The U16s face Newport Gaels (Newport/Ballinahinch) in the North Final on this Saturday. This will be MacDonaghs first appearance in the final since 2008 (not 2006 as indicated last week). Our last victory in this championship was in 2004 when MacDonaghs toppled red hot favourites Toomevara in Dolla. On Saturday MacDonaghs will once again carry the underdog tag, so it will take a massive performance if we are to capture our sixth title in this grade. Support is vital for this team so we ask our followers to shelve all other plans, get to the final and drive the lads over the line.
In Moneygall the U21s advanced to the second round with a 0-23 to 1-12 victory against Roscrea. Moneygall has proved to be a happy hunting ground this year against Roscrea with victories for the U-16s, juniors and U21s. Kieran Cahill was unavailable due to work commitments. Captain Eoin Williams lost the toss and his Roscrea counterpart Davin Flynn opted to play with the stiff wind. Roscrea drew first blood when the referee awarded them a soft twenty metre free. Midfielder Justin Cahill, who began very impressively, cancelled this out with a fine point. Niall O’Meara was on target from a free and Conor Cleary chipped in with his first of the day. Thomas Cleary took a pass from Justin Cahill and sent the sliotar sailing between the posts. Thomas was winning a lot of ball at wing forward and Roscrea were forced to move corner-back Cian Rigney out in an effort to curtail his influence. Two Roscrea frees reduced the deficit to the minimum, before Conor Cleary extended the gap to two. Roscrea scored their first from play and added another from a free to leave the sides level on 0-5 each. Good pressure by the MacDonaghs forwards pressurised a Roscrea defender into over carrying and Niall O’Meara didn’t spurn the opportunity. Eoin Williams bisected the sticks with an effort to edge MacDonaghs ahead, but two points from Roscrea gave them the advantage. Niall O’Meara was fouled and he punished the indiscretion himself. Approaching the break, a Justin Cahill point nosed MacDonaghs to the front, but another Roscrea free left the sides deadlocked on 0-9 each. MacDonaghs had scored six points from play in the first half, while Roscrea had struck seven from frees. Although some of the frees were very careless, a number were in the very soft category. On the other hand MacDonaghs really had to earn every free.
Roscrea almost got a dream start to the second half. Davin Flynn cut in from the right corner and his shot seemed destined for the top left hand corner of the net. However, David Reddan made a brilliant save to keep the sides level. This scare seemed to galvanise MacDonaghs into action. They reeled off five unanswered points: three frees from Niall O’Meara and one 65, while Conor Cleary also got in on the act with point. MacDonaghs saved a twenty metre free from goalkeeper Daryl Ryan and no sooner was he back in goal than Roscrea were awarded another soft free. To nobody’s surprise the referee moved the ball forward to the twenty metre line. This time Darly Ryan’s attempt squirmed off a defender’s hurley into the net. Roscrea added a point and although MacDonaghs were well in control of the game they were only a point to the good. To their credit they responded magnificently and fired over nine points. Eoin Williams helped himself to three and Niall O’Meara was deadly accurate from placed balls, as the Roscrea defence resorted to fouling. In this period Roscrea could only muster two white flags, one from a free and another from a lineball by Davin Flynn. MacDonaghs were deserving winners and were not flattered by the margin of victory. The defence limited Roscrea to just three points from play, while the forwards took some delightful points. The return of Kieran Cahill for the next match will strengthen the team and lead to a number of positional changes. MacDonaghs won’t be in action again until late October.
Team: David Reddan, Stephen Cleary, Jack Peters, Conor Austin, Tomás Hogan, Éanna Hogan, David Williams, Alan Darcy, Justin Cahill (0-2), Thomas Cleary (0-1), Robert Austin, Niall O’Meara (0-10), Bob Dooley (0-1), Eoin Williams (0-4) and Conor Cleary (0-4). Subs: Aidan Boyle (0-1) and Caoilainn Conroy.
In glorious sunshine the finals of the Parish League were played in MacDonagh Park last Saturday. An absorbing Plate Final went into extra time, with Gory Rangers skippered by Cian Spillane just edging out Kyle on an 8-7 to 8-6 scoreline. In a thrilling League Final Owen Usman led The Ninety Eights to victory against the De Wets captained by Jack Dunne. Only a point separated the sides at the finish, with the score 6-6 to 5-8. After the finals chairman Sean Ward presented the trophies to the winning captains and medals to all the participants.
On last Saturday morning the U6s hosted a blitz involving Portroe and Silvermines. A great time was had by all.
The monthly meeting of the club committee takes place on this Wednesday September 25th at 8.30pm. All members are requested to attend.
The numbers drawn were: 4, 14, 20 and 28. There was no jackpot winner. Next week’s draw will be in Patsy’s Bar and the jackpot will be €7,500.
Sympathy is extended to the Reddan family Ardcroney on the death of Bridget Reddan.