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November 24th 2004

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New Senior Kit for Copany Rovers

New senior team kit presented to Copany Rovers from O’Neill’s & TL (Trevor Love) Plastering: William Kerrigan, Chairman; Thomas Given, player; Kieran Kennedy, sponsor and Manager & Director of O’Neill’s sportswear; Francie Johnston, Manager; and William Given, player.

St Nauls come out top in thriller

St Nauls 1-13 Buncrana 2-9

St Nauls are through to the final of the Minor league, after they put in a very impressive display against a strong Buncrana side last Saturday week, in Newtowncunningham. This was a thrilling game - end-to-end stuff the whole way through the match.
Buncrana started brightest when they broke up the field from the throw-in for Christy McDermott to convert a point. Next on the score-sheet was half-back Oisin Doherty putting over a free from 25 metres out. Nauls replied with two well-taken points from Stephen Griffin after good work from Danny McDyre and Colm Gallagher. Colm Gallagher got himself on the score-sheet when a one-two with Griffin resulted in another magnificent point at the end of another good move. Buncrana replied with a goal when a good long ball from Oisin Doherty put Adrian Porter through to rattle the net. Half-forward Darragh Irwin registered his first point of the match when he raced through to score from 21 metres out. Nauls retaliated with a well executed Stephen Griffin free, and points also from the young guns of the squad, Barry Rose and Shane McHugh. Adrian Porter put Buncrana back in front after he pointed from away out the left wing. However, this was not to be for long as the in-form Griffin pointed again after midfielder McDyre was fouled on a big run through the middle. The half-time score read St Nauls 0-7 to Buncrana1-4.
The second half had barely started when Buncrana scored another goal when a mix up in the Nauls defence allowed Adrian Porter in for his second goal of the match. Full forward Christy McDermott scored again with a well-taken point from an acute angle. Nauls hit a purple patch when Griffin hit two more points while the ever-impressive McDyre scored after a good one-two with Damien Kennedy to cap the end of another good move. A long ball from McDyre found Barry Rose whose pass to Damien Kennedy left the Buncrana keeper picking the ball from the back of the net. This was the turning point of the game. Nauls were on top now again but Buncrana kept pressing. An Oisin Doherty free put Buncrana back on track again only for this to be cancelled out by an equally impressive free from Griffin. Nauls went down to 14 men when tempers flared with ten minutes left on the clock. Peter Gallagher was next to score for Buncrana when the halfback made a good run and pointed from 25 metres out. This was nullified again when Griffin and Gallagher combined for Griffin to point once again. Doherty replied again with a free from 21 metres. However, Griffin scored his last point of the match with 5 minutes left on the clock to leave him with a personal tally of nine points. This left St Nauls up by 2 points. Buncrana applied a lot of pressure in the final minutes but the Nauls had shut up shop and Buncrana’s route to goal was blocked. Doherty scored the last point of the match in injury time. Nauls had a point to spare when Seamus Bradley blew the final whistle.
This means that St Nauls are through to the final where they will meet the winners of Glenfin/Ardara. A great team performance from St Nauls with Stephen Griffin and Danny McDyre inspirational for them while Chris Burke, Colm Gallagher, Damien Kennedy and Barry Doherty all had good games. Best for Buncrana were Oisin Doherty, Christy Bell, Adrian Porter, Darragh Irwin and Christy McDermott.

Sean Paul McHugh

Straight from the Harps by Brendan Grufferty

Let me start this week with a word of congratulations and a huge ‘well done’ to the players and management, the board of directors and supporters of Finn Harps Football Club. After the most amazing of seasons, Finn Harps dramatically grabbed the First Division Championship at Finn Park on Saturday night, the memory of which still leaves a lump in my throat and I think it may always do. Ballybofey quite possibly has never ever seen a party like it and certainly not since Harps last lifted their only major honour 30 years ago. The ghosts of that haunting wait for silverware have been well and truly exorcised and banished forever and never in my memory was a championship and silverware so deserved as this season’s storming of the first division. It was a fitting tribute to a club whose dominance in this division has been nothing short of miraculous. I know I’ve referred to this on so many occasions but you just have to look at where we started 12 months ago with that most soul-destroying play-off defeat by Derry City at the Brandywell. That defeat shook the very foundations of the club and the hangover continued through to the start of the season. While the season afforded us a generous get-out clause with a three team promotion, it looked for a long time that this get-out clause might just be our saving grace. Our saving grace transpired to be the resignation of Noel King, and after a period of uncertainty, the Finn Harps Board making a very brave decision in appointing Felix Healy. It’s that one single decision I would most like to congratulate the board on. I’ve never always agreed entirely with the decision-making process at Finn Park but this board works on a voluntary basis and the role requires huge commitment in terms of time and effort. They have steadied the ship under tight budget control, particularly this season, and the return of silverware to the banks of the Finn is as much a credit to their hard work as it is to the unswerving effort of management, players and officials.
I’ve mulled over the writing of this article for the last fortnight since that most amazing and dramatic victory over Kildare County in Newbridge. There was so much passion running through my veins, just so much I had in mind to say, that the words were, and remain, muddled and confused.
And so to that penultimate game of the season at Newbridge. The large travelling support had to wait 87 minutes for Chrissy Breen’s opener, and this was greeted by the most amazing of responses by the Harps faithful, Kevin McHugh sealed the win on 90 minutes, and this resulted in joyous scenes as the supporters took to the field to greet their heroes. While a few of us were removed, we didn’t have to wait long for the final whistle and a return to the field to celebrate the most dramatic of victories and a consolidation at the top of the table, a position we have made our own in the last third of the season.
The week leading up to the final game was one filled with nervous anticipation in what I can only describe as one of the longest weeks I have ever had to endure. While eternal optimism abounded amongst supporters, there was a general call, most notably from Felix Healy himself, to err on the side of caution. Dundalk had enjoyed a sudden upturn in form and had run championship challengers UCD close the week previously, before they had a man sent off and UCD went on to enjoy a 3-1 victory.
And so the stage was set, as Finn Harps went head to head with Dundalk at Finn Park, while UCD took on Kilkenny City at Belfield. Nothing more than victory would do for Harps unless UCD slipped up against Kilkenny City. The fixture saw Harps biggest crowd of the season with some 5,000 turning up. Interestingly, the fixture saw a bigger crowd than the Premier Division decider between returning champions Shelbourne against St Pats in Inchicore the previous night. With this in mind, it is no wonder few would argue Harps are rightfully and justifiably a Premier Division Club enjoying one of the finest supports in the country. The game as a contest was never really in doubt. The atmosphere generated was truly special. The roar which greeted the opener is one I will never ever forget. The first half was not the most entertaining, as could be expected given the magnitude of the game. As has happened on so many occasions this season, Harps made a rip-roaring start to the second half, and, urged on by a vociferous home support, sealed the game with a goal from Kevin McHugh, his 21st of the campaign. He added a second late on to record an impressive home win and ultimately signed, sealed, and delivered that elusive silverware.
The final whistle was greeted by the most memorable scenes witnessed for many a season as supporters took to the field to acclaim the heroes. As I mentioned previously, scenes, which will stick eternally in my mind, and there were times when I actually felt I could well have broken the world record for hugs and handshakes. Each felt more welcomed than the last, for these were the very people I shared highs and lows with over the last few seasons, shared friendships, shared hurt and disappointments, and shared silences. This was the perfect closing scene to what has been the most amazing of journeys, too numerous to recall but each with their own individual emotion attached. It’s a journey I’m very proud to say I have undertaken and a journey I am proud to say I will continue to undertake as a new road dawns, a road well travelled, but not for some time, a road we firmly belong on.
So, I guess the end of the season spells the end of the road for me. I don’t even know what the future holds in store for me, or where I’ll be. I’m very proud to have been afforded the opportunity to pen my thoughts and feelings and I hope I have reached out to the many I have shared my journey with. I’d therefore like to thank the editor of the Donegal Times for my fortnightly slot, which I have for the most part enjoyed.
I’d like to thank everybody associated with Finn Harps Football Club where I have enjoyed countless hours of the very best in entertainment, and it’s a place I’ve been made very welcome by everybody. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the players and management, the board of directors and every single supporter on this season’s achievement. See you all in the Premier Division.

Brendan Grufferty

Murvagh Golf Notes

With a home found for the last two cups of the season, golf competitions return to vouchers for the winter weekend competitions.
The Canon Doherty Cup will winter in Co. Fermanagh, in Lisnarick village, with Dessie Noble. John McIntyre made a return to form with the former captain’s prize winner capturing the Vaughan’s Hotel Cup.
An Phost’s Michael McGarvey followed his colleague John’s example, and won the first winter event, scoring on the double, taking both the Saturday and Sunday prize.
Seven Arches Bar proprietor, Gerry McGirr, took a Saturday prize recently, and Brendan McGurran ‘foot-stepped’ in on Sunday with Albert Hamilton taking higher prizes on both days.
Robert added to his collection on Saturday last and John McIntyre, despite his reduction in handicap, continued the dominance of An Phost in the November competition, being the only competitor to record 36 points.
Results: Fr. T. Doherty Cup. Winner Des Noble (16) 42 pts; Sat. Steve Hynes (12) 38 pts; Sunday 1. C. McAleevey (13) 42 pts; 2. Dave McCann (15) 40 pts BOT; 3. Hugh O’Connor (9) 40pts BOT
Vaughan’s Hotel Cup. Sat: Winner John McIntyre (16) 39 pts; 1. Paddy O’Reilly (25) 36 pts; 2. Terry Irwin (4) 36 pts; Sunday 1. Frank Shovlin (19) 37 pts; 2. Oliver Plunkett (6) 37 pts; 3. Michael McGarvey (12) 36pts; Gross John Neary (2) 35 pts
Sunday 7th Nov: Cat. Winner Michael McGarvey (11) 37 pts; Cat 1. Pat Corry (6) 36 pts; Cat. 2 Aidan O’Doherty (15) 37pts; Cat. 3 Daniel Ward (20) 37 pts. 6th Nov: 1. Michael McGarvey (12) 38 pts; 2. Michael Neary (8) 38 pts. 13th Nov: 1. Gerry McGirr (12) 41 pts; 2. Robert Hamilton (4) 38 pts. 14th Nov: Winner Brendan McGurren (17) 37 pts; Cat. 1. Robert Hamilton (4) 34 pts; Cat. 2. Michael Fox (15) 35 pts; Cat. 3. Daniel Ward (19) 35 pts. Sunday Nov. 21st: Winner John McIntyre (15) 36 pts; Cat. 1. Seamus Faulkner (9) 35 pts BOT; Cat. 2. Diarmuid McGettigan (12) 35 pts; Cat. 3. Liam Mundy (22) 34 pts; Saturday Robert Hamilton (4) 33 pts.
Remember the men’s AGM on Friday Dec. 3rd and the club’s AGM is on Dec. 17th at 8pm.

O’Donnell’s Bar Golf Society
Dylan Devitt reports on the Spanish trip

The O’Donnell’s Bar Golf Society on tour in Spain

Saturday 9th October
As the roar of rally engines filled the air in the town of Donegal, a bus with 31 golfers left for Belfast Airport en-route to Malaga. While on board the plane all golfers were supplied with their pocket money and ‘factor 50’ to protect their snowy white bodies from the sun.
On arrival at our destination, the Hotel Griego Mar, Bunty gave us the results of the Donegal Harvest Rally, “First was your man and second was what do you call him?” Congratulations to John McCafferty on his win. Bryan and a native called Al became close bosom buddies after playing pool with each other in Pepe’s Bar while others had a gay old night at the Amsterdam bar.
Sunday 10th
As there was no Ceefax to annoy us as he regularly does on a Sunday, an early breakfast was the order of the day, John Meehan and James Cassidy were heard discussing a day’s mountaineering until they were reminded that they had only come down off a mountain. They then changed their mind and opted for a quiet game of bingo. Eight others took off to play golf in Torrequebrada, Daniel Ward was the winner on the day despite losing more clubs than balls. The traditional game of cards took place in the evening. Charlie Callaghan intends to extend his house with the winnings. If Sheila was not already busy enough, she will be flat out now.
Monday 11th
Rio Real was the venue for the first official day’s golf. The coach was loaded but on a head count, we were missing two men! One of these was ‘The Birthday Boy’, Francie, of course! The other was Sean, who was not accustomed to the layout of the exits from his room and was disappointed with what the tooth fairy left. An excellent days golfing was had by all with the quote of the day going to Eamon O’Regan “I found it a very easy course but it’s hard to soar like an eagle when you are playing with turkeys”. This from the man with 18 points. One of the shots of the day went to Daniel. After his tee shot came back off a tree, he lay precisely 496 yards from the flag - this on a 446 yard, par 5, hole. The others went to Shane and myself who managed to hit two separate green-keepers on the par 3 third hole.
Tuesday 12th
Most of the party went sightseeing or bargain hunting today. Early bird James had breakfast at ‘The Bailey’ and consumed enough for just about everybody. An eighth of a mile, or was it a furlong away, lazing by the pool, Robert was catching up on lost sleep. The bargain hunter’s quote of the day must go to the two Dannys. “How much did you pay for that, McMenamin?” - “Seven euro” - “You’re some fool, I got two for €15” gloated mathematical genius McBrearty. As the twilight beckoned John got stuck into a Chinese “Oh, what a feed it was!” sizzled his nose. While heading back to the hotel that night Eamon remarked that even the men looked better in jeans over here – roll on Karaoke Night!
Wednesday 13th
Santa Maria was the venue. Local man John McDyer was the favourite for the day and his house of many colours was the main attraction on this picturesque course. Bunty had a very credible 31 points for the day.
After the golf, all who managed to avoid the hat (presented to the worst player of the day) enjoyed the Ireland v Faroe Islands game. On board the bus again, passing through the moonlit sky of Fuengirola, John remarked to James, “Wouldn’t that remind you of Leghowney?”. Later, the mother of all singsongs took place in The Bailey Bar when Paul took a stance like a building supervisor to sing Willie McBride. After Damien in his blue suede shoes celebrated his win by taking centre-stage on the dance floor.
Thursday 14th
Another lazy day beckoned. The planned trip on the cable cars was cancelled due to a forest fire, but the air show, which followed, was most enjoyable. After dinner karoke entertainment in Legends Bar was provided by Bunty, Forty Coats O’Regan and none other than a Mr Campbell, drag queen supreme, no relation of the Ardara man.
Friday 15th
Early start this morning as we headed off to play Santana. Eamon was up bright and early, had a bath, but somehow managed to miss the bus at 8 am as Danny’s watch was not functioning right. On the way to the course James asked John if he had many balls left to which John replied “Yes, I have three - one for the front, one for the back, and one spare in case”. This was probably the best course we played and the scores matched it, with Liam finally getting his hand on the hat. On our return to the hotel Danny tried to purchase a pair of ladies shoes for Nicola but was unsuccessful. In his disappointment he declared that he had decided to stop cross-dressing. Later in the evening we all headed to the Spanish Arch Restaurant in Fuengirola to celebrate Jimmy’s 40th birthday and the launch of his book called ‘The DTs in Spain’. The quote of the day has to go to a famished Charlie Callaghan. When the waitress asked what he would like for dessert, he replied, “Why? Is it coming on the same flight as the steak?” After a few Bloody Marys Jimmy treated everybody to a birthday drink at the bar. Asking Danny if he would like anything in his brandy, he received the reply “Another brandy, please”.
Saturday 16th
After a sleepy journey home to Donegal, Nicola in O’Donnell’s Bar had prepared food for all, which was followed by prize presentations. On behalf of the committee we would like to thank the sponsors of the trip, Nicola O’Donnell, Jimmy Melly, Liam McCrea, John McDyer, Jack McGroarty, Tim Gallagher and John Hanna. Also Neil and Sally of the Red Dragon Golf Bar for organising the golf and we wish their son the best of luck in his football career with Glasgow Rangers. Our thanks to Denise in Kwik Travel for all her help and Kieran Harvey who got us to the airport and home again. On behalf of all who went on the trip we would like to wish Peter Callaghan a speedy recovery as we missed his company in Spain. Congratulations to Darren and Gillian on the birth of their daughter and good luck to Grizzly’s Care Bear Babysitting Service.
We are hoping to make this the first of many golfing trips and plans are now in place for either Thailand or South Africa in the years ahead. On a personal note, I would like to thank everybody on the trip for their excellent company, with so many happy memories and a sincere thank you for the gift, which I am sure Leslie will see the most of.
Results of the Week
Rio Real: 1st Smeagol Cannon, 2nd Daniel Ward, 3rd Danny McBrearty. Last Peter Hughes. Santa Maria: 1st Francis Brogan, 2nd Jimmy Melly, 3rd Martin Furlong, Last Robert Morrow. Santana: 1st Danny McMenamin 2nd Charlie Callaghan, 3rd Dylan Devitt, Last Liam McCrea. Overall Team: 1st Smeagol Cannon, Bryan Crawford, Danny McMenamin, Darren Williamson. Lowest Points of the Week: With a little bit of a sweat from Liam McCrea, it was Darren Williamson took the hat home (Liam ‘Darren only played two days’). Golfer of the Week: Went to our incoming Society Captain, Damien Elvis Wilson.

On Sun 7th November, Laghey man John Ward ran his 5th marathon. He covered the gruelling 26.2 miles in 3 hours and 23 minutes. Not bad for a lad who suffered from asthma growing up!

Donegal Town FC Notes

Donegal Town progressed to the quarter-final of the F.A.I. Junior Cup after a very impressive 2-1 away win to Premier Division high flyers Milford United. This result was particularly impressive considering that the previous week, Cappry Rovers, leaders in the Premier Division, had to rely on penalties to eliminate the town out of the Ulster Junior cup, proof, if any was needed, that we can compete with the best in the county.
The town started very brightly against Milford United, going into the half-time break 2-0 up. Benny Byrne heading in from a beautifully flighted Daniel McGarrigle corner, and Darren Kelly chipped it into the goal with his left foot after some good work by Shane Sweeney. This lead was defended quite comfortably until 15 minutes from time when Milford began exerting some pressure on the Donegal goal and, with ten minutes remaining, they reduced Donegal’s lead. But some great defending, an outstanding save by Dave Murray and possibly a small bit of luck, saw Donegal Town finish as winners and, over the ninety minutes, it was no more than we deserved.
It was back to league action last weekend and a trip to co-leaders in the Milford Inn Division, Castlefinn Celtic. It was crucial in this top of the table clash to avoid defeat so as not to lose ground on one of our main promotion rivals. The game finished 0-0 and while a point before the game would have been desirable, on the balance of play and chances created, Donegal have the right to feel a little disappointed having created five or six good goal scoring opportunities. It was a sound team performance with young Raymie McGroary once again having a superb game along with Darren Kelly and J.P. Byrne.
The top of Division 1 is getting a little congested at the moment with only 6 points separating the top and the eighth placed team, so at the halfway point in the league it’s still all to play for.
This weekend sees the club make the trip to Illies Celtic of Inishowen in the quarter final of the F.A.I. Junior Cup and the chance to progress to the national stages of the cup. Geographically Illies Celtic is almost like Atlantis as no one seems to know where it is but, given that we locate it, a very difficult cup tie lies ahead.

Rory Dunlevy

Donegal Town/Killymard U16 Notes

The under 16 team continued their recent run of good results when they beat Drumbar 2-0 in the cup semi-final on Saturday last, with goals in each half from Kyle Sheridan and David Giblin. The Town now progress to meet Eany Celtic next Saturday week. With Henry Duignan outstanding in goals, Kevin Devanney and Ryan Early solid in defence and David Giblin and Kyle Sheridan causing the Drumbar defence a lot of problems, the Town boys got the goals to take them to the cup final.
This team are also through to the Barry Cup Donegal Final to be played this Saturday at the Hospital Field (kick-off 2p.m.). They beat Drumbar 4-0 in the semi-final of this competition, goals coming from Paddy O’Kennedy, Remie McGroary, Owen Anderson and Ronan O’Shea. With only one defeat in their last nine matches so far, this team is confident they can progress on Saturday to qualify for this competition. Marty, John and Albert would like to thank their players for their commitment and attitude throughout the season and wish Josh Lacey and Robert Timoney speedy recoveries from their recent injuries.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

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