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December 8th 2004

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Aidy wins Canon McMullin trophy

Aidy Wilson is presented with the Canon McMullin trophy by Oliver Plunket in Donegal Town Snooker Club. This competition is the longest running in the history of the club. In the background of the photo is a picture of the Canon. Photo: Jason McGarrigle

The final of the club championship - The Canon McMullin Cup - took place on Tuesday night between James Gallagher and Aidy ‘Double’ Wilson. This was James’s first competition back after a long absence from the game and he didn’t disappoint, steamrolling his way to the final. Unfortunately, he encountered an immovable object in Aidy Wilson , the ‘Master of Doubling’. Aidy was clinical in taking the first two frames but James duly got into gear in the third and cleared the table to make it 2-1.
The fourth frame was a scrappy affair with the scores ‘all aboard’ by the colours. Aidy took the lead and led by 9 points on the blue. James duly potted blue and pink but overscrewed the cue ball to leave himself a very difficult black. In playing what he thought was a shot to nothing his opponent was left with the cue ball tight on the bottom cushion and the black 3/4 ways up the table. Aidy took dead aim and not even an untimely phone call from the Treasurer’s accountant could stop the new club champion from sinking the black to rapturous applause from a captivated audience. Aidy paid tribute to all concerned, especially his gracious opponent. He now finds his name recorded in history alongside some of the club’s greatest players like Packie Hanna,Vincent Granaghan, Sean Boyle and Tom Plunkett. Well done Aidy!
The beaten semi-finalists were Cathal Mulhern and Phelim Brady.
The junior final was won by Colin McKee who was just too strong for his young opponent Sean O’Kennedy. Jackie McMullin, a long time member and friend to the club, generously sponsored the tournament and was on hand to present the cup and beautiful prizes to the winners.

Donegal Town F.C.

It was a case of so near and yet so far for the club’s U-16’s this season. Having lost to St. Catherine’s of Killybegs in a play-off to decide the South Donegal Schoolboys league a number of weeks ago they were also to lose out in two cup finals over the past two weekends.
While, strictly speaking, their recent encounter with Carndonagh F.C. wasn’t a cup final; it was to decide Donegal’s representative to go forward to the nationwide Barry Cup. The lads were entitled to be disappointed at the final whistle, going down 4-2 after a very evenly matched, entertaining game. They went 1-0 down midway through the first half to a cracking strike from Carndonagh but recovered very well to force their way back, getting to 1-1 with an absolutely superb Raymie McGroary free kick from outside the box, which was measured to perfection and squeezed under the crossbar.
Carndonagh went ahead again early in the second half, possibly against the run of play, but Donegal/Killymard fought back and got to level terms when Ryan Early scored from close range following a free kick. Donegal/Killymard couldn’t capitalise on this goal and further goals from Carndonagh killed off their dream of progressing onto the national competition. In what was a very good performance by the Donegal/Killymard boys, Eddie Kane and Christian McGettigan were particularly impressive and Shane Leonard fulfilled his captaincy duties and continued to impress while obviously injured.
Last weekend saw Donegal/Killymard compete in the League Cup final against Eany Celtic at Darney Park, Dunkineely, at Celtic’s impressive new ground. In an afternoon most of the lads would rather forget, Eany ran out 6-2 winners and claimed the cup. Owen Anderson scored both goals for Donegal/Killymard.
The new season has now finished for the U-16s and, on behalf of Donegal F.C. and Killymard Utd, a huge debt of thanks is owed to Marty Byrne, John Stack and Albert Morrow for their continued work with this team. Success is not judged on trophies but on team spirit, commitment and the enjoyment of playing out a season as a group of players - on this basis they were winners one and all.
The senior team have had mixed fortunes over the past couple of weeks. We travelled to Illies Celtic, which turned out to be on the far side of Buncrana, to play in an F.A.I. Junior Cup match. We knew very little of this side before we arrived and, after a couple of wrong turns, we did arrive. Unfortunately 20 minutes of the game had elapsed in the meantime and we were 4-0 down before we started the game. The game finished 6-2 with Darren Kelly and Ringo Cannon scorers on the day. Inishowen football continues to be that little bit stronger than Donegal football and this was borne out that Sunday by the fact that out of six Inishowen teams playing Donegal league teams, all six were won by our northern friends.
Lesson learned, this weekend was back to league action and a top of the table clash with Lifford Celtic at the Hospital Field. While Donegal Town were in Inishowen, Lifford had claimed top spot in Division 1, so to reclaim the lead, a win was essential for Donegal Town.
Donegal duly obliged with a 2-0 win in what was a very strong team performance. Raymie McGroary again punching above his weight put Donegal 1-0 up in the first half after pouncing on a low cross and stabbing the ball home with the outside of his right foot. Raymie was only intended to figure occasionally in his first season in senior football but his performances have made it increasingly difficult for the management team of Peter Donaghy and Rory Dunleavy to leave him out of the first eleven. Donegal continued to defend the lead while at the same time trying to increase it. This they succeeded in doing half way through the second half when Tino Gallagher forced the Lifford goalkeeper into a mistake and rolled the ball home from 25 yards. The club would like to thank Seamus Hanifin in no small way for having a deciding factor in that goal and one can only hope that he keeps up the good work.
It would be unfair to name any of the Donegal Town players specifically as having been better than their colleagues but this level of performance and commitment must be repeated eight times over if we are to achieve our goals for the season.

Donegal Rugby Notes by The Rucker

The Donegal Times. I call them the frustrating times with Donegal suffering a couple of further league defeats in the last two weeks. First up was Randalstown who travelled down to the Holmes. I watched the first 10 minutes of this game from the car park with Laurence McCarroll and we both agreed Donegal were playing excellently. When Laurence asked me who the big fella with the knee bandage was, we suddenly discovered that Randalstown were playing in red and white stripes and we had been looking at the wrong team! Donegal lost this match by 17 points to 7, with their seven points coming in the final five minutes through a fine Shane Gillespie try after good work by Tony Byrne. Chris Mulhern added the conversion.
In the second match, Donegal pounded away at Cookstown for 80 minutes only to lose by seven points to six, with the Donegal scores coming from two penalties by David Murray. A highly controversial score settled this game with the Cookstown player getting over the Donegal line but he was held up. Whilst this was apparent to everyone in the ground except the referee and his guide dog, the score was awarded. Just to get our revenge, we did the team sheet out in braille.
One remarkable achievement from the Randalstown match was the turnout at prop for Donegal by their great stalwart Sean Gillespie who answered the call after a last minute injury to one of the Donegal props.
His son Shane and godson/nephew Niall Gillespie also played on the Donegal side. Sean had a good steady game, giving his opposite prop such a mauling in the scrums that he has been wearing wing mirrors for the past fortnight. Sean himself emerged unscathed, although I understand Rose has been rubbing Wintergreen on him for the past few days. But then I believe she always does give him the odd wee rubdown on a Saturday night.
Such has been the reaction to Sean’s comeback that other old war-horses such as Gregory McGroary and Keith Anderson turned out last Saturday.
We had hoped for a comeback from Victor Kearney but unfortunately he tore a hamstring putting in his gumshield. There are unconfirmed reports that Chris Lowther has been seen circuit training. I trust they remain unconfirmed.
Heartiest congratulations to Donal Byrne who has been selected for the Irish Youths panel. The club takes great pride in this huge achievement and we look forward to reading and recording great deeds about Donal in the weeks and years ahead.

Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club Dinner Dance

Maura O’Callaghan, Michael Doran, Irene O’Callaghan,Emma O’Flaherty, and Maura Mulroe enjoying the Dinner Dance in the Abbey Hotel.

More photos in print edition

It was that time of the year again. The 15th northern regional dinner dance was upon us once more. The hosts this year were Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club, Donegal Town. Months of organising by the hard working committee came to an end, the hotel, band and disco were booked, tickets were sold and spot prizes were gathered. There was nothing left to do only throw on the glad rags and get the party started!
A large turnout was expected and we weren’t disappointed. There were divers from Omagh S.A.C, Sheephaven S.A.C, Strabane S.A.C, Inishowen S.A.C., City of Derry S.A.C., Manorhamilton S.A.C., Sligo S.A.C.,Viking S.A.C. and, of course, our own club, Donegal Bay.
CFT’s newly elected president Don McGlinchey gave his first official speech. Our own D.O. and Regional Diving Officer Malcolm Houston also gave a ‘brief’ speech, all four pages of it!!! Some worthy candidates were presented with certificates from tests just passed, such as nitrox, club diver, diver medic etc.
Spot prizes were given out over the course of the night and the door prize of a weekend away for two to a White hotel was won by the Manorhamilton bossman, Francis Jenkins. We also held a charity raffle for a local organisation called ‘Cill Aoibhinn House’. They provide a respite care service for families around the area. The house is located next door to our clubhouse and they show great patience with us rolling up at all hours of the day and night and turning on the compressor to fill endless tanks! Prizes for the raffle were kindly donated by the following: Wet’n’Wild, Letterkenny; Atlantic Shores, Enniskillen; Great Outdoors, Dublin; Aquaholics, Portstewart; Harbour View Dive Centre, Mullaghmore; Francis Jenkins, Manorhamilton; McGee Pharmacy, Killybegs; Flagship Scuba, Dublin; and Paddy Byrne.
The club would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the sponsors and guests who bought tickets. €700 was raised and this money was donated to the centre and will go towards buying much needed equipment for the residence.
The Beez Kneez started the party and everyone took to the floor jiving and waltzing away - some better than others!!!
Dancing went on into the wee tiny small hours and a great night was had by all. Needless to say, no diving was attempted that Sunday!
Well done to the dinner dance committee: ‘Divin’ Ivan Farrell, Miriam Feely, Brendan Whoriskey and Joan McGrath.

Noel Dillion Premier Division

Missed chances costly for Eany

Eany Celtic 1 St Catherine’s 3

Eany Celtic entertained St Catherine’s in a crunch local derby in Eany Park last Sunday week. It was a great, entertaining game with plenty of goals. Eany were the better team throughout, with the most possession, however, they could not get much past the young St Catherine’s keeper Gerard McHugh, who was in great form. St Catherine’s started brightly when they had a few good chances early on but Gerry McCabe and Matthew Smith failed to capitalize. When Eany settled into the match, they were on top for most of the half. It was end-to-end stuff with both keepers kept very busy. St Catherine’s had some good attacks with Shane Molloy, Peter McGinley and Conor McGinty all denied by Martin Griffin who was also impressive in the Eany goals. Eany attacked again with Seamie Cannon, Mark Ward and Paul McGroarty bringing out the best of McHugh once again in the St Catherine’s goals. However, St Catherine’s were first to break the deadlock on the 40th minute when an unmarked Shane Molloy volleyed to the back of the net after a good cross from Seamie Coleman. Eany went straight up the field but McHugh was on hand with two vital saves from a Michael Mullin header and a shot from Pat McHugh from outside the box. Eany got their well-deserved goal when a well-hit through ball from Cannon found Michael Mullin who hit the top corner to score his first goal of the season. The half time score read one each.
In the second half Eany applied pressure once again when McHugh denied a fine chip from Gavin Maguire and a shot from Paul McGroarty early in the half. Eany had four corners in a row and failed to score after throwing everything at the Fishermen’s defence. Ten minutes into the second half saw the St Catherine’s centre-forward Matthew Smith rise highest in the box to head the ball to the top corner of the Eany net. Eany kept pushing but luck was against them, McHugh having shut up shop for the day.
Then St Catherine’s made a tactical change, which saw Stephen Gildea replace Seamie Coleman on the right wing. The Ardara man wasn’t long on the field till he shot from inside the box to leave Catherines up by two with twenty minutes left. Eany kept playing some good football but it just was not to be their day. Best for Eany were Michael Mullin and Keith Morrow with Gerard McHugh, Shane Molloy and Dan Breslin best for St Catherine’s.
Eany Celtic Martin Griffin, Aidan Kennedy, Eddie Gallagher, Pat McHugh, Brendan Kennedy, Michael Mullin, Keith Morrow, Gavan Maguire, Mark Ward, Seamie Cannon and Paul McGroarty, Subs Damien Kennedy and Brendan McGready. St Catherine’s Gerard McHugh. Shawn Kelly, Johnny McLoone, Daniel Breslin, Conar McGinty, Seamie Coleman, Seanie McGinley, Peter McGinley, Shane Molloy, Gerry McCabe and Matthew Smith. Sub: Stephen Gildea.

Bill Collins on losing side twice in one day

The only thing in Basketball worse than losing a close match is losing two. Bill Collins, as coach of the ladies and bench warmer for the men, lost two competitive matches by a combined score of six points. Both were highly entertaining matches played out in the AVS gym on Saturday last.
Donegal Ladies 50 LYIT 51
As the score suggests this was a nail-biting encounter and a youthful Donegal team can count themselves dreadfully unlucky not to have won. Finola Shannon opened the scoring for the girls as they twice hit a rather static IT side on the fast break. During the opening stages the girl’s movement was exceptional, moving the ball quickly and capitalising on any slight mistake by the students. IT responded by changing their defence and temporarily changing the game, moving into a convincing nine point lead at half time. But for the excellent shooting of Louise Rooney things could have been much worse for Donegal.
The third quarter saw some of the best Basketball played by any Donegal team for a long time, spearheaded by Ciara Buggy Donegal hit twenty four points with Ciara herself contributing ten in a row. The outstanding rebounding of Sarah Harte was another feature of this quarter as she pulled down board after board.
Having got themselves a ten point lead the girls began the fourth quarter quite timidly, handing the initiative back to IT by taking bad options at the offensive end. A big inside move from Sarah Harte followed by a couple of converted free throws from her sister Suzie had Donegal down by one going into the last three minutes. High pressure defence kept the students out for three attacks in a row. In the last minute, still trailing by one Louise Rooney was fouled going to the basket and under enormous pressure kept her nerve to sink both foul shots giving the girls the narrowest of leads. IT responded by calling a time out and when they came back out they went down the court to hit the winning basket. Donegal with fourteen seconds remaining on the clock had a chance to win it but unfortunately it wasn’t to be. Donegal Ladies: Ciara Buggy (14), Suzie Harte (8), Sharon Thompson, Mairead Loughlin, Finola Shannon (6), Louise Rooney (14), Lisa Harte (2), Sarah Harte (6), Emma O’Malley.
Donegal Men 56 LYIT 61
In the absence of Gareth Britton the home team began as slight “Underdogs”, nevertheless they settled into the game quicker than the students, racing into an early lead with some strong inside play from Glen Matthews and Bill Collins. Unfortunately things then went belly up as Letterkenny applied a full court press, forcing turnover after turnover, earning themselves an 18-8 end of first quarter lead in the process.
The second quarter continued in the same vein as the first until Donegal upped their work ethic, fighting their way back into the game through strong defence from Liam Travers, Ted McCafferty, Cookie Meehan and John Kennedy, while Glen Matthews hit nine points. Having trailed at one stage by twenty two the half time lead was inexplicably back down to eleven. Game on.
Paul McHugh and Aidan Gallagher came to life in the second half hitting 23 points between them, unfortunately every time the lead was reduced to four or five IT were able to come back down and hit a big three pointer. Ultimately the big lead IT were gifted in the early stages was too much to overcome as they ran out five point winners.
Donegal: Glen Matthews (20), Bill Collins (2), Paul McHugh (16), Aidan Gallagher (11), Liam Travers (3), John Kennedy (2), William Timoney, Cookie Meehan, Ted McCafferty. Coach Dylan Kennedy
LYIT: Dan Mulholland (21), Adrian Condon (5), Steve Cannon (11), Tony Sharkey (3), Mark Cannon (8), Colm Nibbs (2), Ger Murray (3), Colm Hickey (4).
The ladies team play Killybegs V.S. this Friday at 7.30 in the A.V.S. gym. Your support would be greatly welcome. Underage training is on this Friday the 10th as usual, but will then finish up until after Christmas. All at the club would like to wish Gareth good luck this weekend, enjoy your holidays in Kerry.

The Donegal Times, The Diamond, Donegal Town, Ireland

Tel: +353-74-9722860 Fax: +353-74-9722937