Letterkenny Gaels finally got over the line in their third Junior final in four years to win the Junior Football Championship title against Carndonagh.
Letterkenny Gaels 0-12 Carndonagh 0-10
And it looked like they were going to lose another Junior final at half-time, but a super second half performance saw them come out worthy winners.
Ronan Frain scored a couple in the first half but Conor O’Donnell and Fergal Doherty scored a couple of great points of their own from Carn as they led 0-7 to 0-4 at half time.
But it was a real game of two halves as Conor McBrearty scored four from dead balls as Letterkenny Gaels went three ahead, but Carndonagh weren’t giving up.
A point in it in added time, the ball was turned over by both sides and when Brian Diver raced through on goal, he calmly fisted over to ensure victory with seconds remaining.
Frain scored after 20 seconds, foreshadowing a worthy man of the match award for him come full time, but it would be the only Gaels point in the first 20 minutes.
A 45 from keeper Ethan Harkin, a great score from Conor O’Donnell and two from Fergal Doherty, one from a free gave Carn the early lead.
Diarmuid Ó’Cathail got Gaels on the board again but another two great O’Donnell scores, one free and a Cian Doherty point from play had them five ahead.
Frain pointed as the added time went up and a point from substitute Shay Doherty gave Gaels momentum going into half-time, 0-8 to 0-5 down.
And they came out in the second half well on top, with McBrearty scoring his first free but a mistake at the back let Ryan Kelly in for a point when a goal chance was on.
Brian Diver had a massive goal chance hit the post which would have levelled the game but it wouldn’t take too long until they did level and indeed go ahead.
Sean McDonagh pointed from play while McBrearty took a great mark and Frain pointed from a free past the 45 metre line to level.
And another three points followed, two from McBrearty frees and one from Shay Doherty who pointed after Frain had a shot on goal saved by Harkin, 0-11 to 0-8 ahead with five minutes to go.
But Carn battled back and Anthony Doherty pointed from play while Fergal Doherty got his third score of the game with his second free.
But they couldn’t find the leveller as Harkin missed a 45 and two other shots fell short and wide in added time.
And in a hectic end that saw both sides turn over possession, Letterkenny Gaels came out with possession and Brian Diver fisted over when bearing down on goal to secure the win and Letterkenny Gaels’ first adult Championship win.
Letterkenny Gaels: Ryan Graham; Shaun Crossan, Niall Diver, Conor Browne, Sean McDonagh (0-1), Ray Quinn, Diarmuid Ó’Cathail (0-1); Anthony Diver, Paddy Doherty; Brian Diver (0-1), Darren Hunter, Cormac Cannon, Ronan Frain (0-3,1f), Conor McBrearty (0-4f), Kevin Langan.
Subs: Darren McBrearty for Kevin Langan (28 mins), Shay Doherty (0-2) for Cormac Cannon (30 mins), Liam McAlary for Shaun Crossan (half-time).
Carndonagh: Kyle Harkin (0-1,45); Cormac Monagle, Conor Doherty, Darragh Browne, James Monagle, Danny Monagle, Anthony Doherty (0-1); Ryan Kelly (0-1), Will Quinn; Cian Doherty, (0-1) Donal Doherty, Eoghan Kelly, Cathal Doherty, Fergal Doherty (0-3,2f), Conor O’Donnell (0-3,2f).
Subs: Cian Burke for Cathal Doherty (10 mins) Padraig Doherty for Cian Doherty (57 mins)