Referee: Syl Doyle (Loch Garman)
Man of the Match: Cathal Gregg (Shannon Blues)
Blues: T. Sayers, C. Phelan, R. O’Callaghan, B. Curran, M. McGowan, S. Moriarty, D. Clarke, D. Dineen, S. O’Connor, J. Hynes, C. Gregg, C. Rafferty, K. Hurley. Macs: R. McCrystal, N. Gallen, P. McConway, M. Slane, E. Bradley, M. Bogue, D. Kingston, C. Donnelly, D. McKenna, N. McCrory, C. McCrory, E. McGuckin, S. Cournane.
Donegal 4 - 15 Galway 1-5
Donegal swept past Galway with a powerful display off football and finally provided a look at the capabilities of a team laden with intercounty talent. With Kevin Cassidy in the half back line, Brian White and Brian Donnelly in the middle of the field, and Dessie Dolan and Derek Maguire up front, Donegal blew past their opponents and effectively had their place booked in next week’s semi final after 20 minutes had expired.
The long layoff did not affect Donegal in the slightest as they gave Galway a roasting in the first 15 minutes of the game. Winning everything in the middle of the field, and with lots of running from the midfielders and half forwards, Donegal clocked up 2 goals and five points as Galway struggled to deal with the onslaught. When in possession Galway struggled to find options, while Donegal had nothing but when the ball was in the hands of a yellow shirted player. Louth duo Derek Maguire and Brian Donnelly combined for the first goal. Maguire created the opening and Donnelly crashed the ball home from inside the 21. Donegal carved open the Galway defence again for Eddie Kelly to fire home and the writing was on the wall for Galway. Dolan and Maguire followed with a point each before Maguire slotted home Donegal’s third goal with 25 minutes of the half expired. Galway managed points from O’Rourke and Kevin O’Grady, but as if to rub salt in Donegal goaled a fourth time when an attempted point dropped short and Kieran Williams forced the ball into the net. At the half Donegal were looking in good shape with a massive 16 point lead.
Galway took the field looking to salvage some pride over the second 30 minute stint. Kevin Cummins entered the fray and netted with 5 minutes gone. Galway did manage to put in a better shift, but Donegal could well afford to take their foot of the gas. Galway tried to put the high ball in to Paddy O’Rourke, but to little effect. When Sean O’Donnell was shown a second yellow card and had to leave the field of play Galway’s task became even harder. The last 20 minutes of the game ran it’s course as Donegal continued to pop over the points. After a display like this, Donegal have to be considered red hot favourites to lift the fourth senior football championship in the history of the club.
Referee: Syl Doyle (Loch Garman)
Man of the Match: Derek Maguire (Donegal)
Donegal: P. Boyle, D. Reynolds, M. Canny, K. Mulhern, G. Reynolds, K. Cassidy, B. Donnelly, B. White, E. Kelly, D. Dolan, F. Clancy, D. Maguire, K. Williams. Galway: P. McComiskey, J. O’Callaghan, D. Wynne, S. Gallagher, E. Whelan, S. O’Donnell, E. Kavanagh, T. Walsh, J. Kehoe, M. Kenny, D. Reddin, K. O’Grady, P. O’Rourke.
Connacht Ladies into Senior Football Final
Connacht Ladies 2-11 Tir na nOg 1-9
Boston’s newest club, Connacht Ladies, are in the Boston final in their first season thanks to a semi-final win over Tir na nOg. Early in the second half it looked as though the current champions might pull through, but Connacht struck with a Jane Ward goal and four unanswered points to finish the game.
It was a tight first 30 minutes between Connacht Ladies and Tir na nOg. Connacht got off the a flying start with a goal from Imelda McNulty, however Tir na nOg got their act together and picked off four points from local girls, Sinead Bannon and Caroline Nee, followed by Noelle Healy. Connacht’s Jane Ward and Louise Brett kept their team’s noses in front with a point each as the game ebbed and flowed, and then Tir na nOg struck with a great goal from Nee. Healy made a run from the middle of the field and the Dublin county player found Nee on the edge of the square with a great pass; Nee sidestepped the keeper and netted. Aisling Kerr, another of the youth graduates, did well clearing up at corner back for Connacht. Jackie McDonagh put Connacht in the lead with a point, and Ailbhe O’Neill did well to save a close range shot from Ward to keep it a one point deficit at the break.
Tir na nOg got off to the better for the second 30 minutes. Nee pointed twice to put the champions in the lead, but the girls from Connacht came back to level through Brett. The Sligo county player then followed with another point. Connacht then struck with a goal from Ward to send them into a four point lead with the last quarter of the game to play. Tir na nOg rallied to try and turn the tables. Healy and Keoghegan pointed to reduce the deficit to two points and it seemed as if the tide could turn as Tir na nOg looked like they had the advantage in possession. The newcomers finished stronger however. Connacht played the ball well when in possession and converted scores from and ended the game with four points on the trot from Ann Marie McDaid (2), McNulty, and Brett. And so, it will be the oldest and newest ladies football clubs in the final next week, when Boston Shamrocks provide the opposition for Connacht Ladies.