THE FIRES burned along the shadows of Aghla Mountain 16 years ago.
Naomh Conaill, their chance of a first ever Donegal senior football championship title seeming to have been lost after a drawn final against St Eunan’s, took the 2005 title thanks to a 0-10 to 1-5 replay win.
Brothers Anthony and Leon Thompson were key figures in the Hughie Molloy-managed team, the side that paved the way for the glory years that have followed at Davy Brennan Memorial Park.
Another brother, Aaron, came on as a substitute in the replay.
An entire parish felt like it was in the cavalcade, through Glenfin and Fintown before making its return to Glenties, where the mother of all celebrations took place.
In the stand at MacCumhaill Park, a ten-year-old Ciaran Thompson was watching the excitement unfold among the blue and white hoards.
“I remember being up in the stand with a stupid ‘oul hat on me, jumping about the place,” Thompson – now the Naomh Conaill captain – said ahead of this Saturday’s 2020 Donegal SFC final against Kilcar.
“Didn’t know what was going on but I was happy out, the team coming back into the town was serious. That’s what really started it for me, seeing them in that team started my ambition to get up to that level and to get to play alongside them.”
The four Thompson brothers started the 2015 final against St Eunan’s, an ‘unreal’ memory for the Donegal player.
Thompson’s young fire burned as he took it all in in 2005 and, having skippered the 2019 team to the Dr Maguire, he wants to replicate that this weekend as they look to win a fifth SFC crown.
“It’s great being a part of it,” Thompson said.
“It’s very professional, with young lads coming up through the ranks and great coaches. It’s very much appreciated. It’s a special community.
“The final getting arranged got the buzz going. There’s good in-house games and that’s beneficial.”
“It doesn’t get any easier and any time you’re involved in the latter stages or a county final you’re in a good place. When you’re fighting for those honours year after year it shows the club is in a good place at the minute.”Tags: