GAA Junior Championship: Na Ross rally to clinch semi-final spot

This play-off at MacCumhaill Park completed the Group stages of the Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure Junior A Championship.

These two teams had finished level at the top of Group A, having drawn when they met, so this play-off would decide which of them would join St.Mary’s Convoy in the semi-finals and who would play Moville in the quarter-finals.

Naomh Conaill led twice in the opening quarter, Leo Dunphy’s free and Oran Doherty from play , Johnny Bonner replied for Na Rossa in between.

After that start Na Rossa had the better of things and Aiden McHugh stepped up with three excellent points in a row , two from play and the other from a mark and Na Rossa led by two , 0-04 to 0-02 .

That could have got better in the 23rd minute when Adrian Sweeney’s pass put Adam McHugh through but his goal effort was brilliantly saved by Paudie Brennan.

Two minutes later we had a goal at the other end . Nathan Byrne contested a high ball and knocked the ball down for Leo Dunphy who hammered it to the corner of the net . That proved to be the last score of the first-half and Naomh Conaill led by a point at the break , 1-02 to 0-04.

Leo Dunphy made it a two pont game again at the start of the second-half but Na Rossa were back on level terms quickly with points from Aiden McHugh,his fourth, and a fine score from Oisín Caulfield , 1-03 to 0-06.

From there Naomh Conaill took control and added three points in a row, Shane McDevitt with two from play and a free from Dara Gallagher to lead by three 1-06 to 0-06. But that proved to be their last score of the game as Leo Dunphy missed a big goal chance and then Na Rossa roared back in the last ten minutes to win the game.

John McDyer kicked two excellent points from play , Aiden McHugh converted a free to level the scores and then in the sixth minute of injury-time kicked a super point off his left foot to clinch the victory and a semi-final spot in the championship.

It finished 0-10 to 1-06 to Na Rossa.

Na Rossa: Aidan McCahill , Denis O’Donnell, Johnny Bonner (0-01), Daniel M Melly, Sean McMonagle , Brian Breslin , Marc Bonner , Oisin Caulfield (0-01),John McDyre (0-02), Ryan Hennessey , Adam McHugh, Matthew Smith , Odhran Molloy , Adrian Sweeney , Aiden McHugh (0-06), Subs ; Shane McGeehin for Johnny Bonner (30mins), John Paul McGready for Sweeney ( h/t), Christain Bonner for Molloy (35mins), Johnny Bonner for O Donnell (50mins), John Paul Breslin for Hennessey ( 55mins).

Naomh Conaill C: Paudie Brennan , Odhran McCallion , Mark Campbell, Stephen Molloy , Conor Roarty, Sean Roarty , Oran Doherty (0-01), Neil F Boyle, Jimmy McHugh , Shane McDevitt (0-02), Keelin McMonagle , Joe Shankey Smith , Leo Dunphy (1-02), Nathan Byrne , Leon Thompson . Subs ; Dara Gallagher (0-01), for McMonagle (40mins), Mark Burke for Thompson (46mins), Joe Kennedy for McHugh ( 50mins), Conor Gildea for Doherty (60mins). Referee; Jimmy White ( Killybegs).

Junior A Championship Quarter-Finals; Naomh Ultan v Naomh Padraig Muff. Naomh Conaill v Moville. Qualified for Semi-Finals; St.Mary’s Convoy and Na Rossa

GAA Junior Championship: Na Ross rally to clinch semi-final spot was last modified: September 17th, 2023 by Staff Writer