DURCAN DRAWS BACK ON DONEGAL DECISION WHILE McGEEVER COMES UP WITH ANOTHER QUESTION:
Fresh from his All-Ireland club semi-final exploits with Ballyboden St. Enda’s, Paul Durcan looks likely, if we are to read between the lines (as opposed to over them), to be making a comeback with his native Donegal in the Ulster Championship.
A comeback as opposed to a clawback, his fellow county man, Charlie McGeever, might view it. McGeever was wearing the ‘Bainisteoir’ top for Clonmel Commercials in Sunday’s semi-final at O’Moore Park, and feels his team were robbed of a second half decision after the Donegal goalkeeper appeared to carry the ball over his line as he caught a high fielding effort under the posts.
“I’d have a serious question about a serious decision,” the Falcarragh man declared in his post match reaction.
But McGeever did admit his side had thrown it away after squandering a three point advantage in injury time to allow their Dublin opponents to secure extra-time and go on to win comfortably in the end.
“We had the game won had we done things right. I don’t think anybody would say we weren’t the better over the 60 minutes,” insisted the Clonmel coach.
Alas, there were sixty-three minutes in this one and that comeback has put Durcan and his team into the All-Ireland final when they will meet Castlebar Mitchells on St. Patrick’s Day.
After that it’s decision time for the Donegal netminder as he ponders on whether or not to return for the big Ulster quarter-final clash against the winners of the Preliminary round pairing of Fermanagh and Antrim.
Judging by his comments to the ‘Irish Independent’ at the weekend, I would hazard a guess that he has already signalled his intention to break away from the sun in Qatar and line out with his home county when the Championship commences.
Stating that he was in regular contact with Rory Gallagher, the former Four Masters man indicated: “We’ll see what happens over the next few months, we’ll get this club campaign over with and you never know what the summer will bring.”
Or maybe you do.
Though the likes of Danny Rodgers, Marc Anthony McGinley, Peter Boyle and the currently sidelined, Michael Boyle, might like to think – and have perfect justification for doing so – that one of them will have a say in the matter as well .
OLLIE GETS HIS MAN WITH A DOORSTEP CHALLENGE:
A bit of the ex-files about Finn Harps latest signing. Scully by name and a player who has played with a variety of clubs including Bohemians, Bray Wanderers, Monaghan United, Kildare County and Carlisle United.
Ollie Horgan, apparently, wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer when he first sought out the ex-Bohs striker to come to Finn Park.
“He rang me seven or eight times and then he turned up at my house as he was keen to meet my wife. He had to sort of persuade the wife. She was worried about the travel but Ollie persuaded me and then he persuaded her,” Dave Scully reported.
Typical Horgan determination there and another signing secured to add to the handful of new additions set to start the upcoming season.
Hopefully we can expect goals from the Dubliner though his record with Bohemians doesn’t quite match up with his reputation. Thirty-seven appearances for the Dalymount Park outfit saw him net just two league goals though Drumkeen United fans will remember him well after he bagged a hat-trick against them in the 2012 F.A.I. Cup campaign.
His scoring record for Bray Wanderers saw him find the target on seven occasions in fifty outings over two seasons.
The Harps boss will hopefully use those persuasive powers to encourage his new capture to be a bit less shy about bringing along his scoring boots.
Scully has already mentioned his difficulty in understanding the Donegal accent as he settles in to his new footballing career.
But “yet another goal for Harps new signing” will help him with his understanding.
RUGBY THE RIGHT WAY:
And so to the rugby. And that blistering performance on Saturday by a team who only know one way. They don’t play the game like this anymore. Or at least they don’t if they’re wearing international jerseys and hail from the Northern Hemisphere (with the occasional exception of a Super Sunday Showdown as in last year).
Forget the events in Paris or indeed in Cardiff or Rome – the real action unfolded at Dave Gallaher Park where the Letterkenny Under-18’s, needing just a point to claim the Ulster Carpet League Premier Division title, managed it with plenty to spare, leaving their opponents wishing they were back in Carrickfergus long before they got there.
Running in eleven tries, the hosts inflicted a 71-0 win over the visitors with a sparkling display of free flowing rugby that would have brought the attendance to their feet if they weren’t already there.
The pick of the bunch – and there were a number of cast iron choices – had to be the score from Kevin Grant who gathered the ball deep in his own half before setting off on a run that saw him ghost by flailing arms and attempted challenges before setting it down under the posts to provide Daniel Faulkner with the easiest of his eight conversions.
Spectacular just indeed as much of the season has been under the guise of head coach, Gordon Curley, and his right hand man, Denis Faulkner.
And it’s not over yet. A place in the League Final awaits if this energetic young team can overcome the Division Four title winners in the forthcoming semi-final.
I was happy to be there on Saturday to see it – even if that slog of a contest in Paris later on attempted to tell us that it’s not always like this or indeed very rarely in the modern game.
ENGLISH TITLE FOR FINN VALLEY’S STAR IN THE RUNNING:
When you can go to England and claim an athletics title at whatever age group, you’ve certainly arrived on the big stage.
Aaron McGlynn has already shown what he can do but his weekend success in the English Indoor under-17 800 metres event in Sheffield serves to remind us what a true talent he is.
The Finn Valley A.C. athlete powered home in a time of 1.56.06 to take the prestigious title against a quality field.
What next for this young prodigy of the track?
THE HAVE ANOTHER LOOK AT IT, LADS, DEPARTMENT:
Outstanding goal by our own Robbie Brady (courtesy of his RIGHT foot) for Norwich City in their 2-2 draw with West Ham United at the weekend.
Not outstanding enough, apparently, for the panellists on ‘Match of the Day’ on Saturday night who failed to give it even the merest of mentions in their review of the match.
No doubt, Messrs. Lineker, Hodgson and Shearer would have managed to find some time to revel in it had it come from the boot of Ross Barkley, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Wayne Rooney or any other white shirted international.
Wes Hoolahan was also on the mark for the Canaries – only the fourth of the season from a player who you think should be netting more. And Shane Long, who had missed a decent chance in the opening half, scored the only goal in Southampton’s win at Swansea City.
But no doubt the best Irish performer of the past week across the channel was former St Patrick’s Athletic ace, Chris Forrester, who earned high praise from all sections of the English media including B.B.C. commentator, Jonathan Pearce, for his display for Peterborough United in their F.A. Cup defeat on penalties to West Bromwich Albion.
Barring an injury glut, he’ll hardly be making it onto Martin O’Neill’s squad for France 2016 but even if his club side fail to make it out of SKY BET League One, the Dubliner could himself be heading upwards, perhaps to one of the Championship sides at the end of the season.
Furious reaction to Aston Villa defender, Joleon Lescott’s Twitter account which, immediately after his struggling side’s 6-0 walloping at home to Liverpool, showed an image of his luxury sports car (a Mercedes –Benz S63 at an estimated cost of £125,000 in case you’re thinking of a tidy buy).
Unhappy Villa fans were quick to respond with understandable ire, the best of the tweets coming from one Jeff K. who posed the question: “Does this car go 0-6 in 90 minutes?,”
Anyway, Lescott got on the ball quickly claiming that his tweet had been “accidental” and was as the result of driving with the phone in his pocket and inadvertently pressing the wrong button.
Could have happened, I suppose. He didn’t have any Liverpool strikers in his pocket at any rate.
POINTS OF INTEREST:
Never having shown any great ability at working out anything to do with mathematics, I can only put the question out there for someone else to answer – just how many points HAS Geraldine McLaughlin scored on the Gaelic fields of Ireland?
Another haul of seventeen points in Donegal’s victory over Sligo in a LIDL Division 2 clash at the weekend brought her tally to – well, you tell me.
Broken up into three goals and eight points, her latest scoring exploits surely leaves her as the current leading scorer in the game in either gender.
Anyone out there know?
WE WUZ ROBBED!
This one caught the eye during a scan of the non-league results in England from the weekend.
The Metropolitan Police drew 1-1 at Needham Market in the Ryman Premier Division. Scorer for the Met? Billy Crook.
You couldn’t make it up and I didn’t.Tags: