Donegal final in limbo as CCC discuss Naomh Conaill appeal

The RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta Donegal SFC was in a state of limbo last night as an appeal by Naomh Conaill into the result of Sunday’s semi-final was being discussed by the Competitions’ Control Committee.

The Glenties-based club lost 0-10 to 0-8 on Sunday against holders Glenswilly, whose victory set up a final meeting against neighbours St Eunan’s from Letterkenny, which has been pencilled in for this coming Sunday in Ballybofey.

However, the crux of the Naomh Conaill appeal centres around match referee Jimmy White permitting Glenswilly to replace Ciaran Bonner after he was yellow carded in the first half and then black carded on 58 minutes.

Glenswilly, 0-8 to 0-7 in front when Bonner was black-carded having been adjudged to have blocked off Anthony Thompson, had just a minute beforehand lost captain Caolan Kelly to a straight red card for a late challenge on Stephen Molloy. Glenswilly replaced Bonner with substitute Oisin Crawford. Naomh Conaill levelled the match at 0-8 to 0-8 in the last minute through a Dermot Molloy point before Crawford fired 14-man Glenswilly a point up in injury time.

With Naomh Conaill pushing for an equaliser that would’ve forced extra-time they were caught on the break as Glenswilly full-back Eamonn Ward scored the last point of the afternoon to seal the two-point win.

New rules introduced this year state that any player who receives a yellow and then black card should receive a red card and therefore cannot be replaced. It is understood that referee White has included in his match report that Bonner did receive a yellow card earlier in the match.

Donegal is in a race against time to have a county champion to act as the county’s representative for the Ulster club championship, with a fixture against Roslea Shamrocks from Fermanagh on Sunday, Nov 9.

The Ulster Council last month put that fixture back a week to cater for Donegal in the wake of their senior and minor inter-county teams reaching their respective All-Ireland finals.

Meanwhile, Rory Gallagher is still the front-runner to be put before county committee on Monday night for ratification for the position of Donegal senior team manager.

Gallagher, a native of Belleek, Co Fermanagh, was outgoing manager Jim McGuinness’s No 2 for three years from 2011 to 2013, cumulating in Donegal’s All-Ireland victory of 2012.

The current joint-manager of Kilcar with John McNulty has been the favourite to land the role since making his interest known two weeks ago.

Interviews to succeed McGuinness took place last week and Gallagher was one of four nominations that were made public, with the three others being publicised by the clubs who proposed them, while it was confirmed by the Donegal County Board that they would be keeping all applications ‘confidential.’

The only other names to make their way into the public forum at their own accord were Paddy Carr, who was nominated by Fanad Gaels, Naomh Conaill nominee Cathal Corey and Anthony Harkin, who was put forward by Ardara.

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