THEY WEREN’T at their free-scoring best, but Kilcar are still safely through to the Donegal SFC semi-finals.
Kilcar 2-14 Killybegs 0-11
By Chris McNulty at Sean MacCumhaill Park
Barry Doherty’s men managed to hit 2-14 in spite of a barren spell of almost 20 minutes without a score at the start of the second half against their derby foes.
Goals in the first half by Andrew McClean and Patrick McBrearty helped the 2017 champions to lead by nine points at the changeover.
While Killybegs, powered by Hugh McFadden, crept back into contention, the margins were too wide for them to make Kilcar sweat in the second half.
Two fine points by Stephen McBrearty closed the first half with Kilcar leading 2-8 to 0-9.
Killybegs landed the first four points of the second half, three of them from Hugh McFadden, to narrow the deficit.
Kilcar – who coasted through the group stage – had lost their way with six wides and another ball dropped into the goalkeeper’s arms.
Kilcar didn’t trouble the scoreboard operator until the 19th minute of part two when Andrew McClean knocked over.
When McFadden kicked his sixth of the evening, Killybegs were just four behind. McFadden tapped over after Paul Cunningham’s strength won the free and, in that moment, Kilcar summonsed the experience of former Donegal star Michael Hegarty.
McClean and Ciaran McGinley put sufficient daylight between the them as they headed for the home straight.
The Towney men pulled away in the closing moments and had nine to spare as they huddled afterwards.
The game was just nine minutes old when Andrew McClean was fed by Ciaran McGinley and the nippy forward made no mistake with his finish.
Just three minutes later, Patrick McBrearty riffled to the bottom corner. Ryan McHugh’s long free sent Eoin McHugh on his way. He fed McBrearty and, in those positions, there are few deadlier. McBrearty, from close range, blasted home to put six between them.
Eoin McHugh and Matthew McClean opened up a seven-point lead by the 17th minute with McFadden manfully leading the Killybegs challenge.
They were fortunate not to have conceded another goal, just before McBrearty rattled the net as Ryan Carr blocked on the goal-line from McGinley. Earlier, Kevin Martin, the Killybegs goalkeeper, saved from corner-back Pauric Carr, who found himself bearing down on his opposing number 1.
A deflection denied Ryan McHugh a fine third goal as he clipped towards the top corner when Martin batted away a dropping ball from Matthew McClean.
A Matthew McClean double had the gap out to eight and Martin repelled a stinging shot from Stephen McBrearty as Kilcar went for the throat.
Two magnificent Stephen McBrearty points had Kilcar 2-8 to 0-5 ahead at the break and already with an eye on the semi-finals.
Carr blocked on the chalk beneath the Killybegs crossbar to deny Conor Doherty after Ryan McHugh ate up the ground on his way up the left flank.
Kilcar: Eamonn McGinley; Barry McGinley, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Ryan McHugh, Barry Shovlin, Brian O’Donnell; Mark McHugh (0-2, 1f, 1 ’45), Ciaran McGinley (0-3); Andrew McClean (1-1), Conor Doherty, Eoin McHugh (0-1); Matthew McClean (0-3), Patrick McBrearty (1-2), Stephen McBrearty (0-2). Subs: Michael Hegarty for B.Shovlin (48), Mark Sweeney for M.McClean (58), Pauric McShane for Carr (59), Oran Doogan for S.McBrearty (60).
Killybegs: Kevin Martin; Paul McGinley, Ciaran Connaghan, David McGuinness (0-1); John Ban Gallagher, Daniel Breslin, Ryan Carr; Hugh McFadden (0-6, 5f), Evan Broderick; Christopher Murrin (0-1), Jack McSharry (0-1), Michael Statham; Shaun Gorrell, Paul Cunningham (0-1), Ryan Cunningham. Subs: Seamus Óg Byrne and Conor Cunningham (0-1) for McGuinness and Gorrell (52), Christopher Cunningham for McGinley (58).
Referee: Enda McFeely (St Mary’s, Convoy).Tags: