Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 21 January 2018

McLoone proves too hot

A Leo McLoone-inspired Naomh Conaill proved too strong for Killybegs in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.

McLoone had the first point on the board after 10 seconds and by half-time he had added two more as the Glenties men turned around 0-8 to 0-3 ahead.

By then, Killybegs were down to 14 men as Christopher Murrin saw red minutes before the break following an incident with Thomas Donoghue.

Early in the second half Dermot Molloy pointed twice, once from a free, to stretch the Naomh Conaill lead to seven by the 40-minute mark.

Both sides had goal chances, with Leon Thompson, for the winners, and Louis McNern both blazing wide from good positions in the third quarter.

Killybegs were never able to reduce the margin below five points and then, just on the final whistle, Molloy fired home the only goal of the game to leave his side very deserving winners.

Apart from the excellent McLoone, who got the Man of the Match award, Anthony Thompson, Leon Thompson and Molloy all played very well for the winners.

Killybegs, who had suffered a litany of injuries in the lead-up to their first final in 14 years, had no answer, with only David Conwell, Paul McGinley and the Molloys gaining any credit.

For Naomh Conall, it was some consolation for their defeat in last year's final to St Eunan's and manager Cathal Corey will be happy that, this time around, his side performed.

Scorers -- Naomh Conaill: D Molloy 1-4 (0-1f), L McLoone 0-4, L Thompson 0-3, A Thompson, D Gallagher, B McDyre, M Boyle 0-1 each. Killybegs: C Molloy 0-3 (0-3f), K Martin 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1 '45'), L McNern, J Noctor, P McGinley 0-1 each.

Naomh Conaill -- S McGrath; T Donoghue, J Bonner, C Boyle; M Boyle, A Thompson, E Waide; M Regan, J McLoone; B McDyre, L McLoone, D Gallagher; J O'Malley, D Molloy, L Thompson. Subs: S Corcoran for McDyre (47), C Ellis for Waide (58), H McDevitt for Regan, C McNelis for L Thompson (both 59).

Killybegs -- M Mullen; D Conwell, P McGinley, J Noctor; S Boyle, S Molloy, P McGinley; C Murrin, C Tully; L McNern, M Boyle, R Boyle; K Martin, C Molloy, D Breslin. Subs: E Murphy for Peter McGinley (h-t), R McNelis for Mark Boyle (43), Charles Tully for Ciaran Tully (46).

Ref -- S McLaughlin (Malin).

Irish Independent

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