Saturday 24 February 2018

Emotional McBrearty revels in Kilcar triumph

Filcar 0-7 Naomh Conaill 0-4

Man of the Match Mark McHugh. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Man of the Match Mark McHugh. Photo: Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Chris McNulty

The winners write the history and a poor final was already forgotten by the time the Kilcar hordes flooded on to the MacCumhaill Park sod.

For the first time in 24 years, they had won the Dr Maguire Cup.

Stadium announcer Fergus McGee called for supporters to remain in the stands, but the call went unheeded as Kilcar, finally, ended their wait after seeing off 13-man Naomh Conaill.

There were just two scores in the entire second-half, but that hardly mattered to the winners.

"We didn't care how we won," Man of the Match Mark McHugh said following a dour victory.

"We're not in the entertainment business. We played well in the semi-final and gave people their show. We had to come here to do a job and we've done that job."

Not since 1993, when Martin McHugh and Co. topped the charts, have Kilcar been kings.

"It's a big monkey off the back for us," their captain Patrick McBrearty said.

McBrearty hit three points in a deadly four-minute spell in the first-half when Kilcar took charge - one of them a beauty from wide on the left, a position that was stacked against a left-footed kicker, even one of his prowess.

The experienced Michael Hegarty got in on the act as Kilcar led 0-6 to 0-3 at half-time .

Naomh Conaill twice drew level through Ciaran Thompson and Dermot Molloy after Mark McHugh and Conor Doherty posted for Kilcar.

It was only after 14 minutes of the second-half that the next score arrived, Eunan Doherty cutting the Naomh Conaill deficit with a neat point off the outside of his right peg.

Kilcar failed to score for 21 minutes after the break, until Ryan McHugh conjured a piece of brilliance to arch over from 45 metres and steady their wobbles.

That score, Kilcar's first in 24 minutes of action, was their only point in the second period, but it was a priceless moment by the Donegal star.

Molloy, already booked, was sent off five minutes for the end when he was yellow carded for a foul on Michael Hegarty. Eoghan McGettigan followed when he caught Mark McHugh high and late in added-time, leaving Naomh Conaill down to 13 men.

Naomh Conaill lacked adventure and ambition for long spells here, and also kicked three long-range wides in the second-half.

Kilcar, beaten finalists last year, were content to do what they had to do.

McBrearty said: "It's been 24 years and we're just delighted to get over the line. Seeing the job out is a dream come true for us. From last year, we just wanted to shut up shop and nullify them."

McBrearty, an All Star nominee this year, was emotional at the end and his voice was quivering as he reflected on the meaning of it all.

He said: "I've been fortunate to win an All-Ireland with Donegal, but to win a county title with my club is right up there."

Last year's one-point loss to Glenswilly was clearly in Kilcar minds as they set about righting some wrongs.

Mark McHugh added: "We feel that we let them down last year. We didn't perform, we froze. We spoke about that hurt beforehand."

With that they were off, 'down the trough' as the natives say, this time with Donegal's most sought-after piece of silverware aboard the bus.

Scorers - Kilcar: P McBrearty 0-3 (2f), C Doherty, R McHugh, M McHugh, M Hegarty 0-1 each

Naomh Conaill: D Mollloy 0-2f, C Thompson, E Doherty 0-1 each

Kilcar: E McGinley; B McGinley, C McShane, P Carr; R McHugh, M Hegarty, B Shovlin; C McGinley, M McHugh; A McClean, C Doherty, M McClean; S McBrearty, E McHugh, P McBrearty. Subs: M Sweeney for A.McClean (50), S Shovlin for Doherty (57), A Carr for M.McClean (60).

Naomh Conaill: S McGrath; J Campbell, U Doherty, AJ Gallagher; E Waide, A Thompson, K McGettigan; L McLoone, C Thompson; B McDyer, M Boyle, E Doherty; D Molloy, E McGettigan, E O'Donnell. Subs: A Thompson for K.McGettigan (15), J O'Malley for U.Doherty (44), J McLoone for E.Doherty (48). C Gallagher for Campbell (53), L Thompson for Boyle (57)

Ref - E McFeely (Convoy).

Irish Independent

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