NAOMH MHUIRE CONVOY 0-13 V LETTERKENNY GAELS 1-11. This final Group B game in the Junior A Championship in Convoy produced a cracker of a contest with the visitors, who led by five points at the break just holding on to clinch an automatic spot in the semi-finals. Both teams had already guaranteed themselves a place in the knockout stages, but the prize of that last four spot ensured that this game would see full commitment from both teams and that certainly proved the case as Charlie Collins reports. A draw would have been enough for Convoy to take top spot in the Group and with it a semi-final place while only a win would suffice for the Gaels to grab that automatic spot. The visitors showed then meant business from the start and were three points up inside the first three minutes, Shay Doherty, Conor Mc Brearty and Paddy Doherty all kicked points from play. Anthony Browne’s free and Emmet Patterson’s fine effort from play got Convoy going but a minute later Conor Mc Brearty drove in what proved to be the game’s only goal. Taking possession out wide on the left Mc Brearty burst passed his marker and fisted the ball across goal for Cormac Cannon, and when his fisted effort for goal was blocked Mc Brearty followed up to drive the ball to the Convoy net. Darren Bonner replied immediately for the home team and after just eight minutes of play it was 0-03 to 1-03 in favour of the Gaels. It took ten minutes before another score came and then the visitors hit four in a row from play to lead by seven points, Sub Conor Coll scored a beauty from out on the right, Shay Doherty got his second of the game from almost the same spot as Coll’s and Cormac Cannon and a cracker from Conor Mc Brearty made it 0-03 to 1-07, leaving Convoy with much to do. Late points by Anthony Browne and Gavin Sweeney left five in it at half-time. Convoy needed to respond and that they did, two frees by Browne and a point from play by Laurence Mc Mullen in four minutes quickly reduced the deficit to just two points and it was game on. Mc Brearty’s free made it a three point game but Darren Bonner replied with a free to leave it 0-09 to 1-08. Conor Mc Brearty kicked two super scores in two minutes, one from a free, the other from play to extend the lead to four, but that was back to just one when Anthony Browne converted two frees and Darren Bonner also converted a free in the 60th minute. With a draw enough to give them that last four spot Convoy threw everything they had at the visitors but to there credit the Gaels kept their nerve and Cormac Cannon kicked an excellent point to put them two ahead again. Convoy Sub Paul Mc Mullan somehow steered one over from an acute angle in the 62nd minute to again leave just one in it but Letterkenny Gaels saw out the final three minutes of injury time to claim an excellent victory and that semi-final spot. Red Hughs big win over Muff means that they join Letterkenny Gaels in the semi-finals as winners of Group A. The Quarter-Finals line-up in the Junior A Championship will be Moville v Naomh Colmcille ( winners to play Letterkenny Gaels ), and Naomh Mhuire Convoy v Naomh Padraig Muff. ( winners to play Red Hughs ). Naomh Mhuire Convoy; John Patton, Jerome Duffy, John A Kee, Liam Prunty, Benny Bonner, James Kee, Brian Mc Namee, Raymond Mc Namee, Emmet Patterson ( 0-1 ), Gavin Sweeney ( 0-1 ), Laurence Mc Mullen ( 0-1 ), Anthony Browne ( 0-6f ), John Toye, Paul o Leary, Darren Bonner ( 0-3 2f ), SUBS; Paul Mc Mullen ( 0-1 ) for Paul O Leary ( 59mins ). Letterkenny Gaels; James Carr, Aaron Stewart, Ryan Quinn, Kevin Kilkenny, Brian Diver, Darren Hunter, Conor Browne, Ciaran Cannon, Mickey Harte, Sean Mc Donagh, Paddy Doherty ( 0-1 ), Shay Doherty ( 0-2 ), Odhran Mc Macken, Conor Mc Brearty ( 1-5 2f ), Cormac Cannon ( 0-2 ). SUBS; Ciaran Lynch for Mickey Harte ( blood sub 12mins ) , Conor Coll ( 0-1 ) for Kevin Kilkenny ( inj 14mins ), Harte for Odhran Mc Macken ( h/t ), Micky Mc Garrigle for Lynch ( 58mins ). REFEREE; Greg Mc Groary.
Gaels clinch Semi-Final spot with victory over Convoy.
written by Chris McNulty August 13, 2017
Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.
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