Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s will meet in the Donegal senior football championship final following their weekend semi-final victories over Four Masters and Dungloe respectively.
In yesterday’s rugged tie at Letterkenny, Naomh Conaill reaped the benefits of a man of the match performance from Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy who scored four points in their 0-9 to 0-6 win, stamping his authority impressively on the proceedings.
Four Masters suffered a major blow when Karl Lacey, outstanding for Donegal in their Ulster and All-Ireland triumphs this year, had to retire injured at half-time.
Naomh Conaill, champions two years ago, showed greater power and penetration after the break although Four Masters refused to throw in the towel.
Michael Doherty scored all of Four Masters four first half points but if the team ran out of steam in the second-half, it was understandable.
They were playing their sixth game in 21 days because of the system in Donegal whereby championship matches are two-legged affairs.
However, the fact that so much action has had to be pressed into a short period of time this month could lead the administrators there looking again at this formula.
Exciting youngster Lee McMonagle played a key role in helping new title favourites St Eunan’s to overcome Dungloe in the other semi-final played on Saturday night.
McMonagle was on target from a 23rd minute penalty which helped his side into a 1-3 to 0-2 half-time lead and just when Dungloe showed signs of mounting a revival, he landed a crucial second goal in the 40th minute.
The impressive Mark McGowan pounced for a third goal in the last quarter to effectively snuff out the Dungloe challenge.
Dungloe, who had looked sharp in the championship up until the weekend, found it difficult to make headway against the solid St Eunan’s defence and relied rather too heavily on Adrian Hanlon for scores.
He has gained considerable experience with Donegal in the past but was not in the side that won this year’s Ulster and All-Ireland titles.
However, he showed that he has not lost his scoring touch by landing four points that proved some consolation to a Dungloe side who found St Eunan’s too much to handle.