Naomh Conaill weathered the first half dismissal of Eoghan McGettigan and injury to Ciaran Thompson, a scatter of bleak showers and Glenfin to waltz to the Donegal SFC semi-finals.
Naomh Conaill 2-16 Glenfin 0-5
In rather surreal conditions in Glenties, last year’s Ulster finalists were easy winners in the end, although at one stage it looked as though Glenfin would ask questions of them. However, despite being a man up for the most part after the break, the visitors only scored twice in the second half.
That gap between the top four and is as big as it’s said to be. With Gerard Ward held to just a marked point, Glenfin were blunted out. Goals from Ethan O’Donnell and Charles McGuinness sealed a 17-point win.
Naomh Conaill had blazed their way through the first round, with four wins from four and little trouble on the way and were expected to face a stiffer test in Glenfin. Twelve months ago, Naomh Conaill left Glenswilly with a 1-14 to 0-13 victory over Mark McGinty’s team on their way to a fourth Dr Maguire.
Five minutes before the break, with a downpour having just passed, Naomh Conaill were 0-6 to 0-2 up but saw Eoghan McGettigan sent off for a second yellow card, whilst Ciaran Thompson was hobbling off.
However, Glenfin trailed 0-8 to 0-3 when Ciaran Brady was black-carded at the start of the second half and they were 0-13 to 0-3 down when he returned. An Ethan O’Donnell goal on 45 minutes meant Glenfin’s championship was over.
Before the match, a minute’s silence was paid in respect to former Naomh Conaill player and manager Patrick McLoone, brother of club president Leo Snr and uncle of current player Leo Jnr.
Naomh Conaill were 0-5 to 0-2 in front only minutes in, with Eoghan McGettigan an active participant. Glenfin had proved to be decent on the break, with Gerard Ward marking and scoring and Ross Marley on the mark.
Dermot Molloy had to be content with a point when he rasped a shot at goal off the Glenfin crossbar and over after a short kick-out routine from the visitors of telegraphed.
Glenfin had assured themselves of a last eight berth following their draw at MacCumhaill’s on matchday three and in Glenties amid a downpour, trailed by three at the water-break which could’ve doubled as a towel-break it was so wet.
Following 12 scoreless minutes, Anthony Thompson registered before McGettigan’s second yellow – this time for a foul on Gary and Ciaran Thompson’s withdrawal on 25 minutes.
Right on the break, Leo McLoone flashed a shot at goal just wide moments after Jason Morrow had scored an excellent point to lift Glenfin’s spirits. Naomh Conaill led 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time.
Glenfin’s Ciaran Brady was black-carded right at the start of the second half to even up the numbers for 10 minutes and between then and the three-quarter mark Naomh Conaill ran riot, with Molloy, McGuinness and Anthony Thompson all on the mark.
O’Donnell played a one-two with McGuinness to score a Naomh Conaill goal 15 minutes from time, with the score then 1-13 to 0-3 for the 14 men.
They kept their foot on the gas in the closing stages, with Brady sent off for adding a yellow to his earlier black on and McGuinness added a second goal late on. Easy in the end.
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Ultan Doherty, Kevin McGettigan, Odhran Doherty; Jeaic Mac Ceallbhuí, Anthony Thompson (0-2), Ethan O’Donnell (1-0); Ciaran Thompson (0-1), Nathan Byrne (0-1); Eunan Doherty, Eoghan McGettigan (0-2), Marty Boyle; Dermot Molloy (0-4, 3f), Charles McGuinness (1-5, 3f), Leo McLoone. Subs: Eoin Waide for C Thompson (27), Brendan McDyer for O Doherty (41), Seamus Corcoran (0-1) and Keelan McGill for O’Donnell and McLoone (55), John O’Malley for E Doherty (58).
Glenfin: Andrew Walsh; Gavin McDermott, John Harkin (0-1), Gary Herron; Daniel McGlynn, Martin O’Donnell, Odhran McGlynn (0-1); Stephen Carr, Ciaran Brady; Karl McGlynn, Frank McGlynn, Ross Marley (0-1); Jason Morrow (0-1), Gerard Ward (0-1, 1m), Conor Ward. Subs: Kyle O’Meara for C Ward (46), Jack Marley for S Carr (53), Gavin Marley for McDermott (55)
Referee: Enda McFeely (St Mary’s, Convoy).