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November 14th 2004

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Nauls feel hard done by refereeing decision
Late comeback foiled in injury time

Malin 1-11 St Nauls 1-10

Played in superb conditions in Glenswilly on Sunday 31st October, St Nauls took on the men from Malin in a Division 2 semi final.
St Nauls must have felt hard done by in the end after they had a definite 13m free turned down by Letterkenny referee Mickey Mulhern in injury time, which would have levelled matters to take the game to a replay. Despite missing many first team regulars, St Nauls didn’t go down without a fight but felt harshly treated.
St Nauls were first on the score-sheet when Steven Griffin got into a good position in the first minute and rattled the ball over the bar. Malin then replied with three points in 4 minutes. Their big full-forward Anthony Kelly pointed three well taken frees. Nauls answered when a quickly taken Tom Dunleavy free found young Griffin, who once again fired over from 25 metres out. Malin responded with a well-taken point from half back Damien Ward who made a good run forward. Gavin Maguire cancelled this point out with an equally impressive effort from 30 metres out. Martin Lafferty was the next Malin player on the score-sheet when he pointed from a difficult angle to leave the score 5-3 with just 10 minutes gone. Nauls replied again when Griffin pointed his third of the match after good work from Maguire and Paul Mc Groarty. Malin came back with another free from the ever-accurate Anthony Kelly. Tom Dunleavy was next on the score-sheet when he pointed with the left boot from away out the left wing. Kelly finished the scoring for the first half when he scored his first point from play after good work from his brother Sean to put him through for the score.
The half-time score was Malin 0-7 St Nauls 0-5
In the second half Malin hit a purple patch with an early goal from the big full forward who turned beautifully to fire home from close range. A well-taken score followed this from his brother Sean who pointed after good work from Liam O’Neill. Nauls replied through county trialist Gavin Maguire who put a point sailing over from 45 metres out only to be cancelled out by Martin Lafferty who fired over his second score of the match. Kelly scored his final point of the game to take his tally to 1-6 for the day. Martin Brown also got his name on the score-sheet with just seven minutes left on the clock. At this stage Malin were up by 7 points and looked home and dry. Nauls then took over for the last 8 minutes of the half when Cathal Lowther drove forward to score a fine point from a tight angle. Stephen Griffin scored his final point of the game with another fine score. This took his tally to 0-5 for the match. Paul McGroarty was next on the score-sheet when he won a high ball, turned well and slotted the ball nicely past a stranded Declan Lafferty in the Malin goals. This meant that there were 2 points between the teams. Malin, shell-shocked by the goal, were under a lot of pressure in the closing minutes, as the Nauls never gave in. Next on the score-sheet was veteran defender John Kerrs who pointed form 45 metres out with the outside of his right boot. Things got a little controversial when Stephen Griffin was fouled 13 metres out, in front of the goals, and referee Mickey Mulhern disappointingly waved for play to go on. This was unfortunate for the Nauls who deserved a share of the spoils after all their hard work to get back into the match.
Final score Malin 1-11 St Nauls 1-10
Griffin and Maguire impressed for the Nauls while the Kelly Brothers and Liam O’Neill were best for Malin.
Sean Paul McHugh

Boxing Tournament in Ballintra

Jackie Gallagher and his prize-winning nephew, Justin Gallagher. Justin defeated Owen Boyce, Carrigart.

Ross Gallagher, St John Bosco, receives a blow to the head from Andrew Kerrigan, Ballyshannon, at the Bosco/Naomh Brid Fight night in Ballintra Community Centre Pics by Jason McGarrigle

Demons U14 Rugby

Donegal Demons 25 Coleraine 14

Donegal Demons U14s gave a great account of themselves away at Coleraine RFC to lead at half time, before eventually going down 25 - 14. Once again an injury hit Demons found themselves battling against a much bigger and heavier pack and the Donegal boys showed huge reserves of courage and skill to drive back Coleraine early on. When incredible defence had held up the Coleraine pack on the Donegal line, the Demons stole ball from the resulting five-yard scrum, broke out through the backs and Thomas Scott ran from his own 22 to score a great try. Mark McHugh slotted over the conversion to put Donegal 7 points up.
Then in the space of five minutes, Coleraine’s big number eight twice proved unstoppable - scoring from close in at either corner. Neither try was converted. Within minutes Donegal’s best spell of the match was rewarded with a clever try between the posts. Man of the match Dermot Molloy called a quick ball to the front of the lineout. Dermot perfectly fed the arch try poacher, Rory Boyle, who finished off the move in style.
In the second half the Demons more than held their own until the sheer size and weight of the Coleraine pack finally proved too much. In the last quarter of the game Coleraine ran in three tries to finish off the gallant Demons.
For the Demons there were many plusses: Mark McHugh tackled feverishly and slotted over two fine conversions. Donagh O’Callaghan at full back never put a foot wrong and kicked well under pressure while Danny Ferguson, Seamus Gallagher and Patrick Moss all had excellent matches once again.
These young Demons players are going out against the best sides in Ulster and playing great team rugby to put Donegal youth rugby firmly on the map. New players are always welcome to The Holmes, Donegal Town, Thursdays at 7.20.

Ulster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final
Ardara 1-11 Mayobridge 1-11

Noel Sexton points for Mayobridge as Earley and Doherty fail to block him Pics: Jason McGarrigle

In a very exciting match played at McCumhaill Park, Ballybofey, last Sunday afternoon Ardara slipped up after doing all the hard work, when they allowed Mayobridge a last minute point from Benny Coulter to force the game to a replay.
Ardara started brightly when a good pass from Brendan Boyle found his brother Jonathan unmarked and he slotted over from 30 metres. Next Brendan Boyle ran through all to point from 20 metres. Mayobridge settled into the game and two spectacular points from Robbie Coulter brought them back on level terms. But this wasn’t to last for long. Ardara, who were playing some great football, hit two more points from corner forward Jonathan Boyle, one from a 45 and another from play. Mayobridge were next on the score-sheet after Brendan Coulter and Noel Sexton got their first points of the half. Ardara lifted themselves when Stephen McHugh passed to Jonathan Boyle to score once again keeping Ardara in front. Then Stephen ‘Red’ McHugh pointed and left Ardara up by two. This was cancelled out by a point from the evergreen Mickey Linden and another excellent point from Robbie Coulter, who equalized once again to leave the score six each at half time.
In the second half Mayobridge came out with all guns blazing which kickstarted Ardara back to life again. In the second minute of the half, Mayobridge’s John Quinn latched on to a pass from Noel Sexton to rattle the back of the net. Ardara then hit a good spell, which saw them hit 1-3 without reply. The goal came from good work by Jonathon Boyle who found half-forward Peter McHugh running through unmarked. The ever-accurate Boyle converted another excellently judged 45 to hit his fifth point of the day. Then it was Johnny Herron’s turn to get on the score sheet when the half-back made a great run forward to score at a vital time for Ardara. Mayobridge replied when their half back Darragh Tighe copied Johnny Herron’s style and pointed from 21 meters out. Herron cancelled this out again with another well-taken point. Michael Doherty also scored for Ardara after good work from Damien Diver. Adrian Barry then replied for the Down men to bring the score level once again.
It was end-to-end stuff then before Michael Doherty scored his third point of the match with just minutes to go. Ardara looked like they were going to hold on to their lead after keeper Conor Curran made some good saves. Mayobridge applied a lot of pressure in the closing minutes of the half and got their reward when Benny Coulter scored from 21 meters out. When referee Aidan McAlynn blew the final the score read 1-11 apiece. This means that both teams must do it all again when Ardara make the long journey to Newry next Sunday. Best for Ardara were Diver, the Boyle brothers, J Herron and Kenneth Doherty, while Quinn, the Coulters and Linden were best for Mayobridge.
Sean Paul McHugh

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

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