FROM CHRIS MCNULTY IN BALLYBOFEY
THEY were peering through their fingers at the conclusions, but supporters of Glenswilly and Killybegs wake this morning looking forward to the Donegal SFC final.
By the bare minimum, a one-point win for each, both came through their semi-finals, but Ardara and Malin were surely wondering how they missed the boat.
The final, the first ever Championship meeting of these clubs, will go ahead as planned on Sunday October 20th in Ballybofey.
There had been rumbling of a change after Glenswilly booked their place in the decider on Saturday night.
Michael Murphy is set to captain the Irish International Rules team against Australia the previous evening in Cavan, but the Donegal ace looks set to take only a minimal part in that game ahead of the county final.
Killybegs yesterday overcame Malin in a tense semi-final. The Fishermen overcame the sending off of midfielder Enda Murphy in the first half to win 0-11 to 1-7.
A Matthew Byrne goal early in the second half had Malin ahead briefly, but with Antoine O’Hara making a fine save late on to deny Kieran McColgan, Killybegs advanced on a day when Matthew Smyth and Hugh McFadden stood tall.
“The boys showed a lot of passion today,” said Killybegs manager Martin ‘Slua’ Boyle
“I got a quote that the Dublin footballers used, ‘the team that suffers the most will conquer’, and our lads put in a huge effort there today.”
Conal Molloy and Brendan Faherty returned from New York and Chicago to play – and both will be back for the final.
Molloy said his side simply ‘threw off the shackles’ for the second half. He said: “There was no point holding back. We just went for it.”
In the midst of the celebrations was a man well used to the big stage. Seamus Coleman’s smile was as broad as any as he celebrated his home town booking a place back in the county final, their second time here in four years.
Killybegs were asked the hard questions, but they came through it. McFadden, who hit four majestic points, called it ‘real Killybegs guts’.
Ardara will have nightmares of a shaking upright all winter. Trailing by seven points at one stage to Glenswilly, they staged an inspired comeback and were level briefly late on.
With the final kick of the game, Peter ‘Oliver’ McNelis was the width of the post from earning them a replay.
As it was, Colin Kelly’s first half goal sees Glenswilly, champions in 2011, through to the big day.
But it wasn’t before they were made sweat.
“As we have done in every game so far this year, the boys showed their mental strength and we were able to grind the game out,” said the Glenswilly manager, Gary McDaid.
“This panel of players have been in bad places in years gone. They know what it’s like to lose semi finals. They have had a lot of bad results and now know how to grind out results.”
MOLLOY TO REFEREE
Meanwhile, it was confirmed last night that Noamh Conaill’s Ian Molloy will referee the game. Molloy refereed yesterday’s semi final between Killybegs and Malin.
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