Bank of Ireland U21 Club Football Paddy McLarnon Cup Semi-Final
Gaoth Dobhair 2-8 Carryduff 0-7
By Brendan McTaggart
Gaoth Dobhair exorcised their semi-final ‘demons’ from 12 months ago with a
defeat man Carryduff. The Donegal men had seven points to spare over their Down counterparts, thanks largely to goals in either half from Éamonn Ó Colm that will have went a long way to easing the pain of their 2017 defeat to Watty Graham’s at the same stage. Carryduff battled bravely for the full hour with Gaoth Dobhair only putting the game beyond their reach in injury time.
Coming into the match as underdogs, Carryduff’s task was made even more difficult after 19 minutes when Pierce Laverty saw red for an infringement with Odhrán McFadden and while there was never more than three points between the sides going into injury time, the Donegal men controlled the contest in the second half. Star player and Down panellist James Guinness, scorer of all the Carryduff points in the match, was sent off in injury time eventually signally the end of the Down men’s challenge.
probably produced better
to the Paddy McLarnon decider, a string of wide’s and some tenacious tackling from Carryduff in a physical game played with high intensity kept their slim hopes alive but Gaoth Dobhair were worthy victors. A man of the match performance from Naoise Ó Baoill and strong performances from Michael Carroll and Niall Friel ensures the Donegal kingpins booked their place in the decider. enroute
Carryduff made an encouraging start to the semi-final with Guinness scoring the opening two points of the contest in the first three minutes. Indeed it was almost the dream start with the Carryduff man’s first effort only just going over the bar with Cathal Doherty looking beaten between the sticks for Gaoth Dobhair.
Man of the match, Naoise O The Donegal men were struggling for early fluency, but they hit the ground running after Ó Colm’s first goal in the eighth minute. Carroll and Naoise Ó Baoill creating the chance with Ó Colm’s finish superb, giving Mark Hinds no chance in the Carryduff goals. Incredibly it was the first goal the Down champions had conceded in championship football to get to that stage, but it gave Gaoth Dobhair the advantage and one they kept a
of for the remainder of the game. like
Further scores from Daire Boyle and Gavin McBride increased the Gaoth Dobhair advantage before Carryduff were reduced to 14 men.
Centre half Laverty seeing red for an infringement with Odhrán McFadden in the 19th minute but despite dominating, Gaoth Dobhair couldn’t pull away from the Down men. Two McBride points either side of Guinness’ second free of the match left Gaoth Dobhair three points ahead at the short whistle, 1-4 to 0-4.
Both sides made a scrappy start to the second half with Gaoth Dobhair using Seaghan Ferry and Friel as extra men in their defence. Carryduff moved midfielder Guinness to the edge of the square as an outlet for a long ball and while they stayed in the game, Carryduff couldn’t get any closer than two points to Gaoth Dobhair as the Donegal men controlled the second half. They always seemed to have another gear to go into anytime Carryduff threatened to make a comeback.
The Down men increased the physicality stakes in the second half in an attempt to disrupt the Gaoth Dobhair flow with tackles coming in hard and fast but Tom ‘Beag’ Mac Giolla Easpuig’s men staved off any threat of a Carryduff comeback with measured control.
Guinness remained accurate
ball while Carroll, Friel and McBride all
second half scores to leave Gaoth Dobhair leading by three points going into injury time. Daire Boyle scored the ‘insurance’ point for the Donegal men in the first minute of injury time before James Guinness saw red for an off the ball incident to signal the end of the Carryduff challenge. Ó Colm scored the second goal of the semi-final in the seventh minute of injury time, finishing a
counter attack and adding gloss to
for the Donegal men. score line
Gaoth Dobhair: Cathal Doherty; Ciarán Hughes; Gary McFadden; Ryan Kelly; Conor McCafferty; Niall Friel (0-1); Neasan McBride; Michael Carroll (0-1); Odhrán McFadden-Ferry; Naoise Boyle (0-1); Eamon Colm (2-0); Daire Boyle (0-1); Seaghám Ferry; Gavin McBride (0-4 2 f’s); Ethan Harkin
Subs: Daniel McLaughlin for Ethan Harkin (
Carryduff: Martin Hinds; Donal Og Rooney; Paddy McConnell; Gareth Henderson; Caolan Cunningham; Pierce Laverty; Daniel Guinness; James Guinness (0-7, 6f’s); Joshua
Connnery; Owen McCabe; Daniel McCartan; Conor Rooney; Oisin Convery; Darragh Connolly; Rory Reilly
Subs: Michael Lawson for Daniel McCartan (39 mins); John McGeogh for Rory Reilly (49 mins)
Ref: Eamonn McAuley (Antrim)
Report and photos provided by The Saffron Gael.
Report and photos provided by The Saffron Gael.