Naomh Conaill and Kilcar march on to Donegal SFC final
Reigning champions beat St Eunan’s as Kilcar dump out Gaoth Dobhair in semi-finals
Leo McLoone’s extra-time goal proved key for Naomh Chonaill. Photograph: Evan Logan/Inpho
Reigning Donegal champions Naomh Conaill needed extra-time to see off dogged St Eunan’s to reach a fourth final in a row.
Leo McLoone netted a goal to level the tie up in the second period of extra-time and Ciarán Thompson kicked the match-winning score as Naomh Conaill prevailed 1-10 to 0-12.
Conor O’Donnell, Sean McVeigh and Niall O’Donnell scored three-in-a-row to give St Eunan’s the advantage after the teams were level at 0-8 apiece at the end of normal time.
Naomh Conaill lost full-back AJ Gallagher to a red card late in a low-scoring first half when they teams were also deadlocked, 0-3 to 0-3.
Richard Thornton’s St Eunan’s were on their way to victory when the game was tied up in controversial circumstances as Leo McLoone batted home. The Letterkenny side contested that Shaun Patton, their goalkeeper, had been fouled, but the goal stood.
From way out close to the sideline, Thompson - who has been nursing an injury and was only introduced as a substitute - arched over the winner.
Kilcar defeated Gaoth Dobhair 0-14 to 1-6 on Saturday evening in Letterkenny.
In dreadful conditions, six points from Patrick McBrearty saw Kilcar over the line at the expense of the 2018 Ulster champions.
The sides were deadlocked at 0-6 to 1-3 at half-time, Eamonn Collum bagging the Gaoth Dobhair goal on 14 minutes.
Collum was fed by a superb Eamon McGee pass and he fired under Kevin Campbell.
McBrearty, from a free, and Matthew McClean gave Kilcar the edge at the outset of part to.
When McBrearty angled over a beautiful score with the sheets of rain driving down on O’Donell Park, Kilcar led by three.
McBrearty and Ryan McHugh ended the scoring as Kilcar, the 2017 winners, returned to the final with Gaoth Dobhair’s manager, Mervyn O’Donnell, indicating that he is to step down.