Donegal Sports Star Awards July Review

Sommer Lecky who won a silver medal at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

 

July joy for Donegal’s sporting stars

The Donegal Sports Star Awards July review highlights an array of fantastic successes for the county.

Sunday the 15th of July is a date that Sommer Lecky and the Finn Valley Athletic Club will treasurer forever as a High Jump of 1.90m saw her claim a brilliant silver medal at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Helsinki, Finland.

Also on the global stage Carndonagh man Garett Doherty won two golds and a silver at the Retro Running World Championships in Bologna, Italy. The 40-year-old won gold in both the 800m and 1,500m event while he took silver in the 3,000m in the Master 1 category.

On the last Sunday of July and for the fifth successive year Mark English won the 800m Irish National Athletics Championships title in a time of 1:50.81 at Santry.

At the same championships, there was silver for Letterkenny AC’s Darren McBrearty in the 1500m and bronze for James Kelly in the shot-putt. There was silver for Tirconaill AC’s Geraldine Stewart in the Masters Shot Putt while club colleague Kelly McGrory took silver in the 400m hurdles in Santry.

It was a good month for Darren McBrearty who had earlier won the 800m event at the British Milers Club Meet at Sutcliffe Park, South East London, completing the two laps in a superb time of 1.52.44. And he followed that up by finishing third in the 800m race at the GV Ryan/Irish Milers Club meeting in Irishtown, Dublin.

There was success for another Letterkenny AC member Catriona Jennings who won the Irish Runner 10 Mile in Dublin in a time of 61.21. Lifford Strabane AC’s Brendan O’Donnell broke the Donegal senior hammer record at the North Down Open Athletics Meet Bangor with a throw of  58.71 metres . The 18-year-old beat the previous best of 56.09m. Letterkenny 24/7 Triathlon member Sean McFadden won the Hazlewood Standard event in Sligo in a time of 2.13.21.

On the last weekend of July Bundoran Board Riders Eoin Lally won the U18 European International Skinboard Championship in Santa Cruz, Portugal. Staying in the water the Swilly Seals Club created their own little of bit history as two of their swimmers won medals at the Irish National Swimming Championships.

The club’s first ever national medal came when Cody Dunnion took silver in the 400 Individual Medley and he went onto win three bronze medals as well.

Meanwhile, Molly Nulty became the first female to win a medal for Swilly Seals at the National Championships when she took silver in the 200m Breaststroke

The July GAA highlights came via both the Donegal senior men’s and women’s sides. There was a brilliant personal performance from Michael Murphy which included nine points (five from play) helping Donegal defeat Roscommon 0-20 to 0-13 at Dr. Hyde Park in their second Super 8 Group 2 match to setup a quarter-final decider against Tyrone.

The Ladies matched their male counterparts as Geraldine McLaughlin scored eight points to help Donegal reach the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland Football Championship after a 1-13 to 3-6 win over Kerry at Dr Hyde Park meaning that the Ulster champions would avoid a clash with reigning champions Dublin in the last eight.

It was a month to remember for Letterkenny teenager Dylan Browne McMonagle and it started on the first day of July as he kept on track for the All Ireland Jockey’s title at Abbeyfeale in Limerick with two more winners.

The following weekend, over two days Browne McMonagle recorded the 100th winner of his career in Shanahoe Co Laois. It all started on the Saturday in Ramelton where he had four winners aboard Four Stone Of Lead, Five Stone Of Lead, Let Him Go and Athea Jade taking him to 98 wins. Then on the Sunday in the Midlands venue of Shanahoe, Dylan recorded winner 99 on Waratah before reaching the century on Omega and he completed a treble by taking Half Price home first. Browne McMonagle followed that up with a long trip to Broadford Co Limerick and rode four winners’.

On the last Sunday of July, history was made at the Big Isle race meeting in Manorcunningham as Dylan rode eight winners. He was crowned champion jockey on the day and was presented with the the Tom McLaughlin Memorial Trophy.

Ballyare lad Oisin Orr won the feature race, the EOS IT Solutions Handicap, at Dundalk on Alfredo Arcano.  Orr was riding for Royal Ascot-winning trainer David Marnane.

Over at Newbury in the UK, Trentagh jockey Harley was a winner on Alan King’s Outofthequestion in the Parkway Shopping Handicap. It took Harley’s total to 53 winners for the year. It was a successful month for Harley as he also won at Wolverhampton riding the 15/2 shot Laubali to first place for trainer David O’Meara.

And the Trentagh jockey followed that up in Nottingham by being first across the line on the Alan King-trained Seaborough in the Best Racing Odds On Smarkets Handicap. The following day the Trentagh native had wins at Linfield and Sandown for Alan. Harley took victory in the Oilfield Offshofdre Underwriting Handicap at Lingfield on King’s Giving Glances and then in the evening at Sundown, he was first across line on Just In Time.

In soccer Milford woman Amber Barrett grabbed one of the goals as Peamount United advanced to the final of the Continental Tyres WNL League Cup.

On the last weekend of July the Gallaghers brothers from Glenswilly both won Ulster Youth Cycling Championship titles in Portadown. Cathal was first across the line in the U16 TT and Road Race while younger sibling Conor took the U14 TT and Road Race gold.

In the first two Sundays of the month the Donegal Derry Vipers had a big 53-6 win over the Galway Warriors at the Limavady Rugby Club grounds while it was a bit closer in overcoming the Antrim Jets 14–3 at Colaiste Ailgh in Letterkenny.

But the Vipers’ missed out on a place in the IAFL final after losing 24-8 to the West Dublin Rhinos in Limavady.

On the first Tuesday of July, Chloe and Sam Magee suffered defeat at the Indonesian Open going down 2-0 (21-12 21-14) to the sixth seeds, Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen from Denmark.

Then on the end July Sam and Chloe Magee secured their place in the second round of the BWF World Championships in China.

The Raphoe siblings defeated Norwegian pair Fredrik Kristensen and Solvar Flaten Jørgensen 21-13 21-8 at the Olympic Sports Centre in Nanjing.

In boxing on the last Friday of July, Jessica Clarke of Carndonagh ABC suffered defeat in the National U18 51kgs final against Immaculata, Belfast’s Caitlin Fryers at the National Stadium in Dublin on a 4-1 decision. On Sunday the 1st of July St. Johnston created a bit of a shock by defeating league leaders Killyclooney.

On the GAA front the Donegal Masters unbeaten run came to an end when losing 1-13 to 0-13 to Cavan in the All-Ireland Championship away in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan.

Val Murray’s men had won all four league fixtures prior to the Cavan trip. Ryan McHugh was named Ulster GAA Writers Award winner for July after helping Donegal win the Ulster Championship title. He scored a crucial first half goal in the win over Fermanagh in Clones.

On the motorbikes were Kilmacrennan brothers Rhys and Caolán Irwin who were on Scotland’s’ Knockhill circuit for the first time. Rhys finished the weekend with his best result of the season in the Moto3 class while Caolán had a top ten finish in Superstock 600. Another Kilmacrennan lad Richard Kerr was happy with his weekend at Knockhill in the fifth round of the Dickies Supersport Championship that runs alongside the British Superbike Championship (BSB).

After the16 lapper Richard finished in 18th position. In the second race Richard finished in 14th position overall and 12th in his class and overall he picked up four championship points.

In the last week of July there was good news for Letterkenny native Joe Dunleavy who was named in the Ulster Rugby Academy squad for the new season. It will be the second year in the academy for Dunleavy, who impressed for Ireland at the World U20 Rugby Championship in France. The 19-year-old flanker plays with Malone in Belfast having played underage with his local Letterkenny Rugby Club.

It was a very good July for Finn Harps. It started with a late winner from sub John O’Flynn which moved Ollie Horgan’s side up to fourth in the League of Ireland First Division table after an excellent 1-0 away win at Drogheda United.

A week later Oluwatunmise ‘Timmie’ Sobowale scored on his debut as Harps moved into third spot thanks to a fine 3-0 win over Longford Town at Finn Park. Nathan Boyle had got the opener just before the break and Mikey Place doubled the advantage from the penalty-spot. Then Horgan’ men had to settle for a 0-0 in Ballybofey against fellow promotion contenders Shelbourne and on the last Saturday of the month a Mikey Place penalty gave Harps all three points in a 1-0  over Cobh Ramblers at St. Colman’s Park, moving Ollie Horgan’s side into joint second place with Drogheda United and boosting their ambitions of a place in the promotion play-offs.

Greencastle’s Roma McLaughlin was one of the nominees for the Continental Tyres Women’s National League Player of the Month award. The Shelbourne midfielder’s performances had helped the team to stay in contention for the league title.

In the middle of July, Donegal Town lad Jack Keaney scored the first goal as Sligo Rovers secured a much needed 3-0 away win over Bohemians in the League of Ireland Premier Division.

There was disappointment for the Donegal Women’s U17 team who lost 5-2 to Athone Town at Dry Arch Park in their debut game in the brand new National League.

Glenties girl Amy Boyle-Carr was a member of the Republic of Ireland Women’s U19 squad that played two friendly games drawing against a Northern Ireland selection and losing 2-0 against an England representative side during a training camp in the UK.

For further information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to donegalsportsstarawards.ie, Facebook on Donegalsport Starawards and twitter @DLSportStars

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Donegal Sports Star Awards March Review

Mona McSharry who broke another Irish record in the 50m breastroke at the Edinburgh International Meeting in a time of 30.87 seconds

 

Memorable March for Donegal Sport

The Donegal Sports Star Awards March review reveals an impressive array of successes for the county at home and abroad. Once again Ballyshannon Marlins Swimming Club member Mona McSharry hit the headlines after setting another Irish record in the 50m breastroke at the Edinburgh International Meeting in a time of 30.87 seconds.

Also abroad on the last day of March Jason Quigley made a winning return to the ring in Boston by stopping Daniel Rosario in the sixth round.

Also in the ring at national level Letterkenny IT student Matthew McCole took gold in the Elite 64kg category on a unanimous decision at the Irish Third Level Boxing Championships Finals defeating Sean Gallagher from Trinity College Dublin.

Another LYIT student Danny Boyle took the Senior Novice 75kg title by overcoming Waterford IT’s Paul Fitzgibbon inside the distance. Dylan Browne-McMonagle and Paddy McShane members of Letterkenny ABC took Irish juvenile boxing titles at the National Stadium in Dublin. McShane was successful in the Boy 4 category. Browne-McMonagle who was also a winner in Boy 4 is a talented sports boy having also excelled as a jockey over the past couple of years.

It was a good month for two Donegal rally crews. First Declan Boyle and co-driver James O’Reilly made the perfect start to the season by winning the opening round of the National Rally Championship in Mayo. Boyle and O’Reilly led the nine stage Mayo Rally from start to finish. Just a week later Donagh Kelly won the West Cork Rally for a fifth successive year. Kelly and his co-driver Conor Foley also led from start to finish.

There was a big boost men’s rugby in Donegal as Letterkenny lad Joe Dunleavy turned in an impressive performance on his Irish U20 debut in a super Six Nations Championship 30-25 win over Scotland at Donnybrook. A week later Dunleavy made his second international appearance but it ended in defeat at the Irish U20s lost to England at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

March was also good for the LYIT as their ladies basketball team won the Division 2 national final thanks to a narrow 94-92 win over Griffith College at Inchicore in Dublin. And the LYIT Ladies soccer side won the national O’Regan Intervarsities Shield title after a 2-0 win over the Garda College in Limerick. Player of the Match Zoe Green and Zoe McGlynn were the goalscorers.

Carndonagh C.S. pupil Erin Fildara and Kerry Brown from Moville C.S. both came on as second half subs for the Republic of Ireland U15 Schools side that the retained the international John Read Trophy thanks to a 3-0 win over England. Fildara got the third goal to make sure of the title.

In the middle of the month Moville Community School won the FAI Junior Girls National Cup Final by overcoming Galway’s Coaliste Bhaile Chlair (Claregalway) 2-1 in the decider.

In athletics Letterkenny AC’s Nakita Burke’s phenomenal improvement continued in Belfast in the Deep River Rock Queen’s 5k. Nakita earned a new PB of almost 20 seconds and her first sub 17 minute 5k in an excellent time of 16.45. She was the second woman with only Newcastle and District AC’s Kerry O’Flaherty ahead of her.

There was disappointment for Glenfin lad Odhran McGlynn who suffered defeat in the U17 All-Ireland Final.

Four Inishowen men were medal winners at the World Tug of War Championships in China. Carn’s Gerard Porter won double gold in the 560kgs category for his club St. Pat’s Louth and Ireland.

Another St. Pat’s member Shaun Doherty from Clonmany also won gold in the 680kg category. There was bronze for Doherty and two other Clonmany men Dan Harkin and Andrew McGonigle in the 680kg category.

On the last Sunday in March the Donegal/Derry Vipers got their American Football season off to a winning start away to Westmeath Minotaurs on a final score of 22-7.

The Mulroy Hoops U14 Boys Basketball team won the NWB U14 League Play-off title defeating Belfast Star in Ray. It was a good month for the Mulroy Hoops Club as their U14 Girls side reached the NWB League Final for the first time ever.

In Cue Sports, Northwest Snooker Club Letterkenny members Sean Devenney and Johnny Connors won the NSASA Eamonn Casson Memorial Cup at the AOH Club in Derry by overcoming the CYMS pair of Phelim McClafferty and Gareth Kirwin.

Four Donegal players the Hegarty sisters Ciara and Niamh along with Yvonne Bonner and Karen Guthrie were members of the 2016 and 2017 TG4 Ladies Football All-Stars who played in Bangkok over the St. Patrick’s weekend.

On the last day of March and despite defeat in a high scoring clash with Mayo in Swinford (5-14 to 4-12) the Donegal senior ladies side were still in with a chance of making the semi-final stages of the National Football League Division.

A week earlier the side managed by Maxi Curran Damian Devaney kept themsleves in the frame for the knockout stages after a massive 20-point win over a very disappointing Kerry side in Ballybofey (6-11 to 0-9). There were two goals each for Yvonne Bonner and Ciara Grant while Karen Guthrie and Sarah Jane McDonald also found the back of the net.

There was bitter disappointment for St. Eunan’s College who lost out by a single point to Holy Trinity, Cookstown in the McLarnon Cup replay at Celtic Park in Derry after extra-time (2-8 to 0-13).

And it was a similar story for Coaliste Ailigh, Letterkenny who lost 2-14 to 4-9 to St. Cuan’s Castleblaney Coolooney, Sligo in their first ever All-Ireland Final appearance.

The Donegal U17s had an easy 2-17 to 1-9 victory over Fermanagh in the Ulster League at McCumhaill Park.

And the Donegal U16s were comfortable winners over Down in Saval in their opening Buncrana Cup game (0-22 to 2-3).

The reality of Division 2 football won’t really hit home till early next year but that’s where Donegal will be after being relegated at McCumhaill Park when

Mayo came from three points down to secure their place in the top flight for the 21st successive year (0-13 each). Saturday 10th March.

Earlier in the month Declan Bonner’s men suffered defeats against Tyrone 2-13 to 1-10 at Healy Park in Omagh and went down by six points against Monaghan in Clones (1-16 to 1-10).

In hurling two Declan Coulter goals helped gave the Donegal senior hurlers a 2-17 to 1-17 win over Armagh at the Athletic Grounds to secure Mickey McCann’s side a place in Division 2B for a second successive year. It was the first time that Donegal has managed to achieve that objective.

On the first Saturday in March, Seamus Coleman made his 250th club appearance for Everton but it ended in a 2-1 defeat to Burnley.

A spectacular late Carl McHugh strike helped his side Motherwell to secure a 2-1 win over Hearts in a Scottish FA Cup quarter-final tie.

March was good for Donegal lads Conor Blaney, Timmy Govorov and Jason Quinn who were members of the IT Sligo squad that won the CFAI Plate Final by overcoming GMIT Galway 3-1.

And the same trio were members of the IT Sligo squad that defeated Limerick IT 2-1 in the Intervarsities Division 1 Final in Limerick.

Finn Harps finally kicked off their new League of Ireland First Division season with a 1-1 draw against Shelbourne in Ballybofey. Harps followed that up on the Monday night with a narrow 4-3 win in the end against the Mayo League in the EA Sports Cup. Ollie Horgan’s men had led 4-0 until the hour mark.

On St. Patrick’s evening late goals from John O’Flynn and Ciaran O’Connor gave Harps an excellent 2-0 win over Cobh Ramblers at St. Patrick’s Park.

Two controversial calls by referee Robert Harvey were the defining moments as Ollie Horgan’s side lost for the first time this season away to Drogheda Utd. The two decisions came in the opening half-hour of the rescheduled First Division fixture that ended 2-0 in favour of the hosts. Despite having long spells of domination Harps had to settle for a share of the spoils away to Athlone Town (1-1) who managed their first point of the SSE Airtricity League Division One campaign after losing their opening four games of the campaign.

The Letterkenny Rovers U15s booked their place in the semi-finals of the SFAI National Cup after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out victory over Crumlin Utd at Leckview Park. The chances of Letterkenny Rovers making the FAI Intermediate Cup Final for the second time in three years were dealt a big blow at Leckview Park as Eamonn McConigley’s side were held to a draw by Dublin outfit Firhouse Clover.

Letterkenny 24/7s John Conaghan was first in he M55-59 category in the Tri122 Lanzarote International

In Secondary Schools sport Carndonagh Community School won their first ever Ulster Markey Cup title getting the better of St. Columba’s College Stranorlar in an all Donegal final at the O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny (3-8 to 1-10).

Donegal Sports Star Awards January review

 

Magical month for martial arts

The Donegal Sports Star Awards January review reveals super start to the new year for the county at national and international level. It was an especially good month for martial arts where the three men won gold medals at the European Jiu Jitsu Games in Lisbon.

Two Carrigart men got on to the podium with Paul McHugh and Liam McBride winning gold medals in the novice section.

Convoy’s TJ McMenamin claimed a gold in the Blue Belt Masters Division in Portugal while Emma Dolan from the Three Rivers Shotokan Club was a brilliant second at the Ishoj Karate Cup in Copenhagen.

 Danny Ryan continued where he left off last year winning two gold medals at the Irish Indoor Rowing Championships at the UL Sports Arena on the University of Limerick campus. The former Irish boxing champion was first in the 2 km 40-49 age-group and then won the 500m Open Men category. And Ryan also achieved a new Irish record in the 40-49 age category in the 500m event.

January was also good for darts with Buncrana man Sean Wilson winning the Irish National Organisation’s singles title. He defeated Michael Meeney of Kilkenny 3-2 in the final and Sean qualified to play in the British Darts Organisation tournament, the Winmau World Masters and also the Lakeside World Championship Qualifiers.

There was also a big snooker success for the CYMS Letterkenny team who were crowned All-Ireland champions. The team included Gareth Kirwan, Phelim McClafferty, Adrian McFadden, Chris Dolan and Chris Gibbons.

Motorsport crew Manus Kelly and Donal Barrett will forever remember Friday the 26th of January when they were crowned Overall winners at the Donegal Sports Star Awards after their superb success in retaining the Donegal International Rally event last June.

Kilmacrennan’s Richard Kerr won the ‘Young Rider of the Year’ at the Motorbike Awards in Bangor. The awards recognize the achievements of Ireland’s top riders at home and abroad.  Kerr also confirmed that he will switch to the Dickies British Supersport class for the new motorcycling season and will ride on the Campbell Motor Sport Triumph Daytona 675R. The 17-year-old had been competing in the MotoStar British Championship Moto 3 class over the past three years.

For the second successive year Mulroy College Milford were crowned All-Ireland Senior ‘B’ Girls champions after a great 2-0 win against Cork side Midleton at the Home Farm grounds in Dublin. Laura Dugera was the star of the show as her two goals secured the title for Maria Ryan’s side. There was big news for young Letterkenny lad Shane Blaney who made the move from Finn Harps to Doncaster Rovers.

Staying with soccer St. Johnston’s Tyler Toland played the full game as the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team defeated Portugal 3-1 in an international friendly. Greencastle’s Roma McLaughlin came on as a late sub while also in the Irish squad were Milford’s Amber Barrett and Amy Boyle-Carr from Glenties. Toland and Barrett had both played on the previous Thursday when the ROI women lost 1-0.

Then after returning home from Portugal McLaughlin was named ‘Player of the Tournament’ as IT Carlow won their third successive CUFL Women’s Futsal Cup at the WIT Arena. McLaughlin fired home four goals in the three games on the way to Carlow lifting the national title.

January was good for Trentagh jockey Martin Harley who had winners on Author’s Dream at the Betway Stayers Handicap at Lingfield and then at Kempton Park on the 11/2 backed Thaqaffa in the 32Red Casino Handicap.

In athletics the good form of Letterkenny AC’s Karol Duggan continued as he finished 20th at the IAAF Antrim International Cross-Country Championships. Meanwhile, two other young LAC athletes Matthew Johnston and Donal Farren were members of the Ulster U20 team in Antrim while Glenswilly lad Sean McGinley, a member of the Derry Olympian Club was on the province’s U17 team. And Donegal representation was completed by Teresa McDaid of LAC who was manager of the Irish team while Finn Valley’s Neil Martin was in the charge of the U17s.

Farren and McGinley were also selected to run for the Ulster and Northern Ireland team at the UK Inter-Counties Cross-Country Championships, which take place at Loughborough in March. Letterkenny AC’s Fionnuala Diver was second in the O35 category and the LAC men’s team took gold at the Northern Ireland and Ulster Cross-Country Championships in Belfast. Letterkenny AC’s Ann-Marie McGlynn won the five mile Raheny 5 in a time of 26.44.

At the start of January there was big news for Finn Valley AC athletes Sommer Lecky and Dempsey McGuigan who were both included in the Northern Ireland team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which takes place on the Gold Coast in Australia from April 4th to 15th.

Dempsey and his brother Fellan were at different venues at Collegiate meetings in the USA during the month throwing the heavy hammer. Dempsey was in action with the 16lb ball and reached out to over 20m at Vanderbilt meet in Nashville and the throw was close to his PB and Donegal best. It also moved him to 17th in the collegiate rankings in the USA. Meanwhile, Fellas McGuigan was out over 15m with his throw.

Raphoe badminton player Rachael Darragh was also included in the Northern Ireland team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

In basketball there was disappointment for St. Eunan’s College who suffered defeat 44-32 to Colaiste Chiarain from Kildare in the All-Ireland U16 Schools Basketball Final in Dublin.

Letterkenny boxer Stephen McMonagle was also included on the Northern Ireland boxing team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Super-Heavyweight division.

Staying in the ring Dungloe’s Matthew McCole secured a place in the Light-Welterweight Final at the National U22 Championships in Dublin after defeating Aaron Daly from Castlebar on a split decision to move into the decider. Near the end of January Labhaoise Clarke just missed out on a 10th All-Ireland title after losing on a split decision to Shauna Blaney at Dublin’s National Stadium.

There was great news for two young St Johnston players Scott Macbeth and Harry Pearson who were included on an Ireland U13 squad for Cricket Ireland’s Cubs Winter Training Programme.

At the start of the month Declan Bonner’s first competitive game of his second spell as Donegal senior football team manager got off to an easy start with a 2-15 to 0-6 win over Queen’s University Belfast in Ballybofey in the McKenna Cup opener.

But, a week later ex-Donegal manager Rory Gallagher had satisfaction of putting one over on his former team in Ballybofey as his Fermanagh side defeated the hosts 1-13 to 1-10 in the second McKenna Cup group game.

In the final group game the return of Kilcar men Ryan McHugh and Paddy McBrearty helped Donegal book a place in the McKenna Cup semi-finals thanks to a 10-point win over Monaghan in Clones (4-19 to 0-19).

Bonner’s men then had a comfortable seven-point win over Armagh in the Dr. McKenna Cup semi-final in Celtic Park, Derry thanks to a strong second half performance with Paddy McBrearty scoring eight-points (0-20 to 1-10).

14-men Donegal went down by just a single point to Kerry in an NFL Division 1 opener in Killarney (2-18 to 3-14). Bonner’s side who played from the 20th minute with 14 players following the straight red card received by Nathan Mullins led by a point in the dying minutes but the hosts came back to snatch victory.

Naomh Colmcille hopes of a big day out at Croke Park were dashed by Cork side Knocknagree who had a 2-9 to 0-7 win over the Newtowncunningham outfit in the All-Ireland Junior Football semi-final.

On the last Sunday in January and despite a pretty encouraging performance the Donegal Ladies suffered a four-point (2-5 to 0-7) defeat to All-Ireland champions Dublin at the O’Donnell Park in their opening National Football League Division 1 game.

On the first day of January and for the second successive year Raphoe Hockey Club suffered defeat in the Linden Cup Final this time losing out 5-0 to Bangor in Belfast.  Setanta’s brilliant run in the All-Ireland series came to an end when the Killygordon outfit lost 4-12 to 0-13 to Ardmore from Waterford in the semi-final in Navan. Letterkenny lad Joe Dunleavy was named for the first time in the Ireland U-20 squad for the international Six Nations Championship.

It was a memorable month for Ramelton’s Catherine Grier who played her part as the Irish Deaf Sports Futsal team secured qualification for the European Finals in Finland after a 6-2 win over Italy in the Netherlands.

Swilly Rovers midfielder Grier played a key role and scored in opening 3-3 draw with hosts Holland. The Mulroy College Milford student’s performance earned her the Player of the Match accolade award. However, Grier’s participation in the weekend qualifiers was then cut short after sustaining an ankle injury in the game against Germany on Saturday morning.

Seamus Coleman returned to competitive action with the Everton U23s, ten months after suffering a terrible double leg fracture. The Killybegs native played just short of an hour as the Toffees defeated Portsmouth in the Premier League Cup.

On the last Friday of January Carndonagh CS won the Ulster Senior Schools title for the third-year in a row after defeating St. Columba’s College Stranorlar 1-0 in Traighalough thanks to a second half Corey McBride goal.

The Scoil Mhurie Buncrana U15 girls clinched the FAI Schools Minor Ulster Cup title after a 4-1 victory over Carndonagh C.S.

And Moville Community School secured their place in the All-Ireland Schools Senior Soccer Final after a 3-2 win over Enniscorthy’s Coalise Bride.

In secondary schools GAA, St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny reached the semi-finals of the Ulster McLarnon Cup after an easy 1-16 to 1-4 win over Loreto College, Colraine in Owenbeg.

Donegal County Council Sports Bursary Awards 2017 / 2018

Ballyshannon Swimmer Anna Mc Caffrey pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Donegal County Council presented the 2017 / 2018 Sports Bursary Awards at a special event in the County House Lifford on Friday last (16 Feb).

Bursaries are awarded in respect of all sports recognised by Sport Ireland and overseen by a national governing body and individuals born or living in County Donegal are eligible for consideration under the following categories:

Category 1 – Olympic / World Class / International.

Category 2 – Developmental.

Category 3 – Veteran.

 

Burtonport Shot Putter Bridget Mc Dyer pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Speaking at the presentation of these awards Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle congratulated all those who were successful in their applications for a Sports Bursary from Donegal County Council saying “I am delighted to be here this evening to present these awards which will go some way to supporting these young people in their quest to compete at the highest levels in their sport.”

“Sport has a special place in life in Donegal and it is only fitting that Donegal County Council makes available this Sports Bursary Award Scheme to enable all of these sports people to continue on their sporting journey.  I wish each of you every success in the future”.

Crolly Cyclist Dylan Patrick Traynor pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Arranmore Island Tri-Athlete John Connaghan pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Crolly Athlete Fionnula Diver pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

New Mills Athlete Martin O’ Donnell pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

New Mills Athlete Karol Duggan pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Ballybofey Handball player Avril Mc Namee pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Ballyshannon Swimmer Cian Rooney pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Ballyshannon Swimmer Cora Rooney pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Crossroads Sprinter Danny Browne pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Letterkenny Middle Distance Runner Darren Mc Brearty pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Buncrana Boxer Darryl Moran pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Castlefin Karate exponent Elaine Dullaghan pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Gaoth Dobhair Athlete Fudhla Nic Phaidin pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Buncrana Boxer John Moran pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Killygordon Athlete Lauren Callaghan pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Mountcharles Cyclist Oisin Doherty pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Kilmacrennan Motorcyclist Richard Kerr pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Ramelton 400m Runner Shane Irwin pictured receiving his Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Clonmany Cyclist William Callaghan pictured receiving her Sports Bursary Award from Cllr. Gerry Mc Monagle, Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council. Included in the picture is Liam Ward, Director of Community Enterprise & Planning, Donegal County Council

Official unveiling and blessing of new Fire Engine for Milford Fire Brigade

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Gerry McMonagle, with Minister for State Mr. Joe McHugh TD, Senator Padraig MacLochlainn, Chief Executive Seamus Neely, elected members Cllr. Liam Blaney, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cllr. Michael McBride and Cllr, Ian McGarvey, Chief Fire Officer Joseph McTaggart, Director of Service Garry Martin, Donegal Fire Service personnel including Station Officer Eugene McCafferty along with fire fighters and retired fire fighters from the Milford Fire Brigade and Fr. Rory Brady and Rev Jonathon McCollum at the unveiling and blessing of the new Fire Engine at Milford Fire Station on Friday morning.

The official unveiling and blessing of the new Fire Engine for Milford Fire Brigade took place this morning (Friday) at a special ceremony at Milford Fire Station.

The new ‘Class B’ Fire Engine, which cost of over €400,000, was officially handed over to Station Officer Eugene McCafferty by Cathaoirleach Cllr. Gerry McMonagle following a blessing by Fr. Rory Brady and Rev Jonathon McCollum.

Inside the new ‘Class B’ Fire Engine which boasts the very latest in fire-fighting technology including a compressed air foam system,

This new Fire Engine will now replace the old 1995 Volvo fire engine that was previously based at Milford Fire Station and which was one of the oldest front-line fire engines in the fleet.

The new Fire Engine boasts the very latest in fire-fighting technology including a compressed air foam system, more commonly referred to as a CAFS, which is very effective for fighting fires and protecting properties where water supplies are limited. It also incorporates the very latest in high visibility markings and emergency lighting to ensure the safety of the public when travelling to and attending at emergency incidents.

Cathaoirleach Cllr. Gerry McMonagle speaking at the event.

Speaking at the ceremony, Cllr McMonagle said “recent tragic events in Donegal and further afield serve to highlight the importance to the emergency services and I believe that it is very important that our fire-fighters have the very best of Personal Protective Equipment, specialist fire-fighting equipment and fire engines in order for them to carry out their role in the most effective and safest manner possible so that they can give people in distress the most help possible in the shortest space of time”.

Chief Fire Officer Joseph McTaggart with Milford Fire Station Officer Eugene McCafferty and retired Fire Station Officer Thomas Friel with retired fire fighters John Peoples and Pat Ferry at the special event.

According to Chief Fire Officer, Joseph McTaggart the new fire engine will enhance the ability of Milford Fire Brigade to deliver the operational fire service to the community it serves and has made a very positive impact on the average age of the overall fire brigade fleet within the Donegal Fire Service.

The new fire engine is based on the very successful Scania P320 chassis with integrated crew cab, providing seating for up to eight fire-fighters. It comes with an integrated water tank coupled with an on-board Godiva Prima main pump which is capable of pumping out 3,000l of water per minute at an average pressure of 10 bar.

It has an operational life span of approximately 20 years and it is anticipated that it will respond to approximately 60 calls per annum in the Milford Fire Station Ground Area, with these calls varying from small chimney fires up to the more serious building fires and road traffic collisions.

Minister of State Joe McHugh TD speaking at the event.

Minister for State Mr. Joe McHugh TD, Garry Martin Director of Service with Donegal County Council and Station Officer Eugene McCafferty also spoke at this morning’s ceremony which was attended by Cllr. Liam Blaney, Cllr. Ciaran Brogan, Cllr. Michael McBride and Cllr, Ian McGarvey, Senator Padraig MacLochlainn, Chief Executive Seamus Neely, Chief Fire Officer Joseph McTaggart, as well as fire service personnel from Donegal Fire Service including fighters and retired fire fighters from the Milford Fire Brigade.

Station Officer Eugene McCafferty with the Milford Fire Brigade

A number of Donegal Fire Service personnel were also presented with their 10 Year Long Service Awards including Shane McGettigan, Manus O’Donnell, Declan Williams, Noel Gillespie and Eugene McCafferty.

Fire Fighter Shane McGettigan receiving his 10 Year Long Service Award from Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle

Fire Fighter Manus O’Donnell receiving his 10 Year Long Service Award from Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle

Fire Fighter Declan Williams receiving his 10 Year Long Service Award from Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle

Substation Officer Noel Gillespie receiving his 10 Year Long Service Award from Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle

Station Officer Eugene McCafferty receiving his 10 Year Long Service Award from Cathaoirleach Cllr Gerry McMonagle

 

Donegal Sports Star Awards November Review

County Board Players of the year for 2017 are Yvonne McMonagle & Paddy McBrearty.

 

It’s the second last Donegal Sports Star Awards monthly review of 2017.

November was a month when a number of the county’s sporting stars picked up awards while other individuals and teams enjoyed super successes.

On the GAA front the County Board Player of the Year awards went to Paddy McBrearty of Kilcar and Yvonne McMonagle of Glenfin. The club awards went to Glenfin (senior), Milford (Intermediate) and Naomh Colmcille (junior).

On the last Saturday in November the Naomh Colmcille Club made history by becoming the first team from Donegal to win the Ulster Junior Football Championship after defeating Bellnaleck 1-9 to 0-6 in the final at Celtic Park with Mattie Crossan’s goal midway through the second half the key score of the decider.

There was a hugh honour for Donegal Ladies GAA at the end of the month when the Hegarty sisters Ciara and Niamh were named at centre-half-back and centre-half-forward respectively on the 2017 TG4 Ladies Football All-Star team at the Citywest Hotel in Dublin.

Despite a superb display from Michael Murphy who was the second highest scorer for Ireland with 20 points, it was Australia who won the first leg of the Australian Rules Series in the Adelaide Oval on a score of 63-53.

At the start of November another number club who created history was Setanta who won their first ever Ulster Hurling Championship title after a thrilling three-point win over Na Magha in the Junior Final at McCumhaill Park (2-17 to 3-11).

The County Board Player of the Year was confirmed as Setanta’a Davin Flynn.

It was a good month for former Irish international boxing star Danny Ryan who first won Gold in the 500m sprint and also took bronze in the 2km open age group in the men’s lightweight at the Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships in Motherwell.

At the same championships John Doohan won silver in the 2k Heavyweight Race and also finished in a Personal Best time.

Three weeks later in Limerick at the Irish Provinces Indoor competition Ryan won two gold and a bronze in his age category in the 2k and 500m lightweight races while he finished third in the 1k heavyweight event. Danny also set a new Irish lightweight record in the 40-49 age group.

His son Keane took gold in the U23 2k race and followed that with a silver in the 500m open lightweight event. Cloughaneely’s Bernard Doohan also took bronze in the 40 to 49 age group 2k race. Aiden Greene of Kincasslagh won silver in the U23 2k, Dinny McCullagh, Cloughaneely took bronze in the men’s lightweight 2k 30 to 39 age group.

It was also a November to remember for Milford woman Amber Barrett who was the star of the Continental Tyres Women’s National League Awards as she scooped the Player of the Year and Golden Boot gongs. The Republic of Ireland and Peamount United striker was presented with her awards at a ceremony in the Guinness Storehouse, Dublin.

Barrett was also named in the Continental Tyres Women’s National League 2017 Team of the Year.

Then at the end of the month Barrett and St. Johnston’s Tyler Toland played their part as the Republic of Ireland senior ladies secured a super 0-0 draw against the reigning UEFA European champions the Netherlands in Nijmegen in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.

St Johnston’s Ronan Curtis was on the Republic of Ireland side that went down 2-1 away in Norway in a UEFA European Championship qualifier.

There was a big disappointment for Leitirmacaward man Carl McHugh’s whose hopes of captaining Motherwell to the Scottish League Cup title were dashed by Celtic who won the final 2-0 at Hampden Park.

In horseracing Champion Apprentice Jockey Oisin Orr completed a double at Dundalk on when the young Rathmullan man rode Timia to win the concluding Crowne Plaza Hotel Race & Stay Handicap (div 2) for trainer Keith Clarke. The previous week the 20-year-old had been crowned Champion Apprentice Jockey after saddling 20 winners during the season.

Five members of the Three Rivers Shotokan Club Emma Dolan, Ciaran Crawford, Ace Rodrigues, Brodie Hannigan and Eoin Crawford all took home gold medals from the Karate Ireland Kumite Championships in Dublin while Mark Doherty was a bronze winner.

Meanwhile there was big success for the North West Shotokan Karate Club in Carlow taking 12 gold, nine silver and four bronze medals.

Letterkenny AC’s Karol Duggan continued his tremendous recent form in athletics by storming to victory in the Donegal Senior Cross-County Championship at the Finn Valley Centre. Ciaran Doherty, another very consistent LAC performer, was third. Fine runs by the other four LAC runners earned silver medals for the team who were being beaten by a good Finn Valley outfit.

Terrific packing ensured that the women’s team retained the title they won last year. Finn Valley’s Teresa McGloin was first across the line in the women’s event and was followed by the very consistent Letterkenny AC pair of Nakita Burke and Noeleen Scanlan which helped give LAC the team title.

Karol Duggan’s scintillating 2017 cross country season reached another huge high in the British and Irish Masters’ Cross Country International at Gransha, Derry. He was up against the top Masters  from Ireland and Britain and finished 12th overall and seventh in the M35 race. He helped his team to gold medals.

Finn Valley’s Dermot McElchar was on the Irish O40 team that took gold while fellow club member Kay Byrne was on the international team that finished second in the women’s category and Noreen Bonner was a scorer on the winning O60 team.

At the Ulster Novice Championships the Letterkenny AC men’s team made light work of the heavy mud at the Finn Valley Centre to win gold. Dan King was third overall and the first LAC counter. Milford AC won the Ulster Novice Women’s Cross Country team title in Stranorlar with Tara Carron, Gillian Marley and Siobhan McHugh being the scorers on the day. Sean McGinley, in the Olympian YAC colours, won the U15 Boys at the Ulster and Northern Ireland Cross Country Championships at Finn Valley. Sean who had won the U16 title a few weeks earlier also led the Donegal county team to bronze in Finn Valley.

Letterkenny’s Catriona Jennings was the second female international athlete to cross the line in the 10k Great Ethiopian Run in Addis Ababe.

Fodhla McFadden from the Rosses Club was honoured with an Ulster Athletics Council Sports Star Award in the Four Seasons Hotel, Monaghan.

In mid November Letterkenny navigator Rory Kennedy was part of the winning crew on Isle of the Man with English man Arron Newby taking their Teg Sport Subaru to victory in the Pokerstars Rally which included night stages on the Friday.

Pettigo man Kevin Eves was selected as one of the three finalists for Motorsport Ireland’s Billy Coleman Young Rally Driver of the Year award. 26-year-old Eves has had a very successful 2017 culminating in him winning the Irish Tarmac Rally Modified Championship.

Mona McSharry the Marlins Swimming Club, Ballyshannon club member was one of 12 athletes who have been awarded Olympic Solidarity Scholarship to assist with qualification and preparations for the Toyko 2000 Games.

Young Glenswilly lad Cathal Gallagher received great news that he was selected to take part in a cycling scholarship in Spain. The Errigal Cycling Club member is one of 15 riders from across Europe who will take part in a week-long training camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in early January.

A memorable milestone was reached by Illies Golden Gloves Secretary Sadie Duffy who refereed her 50th international tournament at the Women’s World Junior Boxing Championships in Guhawati, India.

There was huge disappointment for Carndonagh boxer Labhaoise Clarke as a hand injury denied her the chance of winning at least a bronze medal at the Women’s World Youth Championships in India. As a result of the injury Clarke’s last 16 fight against a Mongolian opponent was stopped in the second round.

On the last Friday in November, St. Johnston’s Brett McGinty suffered defeat in his Ulster Elite Welterweight Final at Belfast’s Ulster Hall and a major blow in terms of his hopes of representing Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Australia next year.

Meanwhile, Letterkenny native Stephen McMonagle who fights out of the Holy Trinity Club in Belfast won the Ulster Super Heavyweight title on a walkover.

Dungloe ABC’s Matthew McCole won his Irish Amateur Boxing Association senior semi-final in the 64kg category overcoming Ryan O’Rourke 3-0 from St. Michael’s in Dublin at the National Stadium. Also securing a place in the national finals was Illies ABC’s Cathal Browne in the Light Heavyweight Division.

Kilcar’s bid for a place in the Ulster Senior Football Championship Club Final was derailed by reigning title holders Slaughneil on a score of 2-17 to 0-17 at Healy Park in Omagh. It was a semi-final that Barry Doherty’s men could have won but a failure to finish off any of a handful of goal chances put paid to hopes of the Towney faithful. Less than 24 hours later the dream of a first ever appearance in an Ulster Club Final for Milford came to a very disappointing end at the Athletic Grounds in Armagh as Danny O’Donnell’s side missed a golden opportunity to make the decider despite not playing anywhere near their best against the Down outfit Rostrevor (0-13 to 0-12).

Four Masters club man Hugh Devenney was the recipient of an appreciation award at the Ulster Ladies GAA 25 year celebration function in Kelly’s Inn for his services to the female football from 1992.

Gweedore won the Donegal U21 A Championship Final with a 3-11 to 3-5 win over Naomh Conaill at the O’Donnell Park helped by three goals from Cian Mulligan.

The Finesse Gymnastics Club enjoyed medal success at the GymStart Challenge in the new national indoor arena at the National Sports Complex in Dublin.

Lagan Harps’ Zoe Green was named as the 2017 North West Women’s Super League Player of the Year at the inaugural awards function in the Lake of Shadows Hotel, Buncrana.

In the middle of the month Finn Harps U15 players’ goalkeeper Patrick McGarvey and right-full-back Fionnan Coyle were members of the Republic of Ireland squad who lost 2-0 to Poland at Whitehall in Dublin. McGarvey who was in from the start saved a first half penalty while Coyle came on the Republic of Ireland side as a 65th minute substitute.

The Finn Harps U15s missed out on a place in the national final after losing 2-1 to Athlone Town at the Dry Arch. Kevin McHugh’s side dominated long periods of the semi-final but found themselves 2-0 down at the break. An early second half Conor Black goal gave the hosts hope but Athlone held out for a place in the decider.

Gweedore Celtic became the first junior soccer club in the country to receive the FAI’s Club Mark award for governance, administration, coaching, child welfare policies and included 20 criteria in total.

The Ulster Schools soccer side finished runners-up in the National Inter-provincial Schools Finals after only managing a 2-2 draw with Leinster on Sunday in Dublin.

Paul Browne’s boys needed a win and did lead 2-1 through two goals from St. Eunan’s College player Michael Gallagher. However a Leinster penalty ensured that there was would be no back-to-back titles for the Ulster boys.

Meanwhile the Ulster Senior League secured a second-place finish at the FAI Intermediate Inter-League Tournament in Galway thanks to an impressive 3-1 win over Munster at Mervue.

Tony McNamee, Conor Tourish and Oisin McMenamin netted as Anthony Gorman’s side secured the runners-up spot, behind the victors Leinster who won all three of their games.

For further details on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to donegalsportsstarwards.ie on Facebook at Donegalsport Starawards or on twitter at DL Sportstars.

Donegal Sports Star Awards October Review

Donegal girls and Republic of Ireland players, from left, Amber Barrett, Roma McLaughlin and Tyler Toland.

 

There was an impressive array of successes in Donegal sport during October with impressive achievements in athletics, GAA, hurling, motorcycling, rugby, motorsport and soccer. The Donegal Sports Star Awards monthly review highlights the significant successes as 2017 draws to a close.

 

In soccer Milford woman Amber Barrett and St. Johnston youngster Tyler Toland played key roles as the Republic of Ireland Women’s side defeated Slovakia 2-0 in an away FIFA World Cup Qualifier. It was an assist from Barrett that secured the Irish a second crucial goal just past the half-hour mark to make it two wins from two for Colin Bell’s outfit.

 

It was the first time for Barrett to start a senior competitive game after coming on to make her international debut as a sub in the opening qualifier game against Northern Ireland in Lurgan in September. It was a special occasion too for 16-year-old Toland who also made her full competitive senior debut after also coming as a sub against Northern Ireland. Another Donegal woman Roma McLaughlin came on for Toland during injury time at the end of the qualifier in Slovakia.

 

It was a busy month for Toland who started while Glenties girl Amy Boyle-Carr came on as a second half sub as the Republic of Ireland U17 Girls recorded a 2-0 home win over Greece to finish top of their UEFA European Championship qualifying group.

 

 

At the start of the month Dungloe’s James Boyle captained the Republic of Ireland’s Amputee soccer team who lost 2-0 Russia in their opening EAFF European Championship group game in Turkey. The Irish also lost to England but defeated Greece to secure a quarter-final spot but then went down 5-0 to Poland. Twin Towns lad Oisin Merritt was part of the Irish squad that had the best ever finish at the Cerebal Palsy World Championships, after overcoming a horrific injury and returning to the game earlier this year.

 

There was heartbreak in additional time for Merritt and Ireland in Argentina as they went down 3-2 to the USA in the 5th/6th play-off. The young Irish side went into the game knowing whatever the result they would finish the highest any Irish Cerebral Palsy squad has done in any World Championships.

 

St. Johnston man Ronan Curtis was a member of the Republic of Ireland side who drew 0-0 with Norway in a World Cup qualifier at the Tallaght Stadium. Buncrana Hearts midfielder Kieran McDaid was in the Republic of Ireland Junior International squad that played in the Quadrangular tournament in Glasgow against Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man.

 

Near the end of October, Newtowncunningham youngster Ryan McKinley played for the Republic of Ireland U15s in a 2-2 draw against Wales in the Victory Shield in Bangor. And two Finn Harps U15 players goalkeeper Patrick McGarvey and full-back Fionnan Coyle played for the Republic of Ireland in a friendly game against Manchester City that ended 1-1 at Abbottstown.

It’s a rare occurrence that a father and son would be on international duty for two different countries in the space of the week. Well it happened for Anthony and Dale Gorman members of a very well known Letterkenny footballing family. Dad Anthony won another Masters cap as a member of the Republic of Ireland team who traveled to play the Czech Republic.

Meanwhile son Dale scored a splendid goal for Northern Ireland in their 4-2 win over Estonia in a European U21 qualifier. Dale was who born in Northern Ireland plays his club football with English League 2 side Stevenage. He helped NI to go top of their qualifying group after this victory.

 

The Ulster squad won the FAI Youth Inter-provincial competition after first drawing 2-2 with Munster at Dry Arch Park on the Friday night and then Daniel Nolan’s boys had a thrilling 3-2 victory over Leinster in Cockhill. But it all came down to the games on the Sunday with only Connacht out of the running to win the title. Ulster’s 4-2 win over Connacht secured the national silverware at the Bonagee Utd grounds.

 

October was the month that Ollie Horgan’s bid to keep Finn Harps in the League of Ireland Premier Division next season came up short. It started with the 2-0 loss to reigning champions Dundalk in Ballybofey.

Six days later Harps hopes of staying in the Premier Division were hanging by a thread after going down 3-0 to Derry City at Maginn Park. The following weekend their relegation fate was sealed without kicking a ball when their own game against Drogheda Utd was called-off due to an unplayable pitch.

Horgan’s men knew that a win for Sligo Rovers over Derry City would mean relegation. And that’s what happened at the Showgrounds as the Candystripes lost 3-0 to the hosts.

 

 

In the middle of the month Kilcar won the Donegal Senior Football Championship for the first time in 25 years after 0-7 to 0-4 win over Naomh Conaill at McCumhaill Park. Meanwhile Milford were crowned County Intermediate Champions for only the second time in the club’s history thanks to a 2-11 to 0-12 win over St. Nauls at the O’Donnell Park with Cathal McGettigan’s late goal the key score in the decider. Naomh Colmcille won the Donegal Junior Football A Championship final after a 2-7 to 0-8 win over Red Hugh’s at the O’Donnell Park.

 

All three Donegal winners were then in provincial action on the last Sunday of October. Kilcar advanced to the semi-finals of the Ulster Senior Football Club Championship with a 1-16 to 1-6 win over Scotstown in Clones with Paddy McBrearty contributing eight points of that total. Milford reached the Intermediate semi-final after coming from behind to defeat Killeavy at the Athletic Grounds with Tony McNamee proving the match winner with the final score being 1-13 to 1-12 in favour of Danny O’Donnell’s men. Naomh Colmcille also secured a place in the last four after defeating Cavan champions Ballymachugh in Ballybofey (1-8 to 0-7).

 

However, there was disappointment for the Glenfin’s Ladies who just failed to secure a place in the semi-finals of the Ulster Senior Club Championship after losing out by just two points to Tyrone side St. Macartan’s at Pairc Taobhaigh. There was good news for Ladies GAA as five Donegal players the Hegarty sisters Ciara and Niamh, Karen Guthrie, Geraldine McLaughlin and Yvonne McMonagle received nominations for the 2014 TG4 All-Star team. On the first day of October, Setanta advanced to the semi-finals of the Ulster Hurling Championship with a comfortable 1-18 to 2-9 win over Down outfit Ballela at the O’Donnell Park.

 

There was a good start and end to October for Letterkenny AC’s Catriona Jennings. On the first day of the month Catriona was the first ever winner of the East Donegal Half-Marathon based around the town of Raphoe in a time of 1:18:15. On the last Sunday of October and for the second successive year she was a silver medal winner in the National Women’s category in the Dublin Marathon.

 

Finn Valley’s Noreen Bonner took the national title and gold medal in the female 60-64 age group category in the Dublin Marathon.

 

The Donegal Masters Cross- Country Championships took place in the Inishowen town of Carndonagh and resulted in Letterkenny AC.’s Karol Duggan getting his Masters’ career off to a flying start by winning the men’s race in a time of 15.09. He won by 16 seconds and led the 4-men LAC team of Anthony Doherty 16.01, Ivan Toner 16.18 and Raymond Birch 16.30 to gold in the M35-49 team prize.

 

And it got better for Duggan as three weeks later at the first big Irish Cross-Country race of the new season the ‘Autumn Open Festival’ at the National Sports Complex, Abbotstown, Dublin.

It was the Masters’ Trial Race for the November ‘5 Nations Cross Country International meet’. Karol underlined his status as one of the country’s top Masters by claiming third place in the M35 category. He ran a very fast time of 24.47 that guaranteed his place in the international team.

 

One of the other noteworthy features of the race, from a Donegal perspective, was the performance of Kilmacrennan septuagenarian James Doherty of Milford AC. Despite only taking up running at the age of 65, James stormed to first place in the M70 category.

 

Letterkenny Athletic Club also had success at Victoria Park, Belfast in the Northern Ireland and Ulster Road Relay Championships. The women’s team, composed entirely of primary school teachers, took second place, behind Queen’s University. Nakita Burke got the team off to a flying start and her time of 11m 22s put the LAC team in second place after the 1st leg. Newcastle AC’s runner ran 10.47. Maria Ni Mhaolagain ate into this lead and, at the end of the 2nd leg, her time of 12.06 had put LAC into the lead. Noeleen Scanlan had an excellent final leg and clocked 11.48.

 

Milford AC won their first county title when their men’s team came first in the Donegal Novice Cross-County Championships in Stranorlar under the management of James Gibbons and Hugh Coll. And their ladies became the first female team from the Club to win a county medal when coming third in Stranorlar.

 

Former Letterkenny Rugby Club player Joe Dunleavy made a dream start to his professional provincial career by scoring a try during his debut for an Ulster A side that defeated Scarlets Premiership Select in the opening round of the British & Irish Cup at Banbridge RFC.

 

Kilmacrennan lad Richard Kerr enjoyed a terrific finish to the motorcycle season with a double victory at the Sunflower Trophy Races. The 17-year-old ended the season in fourth place in the BSB Motostar Series.

 

In motorsport Joseph McGonigle and Ciaran Geaney finished third at the Cork 20 International Rally in their Skoka Fabia just 0.7 of a second behind the runner-up crew of Alastair Fisher and Gordon Noble.

Meanwhile, Pettigo’s Kevin Eves had another win in the National Category at the Cork 20 event.

 

Buncrana boxer Caroline Gallagher took the Ulster Novice 68kg Championship title at the Dockers Club in Belfast while Cathal Browne from Illies Golden Gloves won his Ulster Senior Final at 81kgs.

 

For further information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards go to donegalsportsstarwards.ie on Facebook at Donegalsport.Starawards or on twitter at DLSportstars.