Donegal SFC: Ciaran Thompson the hero as Naomh Conaill prevail after shootout drama

Thompson scored 1-5 for Naomh Conaill
Donegal SFC: Ciaran Thompson the hero as Naomh Conaill prevail after shootout drama

Naomh Conaill were crowned Donegal SFC champions after the delayed 2020 final. Picture: Alan Foley

Naomh Conaill 2-7 Kilcar 0-13

(after extra-time. Naomh Conaill won 4-2 on penalties)

The deferred Donegal SFC was finally claimed by Naomh Conaill in a penalty shoot-out with Ciaran Thompson scoring the winner and goalkeeper Stephen McGrath saving from the McHugh brothers Ryan and Mark.

Thompson scored 1-5 for Naomh Conaill but was matched by 0-8 from Patrick McBrearty meant the sides couldn’t be separated.

In these unconventional times, a goal from an unlikely source in the form of Kevin McGettigan in the 57th minute looked to have sealed back to back championships for Naomh Conaill. However, from three down, Patrick McBrearty and Mark McHugh forced extra-time for gutsy Kilcar.

With both teams content to sit in, it was cagey and a Mark McHugh foul on Charlie McGuinness led to a Naomh Conaill penalty on 24 minutes.

In a match of fine margins, Naomh Conaill’s 1-3 to 0-3 advantage was a decent one but Kilcar scored the last three points of the half to go in level. They came courtesy of McBrearty, a Matthew McClean mark and an excellent score from Ryan McHugh, who pinched possession from Ethan O’Donnell right before the interval.

With the teams mirroring one another, Naomh Conaill corner-back McGettigan got in for a point and then a goal. Then, came his goal and even more so than in the first half after Thompson’s penalty, this looked like being the differential. Less than three minutes to play, Naomh Conaill were 2-6 to 0-9 in front, with Eoin Waide having been black-carded.

Kilcar rallied and McBrearty scored a free when he ran right at Gallagher, then Mark McHugh put over a monster effort from the left side. In the first minute of the four signalled for injury time, McBrearty won another free and slotted over the equaliser.

In extra-time, Jason Campbell took over the responsibility of marking McBrearty and Naomh Conaill took every chance that came their way, while Kilcar had four wides until McBrearty’s eighth point made it 0-13 to 2-7 to force the shootout.

Scorers for Naomh Conaill: C Thompson (1-5, 1-0 pen, 2f, 1 '45); K McGettigan (1-1); C McGuinness (0-1).

Scorers for Kilcar: P McBrearty (0-8, 5f); R McHugh, E McHugh, M McClean (mark), M McHugh (free), C McGinley (0-1 each).

NAOMH CONAILL: S McGrath; U Doherty, AJ Gallagher, K McGettigan; E O’Donnell, A Thompson, E McDaid; L McLoone, C Thompson; U Doherty, O Doherty, C Brennan; J Mac Ceallbhuí, C McGuinness, K Gallagher.

Subs: B McDyer for Brennan (38); S Corcoran for U Doherty (48); D Molloy for K Gallagher (53); D O’Donnell for McClean (55); J Campbell for AJ Gallagher (60); N Byrne for C McGuinness (60); J O'Malley for O Doherty (65).

KILCAR: K Campbell; B Shovlin, P Carr, B McGinley; R McShane, R McHugh 0-1, A McClean; E McHugh 0-1, C McGinley 0-1; C Doherty, M McClean 0-1m, S McBrearty; M McHugh 0-1, 1f, P McBrearty 0-6, 3f, O Doogan.

Subs: R O’Donnell for Doogan (46); C Cannon for McGinley (50); C McGill for O’Donnell (56); C MCShane for A McClean (60).

Referee: M Dorrian.

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