KILCAR served notice of their Championship ambitions and credentials on Sunday, defeating the reigning Dr Maguire holders, Glenswilly, 0-9 to 0-6 before a huge attendance in Foxhall.
They’ve already won county and All-Ireland Comortas Peile na Gaeltacht titles this summer and are well poised to add the Division 1 League title to the belt, but they’d swap them all to get their paws upon Dr Maguire’s ears down Towney way again.
In Glenswilly, they showed flashes of real purpose and they ought to have been more comfortable victors than the three-point margin they had to spare at the close of play.
Coming from three points down inside fifteen minutes, Kilcar were level by the interval before taking control of things in the second half with Mark McHugh playing a central role from a deep-lying position.
They hit twelve wides and dropped several attempts short of the target, but they were still pretty convincing winners on a day when Glenswilly just couldn’t summons those qualities that took them to an Ulster final last year.
Michael Murphy hit two first-half points, but Kilcar leveled by the break and with Ciaran McGinley, Eoin McHugh and Patrick McBrearty on the mark the south-west men took the win.
Glenswilly scored just one point in a 29-minute spell either side of half-time and Gary McDaid’s team had Keelan McFadden sent off late on for a second bookable offence.
On Saturday night, Colm McFadden scored 2-5 and Christy Toye 1-3 for St Michael’s as they defeated Bundoran 4-10 to 0-6 at The Bridge. Next Sunday Kilcar and St Michael’s clash in Towney.
St Eunan’s demonstrated their worth in the second half away to Malin, where they won 1-17 to 2-6. John Haran was black carded in the second minute and goals from Brendan McLaughlin and Paul McLaughlin gave Malin – who knocked Eunan’s out in the quarter-finals last year – the edge.
However, Maxi Curran’s side came good in the second half, Rory Kavanagh hitting a goal as the Letterkenny side scored 1-10 on the bounce at one stage while Conall Dunne helped himself to seven points.
Naomh Conaill were pushed all the way by senior new boys Naomh Muire on Saturday night, but the Glenties men prevailed in a tense affair 0-12 to 0-10.
Sean MacCumhaills overcame Glenfin in a derby clash at Pairc Taobhoige on Saturday night. MacCumhaills had five points to spare, Brendan Dunleavy’s team winning 0-13 to 0-8 and having the nerveless place-kicking of 19-year-old Stephen Mulligan to thank. Mulligan hit five points including three 45s and added a wonderful sideline kick in the second half.
Four Masters and Ardara served up a thriller in Tir Chonaill Park, the game ending nine points apiece with Ardara, beaten semi-finalists last year, left curse three late wides.
On Saturday night, Brendan McGuire scored a last-gasp point to rescue a draw for 2013 runners-up Killybegs against Gaoth Dobhair at Eamonn Byrne Memorial Park. Christopher Murrin’s goal had the Fishermen ahead 1-3 to 0-3 at the break, but Gaoth Dobhair hit back. Player-manager Kevin Cassidy fisted a goal and it looked to be their evening when Killybegs goalkeeper Michael Mullin was sent off for his part in an off-the-ball incident, but McGuire tied it up right at the end.
At Rosses Park on Sunday, Adrian Sweeney rolled back the years to score eight points as Dungloe overcame Termon 0-11 to 0-8, with those old western rivals, Gaoth Dobhair and Dungloe, set to cross swords in Magheragallon next Sunday.
SEE MONDAY’S DONEGAL NEWS FOR FULL COVERAGE OF ALL THE WEEKEND’S DONEGAL SFC ACTION