-7,3f; Dáire Ó Baoill 1-1; Cian Mulligan 1-1; Neasan Mac Giolla Bhride, Eamon McGee (mark) 0-1 each.

NAOMH CONAILL: Stephen McGrath; Stephen Molloy, AJ Gallagher, Jason Campbell; Hughie Gallagher, Kevin McGettigan, Ethan O'Donnell; Keelan McGill, Ciaran Thompson; Eunan Doherty, Jeaic Mac Ceallabhui, Dermot Molloy; Brendan McDyer, Charles McGuinness, John O'Malley. Subs: Paul McGuinness for O'Malley (42); Seamus Corcoran for D Molloy (45); Marty Boyle for McGill (57)

GAOTH DOBHAIR:  Daithi Roberts; Daire Ferry, Neil McGee, Cian McEntee; Neasan Mac Giolla Bhride, Danny Curran, Odhrán McFadden Ferry; Dáire Ó Baoill, Sean Doherty; Cian Mulligan, Eoin De Burca, Ethan Harkin; Donal Mac Giolla Bhride, Fionnan Coyle, Eamon McGee. Subs: Fiachra Coyle for McEntee; Michael Lynch for S Doherty (both (53); Stephen McFadden for De Burca (59).

REFEREE:  Val Murray (Aodh Ruadh)

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