Glenswilly were worthy winners

Murphy and Gallagher led the way

Glenswilly were worthy winners

They came in under the radar in this year's senior championship, but Glenswilly were deserving winners of the Dr Maguire Cup in Ballybofey yesterday.

The heavier conditions certainly played their part. Glenswilly are a more physical team and adapted well to the wet and windy conditions. On a drier sod, Kilcar might have been able to run at the Glen men more, but yesterday suited the underdogs.

I watched Glenswilly play earlier in the year, twice without their main men of Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher. Despite the absence of these two key men, Glenswilly adopted the same system and were extremely hard to break down.

They came with a plan, parked the bus and frustrated Kilcar. To contain Kilcar to just four points from play is testament to the hard work the Glenswilly players put in all over the field.

Big players always step up on the big day, and yesterday in MacCumhaill Park, Murphy and Gallagher answered the call and led the way. Michael notched up 1-5 and picked up the man of the match award, while Gallagher kept a cool head, brought a great sense of control to things and used the ball wisely at all times.

Even when they trailed by four points at half time, I thought Kilcar would come into their own in the second half and go on to win the game. They hit three points without reply after the restart to leave just a point the difference. But Ciaran Bonner's fisted point was an important score at a crucial time, and it settled the Glen men again.

For Kilcar, I thought Ryan McHugh fought hard. Patrick McBrearty finished with five points, and maybe could have added a few more if he had been given more ball inside.

Looking at the statistics, Glenswilly were extremely clinical in front of the posts, and registered just one wide for the entire game. Kilcar hit a total of eight.

Glenswilly can now look forward to a good run in the Ulster club championship if they can stay focused and get back to the training pitch this week. I'm sure the celebrations will be lively, but if they get their act together, they have every chance of defeating the Down champions, Kilcoo.

Good luck to them. They are deserving county champions.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Ciaran O'Donnell

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