An October to remember for boxers
16-year-old Raphoe ABC fighter Leah Gallen who won a bronze medal at the European Junior Boxing Championships in Russia
The Donegal Sports Star Awards October Review includes many of the highlights of a marvellous month for the county.
And no doubt a number of these fine sporting achievements will be included in the list of nominees for the 2018 Donegal Sports Star Awards. Nominations are now being taken by going to the donegalsportsstarawards.ie website. The closing date is Friday the 23rd of November.
October was good in the ring with a massive success for 16-year-old Raphoe ABC fighter Leah Gallen who won a bronze medal at the European Junior Boxing Championships in Russia. Gallen then just missed out on a silver after losing on a 3-2 split decision to her Italian Miriam Tomasone opponent in a semi-final bout.
Also in the ring Jason Quigley retained his NABF Middleweight title with a victory over Freddy Hernandez at Fantasy Springs, California. And in so doing the Twin Towns native maintained his unbeaten professional record that is now extended to 15 wins. Quigley’s victory over Hernandez was unanimous unanimous with the three judges scoring it(98-92, 98-92 and 99-91.
Staying on the international stage Convoy’s T.J. McMenamin won two gold and a silver medal at the annual London Fall International Open. His Rilon Gracie Jiu Jitsu Ireland colleague Brian Coyle took gold in the Master 1 Light Featherweight category.
Ballyshannon Marlin’s Swimming Club member Mona McSharry at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries
It was a hectic week for Ballyshannon Marlin’s Swimming Club member Mona McSharry at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aries where she was fourth in the 50m breaststroke in a season’s best time of 31.96 seconds. Then there were two more finals for McSharry but there was disappointment again as she missed out on a bronze medal in the women’s 100-metre breaststroke after having led for most of the race.
The Marlins member then set a new Irish record of 25.42 seconds in the 50m freestyle semi-final. But, again there was to be no joy for McSharry as she finished fifth in the final of the 50m freestyle in a time of 25.54.
Loughros Point rower Patrick Boomer
Loughros Point rower Patrick Boomer took fifth place at the World Offshore Rowing Championships in Sidney in Victoria, Canada. Last month Patrick won the solo category at the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships in Kerry.
Natasha Kelly finished fourth in her age category (25-29) at the European Duathlon Finals in Ibiza.
Dungloe man James Boyle scored but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Republic of Ireland team from losing 3-1 to Mexico in their opening game of the 2018 Amputee Football World Cup. The following day Boyle was involved again as the Irish lost 3-0 to England. But there was much better news for Boyle who scored twice in the final Group A game against Uruguay where a 4-1 saw the Irish qualify for the next stage of the Amputee Football World Cup competition.
Finn Harps 17s celebration
On the last Saturday of the month, the Finn Harps U15s completed an historic League and Cup double with a 3-0 win over Shamrock Rovers in the National League Final at Maginn Park. Joel Bradley Walsh and Gabriel Aduaka had Declan Boyle’s side 2-0 up at the break and an early second half Conor Black strike saw Harps secure a fantastic victory. The Finn Harps seniors also had a good October as goals from John Kavanagh and Nathan Boyle gave Finn Harps a 2-0 win over Drogheda in Ballybofey in the second leg of their Promotion Playoff, which left the aggregate score 3-1 in favour of Ollie Horgan’s side. A week earlier Boyle’s goal had secured Harps a crucial 1-1 away draw in the first leg of the promotion play-off against Drogheda Utd. Then a first half Paddy McCourt penalty gave Harps a 1-0 win over Limerick FC in the first leg of the SSE Airtricity League Promotion Relegation play-off in Ballybofey.
At the start of the month St. Johnston man Ronan Curtis scored the only goal of the game for his club Portsmouth in a 1-0 win away to Coventry City. The former Derry City player’s strike helped his side stay top of the English League 1 and extended the club’s unbeaten run to eleven games. Curtis was then named in the provisional panel Republic of Ireland senior squad for the UEFA Nations League double header against Denmark and Wales.
Ramelton’s Barry McNamee was a member of the Cork City who booked their place in the FAI Senior Cup Final after a 2-1 replay win over Bohemians at Turners Cross.
Milford’s Amber Barrett grabbed the goal that put her club Peamount United into the Women’s FAI Cup Final at the Aviva Stadium after a 2-1 semi final win over Shelbourne. Barrett also played the last 28 minutes as the Republic of Ireland senior women’s side went down to a heavy 4-0 defeat in Poland.
At the end of October star forward ended up top scorer in the Women’s National League again after the Milford her hat-trick helped Peamount to hammer Cork City 9-1. Those three goals made it her seventh hat-trick of the campaign and took Barrett’s total to 30 for the season.
Burnfoot man Georgie Kelly was named as one of the three nominees for the PFA First Division Player of the Year. Striker Kelly starred with UCD in the First Division in the opening half of the season before moving to Premier outfit Dundalk in the July transfer window.
Letterkenny lad Shane Blaney made his debut for Doncaster Rovers Checkatrade Trophy First Round win over Grimsby Town.
Another Letterkenny man Dale Gorman started for Northern Ireland side who had a 1-0 away win in Iceland in European U21 Qualifiers
In athletics Milford AC’s Martin Kerr finished second in the Master Men’s 0/65 category in a time of 24:50 at the Autumn International Senior Cross-country and Masters trials in Abbotstown, Dublin. Kerr’s fine run saw him make the Irish team for the Home International Masters Cross-Country events in Swansea along with Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty who was second in the O40 category.
Five Finn Valley athletes Barry Harron, Teresa Doherty, Catriona Devine, Kay Byrne and Noreen Bonner were also selected for the Irish Masters team. Young Tirconaill Gaels athlete Mia McCalmont finished a brilliant second in Abbottstown in the Athletics Ireland Open International Cross Country Invitational in the Junior U20 4,500m race.
Letterkenny AC’s Catriona Jennings was sixth overall and the second Irish woman across the finish line at the Dublin Marathon. Fellow Letterkenny AC member Anne Marie McGlynn set a new Donegal record and a personal best as she finished ninth in the female category at the Cardiff Half-Marathon in a time of 1 hour 13 minutes and 41 seconds.
The new cross country season got underway in Carndonagh with Letterkenny AC’s Karol Duggan recent, excellent road form continuing with victory on grass in a time of 14.32, which gave him 18 seconds to spare over Finn Valley AC’s Barry Harron.
LAC team won Gold by 26 points from Milford AC in the M35-49 category. A week later it was an historic day for hosts Rosses AC who did the double in the Donegal Novice Championships at Mullaghderg as both the ladies and men’s teams were victorious.
October was good for Trentagh man Martin Harley as his recent good form continued winning on 7/1 shot Equimou in the Quantuma ´Season Finale´ Handicap at Salisbury for trainer Robert Eddery. Harley also had a third place finish in an earlier race on Aweedram. Then Harley had another win this time on 15/8 shot Caspar The Cub in the Maiden Stakes at Kempton Park. Harley came very close to a second success at Kempton on 66/1 shot Pipes Of Peace only losing out by a short head. Harley made it 73 wins for the season by taking Olympian to victory in the Aptus Investment Fund Maiden Stakes at Newmarket. And the Trentagh man had a 7/1 winner on Luxor at Newbury in the Sir Gerald Whent Memorial Nursery Handicap.
Ballyare jockey Conor Orr was a winner on Oh’herewego in the 3m Handicap Hurdle in Tipperary. It was his third winner in the space of a month.
Rathmullan lad Luke McAteer rode the Jim Bolger trained Vocal Music to victory in an Apprentice Handicap in Navan.
On the first Thursday of October and despite a fine performance Kilmacrennan teenager Rhys Irwin missed out on a place in the Red Bull Rookies series for 2109 at Guadix in Spain. Irwin had made the final 32 and came close to making next year’s series. Rhys was the only Irish motorcyclist to make the live testing event. The only other Irish rider ever to make the last 32 of the global competition was remarkably his older brother Caolan.
Then at Brands Hatch for the final round of the British Superbikes Rhys Irwin suffered a major motorcycling engine failure on the Saturday. Without a spare engine Rhys thought his weekend was over but in a last minute offer of a borrowed engine he was allowed to start the race from 32nd place at the back of the grid. With conditions treacherous and driving rain Rhys took a brilliant third place. It was a great end to his first season on the Moto 3 leaving him a very strong seventh place overall in the Championship. Meanwhile older brother Caolán in the 600 Championship had another outstanding weekend. With riding conditions unsafe in the heavy downpour Caolán rocketed home in sixth place in one of the hottest contested championships of the BSB season leaving him an unbelievable ninth place overall in the competition.
Another talented Kilmacrennan motorcyclist Richard Kerr had a super weekend at the Dickies British Supersport Championship where he had his best result of the season. Kerr riding the Campbell Motorsport Triumph finished in 13th position on the Saturday but saved his best result of the year in Sunday’s final race of the series taking a fantastic sixth place.
A week later the 18-year-old enjoyed another good weekend at the Sunflower Trophy Motorcycle Races in Bishopscourt where he competed on the Triumph for the first time. In Race 1 the Kilmacrennan youngster finished second and was third in Race 2.
Leitirmacaward’s Declan Boyle
In the middle of the month Leitirmacaward’s Declan Boyle won a third Triton Showers National Rally Championship title after an eighth place finish in the Donegal Harvest Stages Rally which was won by Monaghan’s Sam Moffett in his Ford Fiesta R5.
Moffett’s brother Josh was second in a Fiesta WRC followed by Donagh Kelly (Ford Focus) Joseph McGonigle in fourth in a BMW Mini. Ballybofey’s Damian Tourish and Domhail McAlaney won the Fastnet Rally in Bantry County Cork in their Ford Escort MkII by a margin of 21 seconds.
At the end of the month there was a great start for Sam and Chloe Magee, representing Ireland, at the Saarlorlux Open in Germany as the Raphoe siblings won their opening round of the mixed doubles 21-10 21-12 against Hess/Kuspert of Germany.
Paul Reynolds and Raphoe’s Rachael Darragh defeated Zbinden/Fankhauser of Switzerland 21-14 21-18 in their first round match. Sam and Chloe’s brother Joshua Magee kept the Irish winning streak going in Germany with a 21-19 21-15 win over Wolfgang Gnedt of Austria.
The Fabplus North West Senior Women’s Basketball side had a 77-72 away win over Belfast Phoenix Rockets in their second game of the Basketball Ireland ’s new Women’s Division 1 season.
St Johnston lad’s Brett McGinty’s hopes of success at the Elite Liventsev Memorial Tournament in Minsk, Belarus ended in early disappointment at the quarter final stage losing out in his 75kg bout against Giorgi Kharabadze with the judges scoring it 4-1 win in favour of the Georgian.
On the first Sunday of October there was another big success for Glenswilly’s Mary Devine at the Cavan Equestrian Centre where she rode her horse Wolansky to a class win at the Dressage Ireland National Championships in the Medium Category 2.
In GAA St. Eunan’s won the Donegal Senior Football Championship C title after a 2-12 to 1-8 win over Glenfin in Ballybofey while Red Hughs took the Donegal Junior A Football Championship title thanks to a 4-09 to 0-05 win over Urris in the O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny with James Carlin scoring all four goals.
Joe McKelvey’s Killygordon then advanced to the semi-finals of the Ulster Club Football Championship after beating Con Magee’s Glenravel 3-8 to 0-8 away in Antrim.
The Glenfin Ladies secured their place in the Ulster Ladies Senior Football Championship Final after a 3-17 to 1-15 home win over Bredagh of Down. On the same weekend the Glenfin men were crowned Donegal Intermediate Football Champions after a 1-10 to 0-07 win over Aodh Ruadh at MacCumhaill Park. Karl McGlynn scored a crucial early goal for the winners.
On the same day Aodh Ruadh Ballyshanon won the Donegal Intermediate B Football Championship Final at MacCumhaill Park defeating Cloughaneely 1-06 to 0-07. St. Eunan’s took the Donegal Senior B Champions for 2018 following a 3-13 to 0-10 victory over Naomh Conaill at MacCumhaill Park with the goals coming from Eunan’s captain Mick Martin, Niall Hannigan and Eoin McGeehan.
Clg Gaoth Dobhair celebrate after winning the Donegal GAA Senior Football Championship at MacCumhaill Park. Photo Geraldine Diver
And Gweedore were crowned Donegal Senior Football Champions after a 0-17 to 1-07 win over Naomh Conaill in MacCumhaill Park with Man of the Match Ódhrán MacNiallais scoring eight points. In doing so the Magheragallon men set a new record of winning 15 senior titles, one ahead of St. Eunan’s.
St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny had a big victory over St Marys CBS, Belfast 6-10 to 2-05 to top their group in the final game of this phase of the Loch an Iúir Cup in Garvaghey. St Eunan’s College also made a wining return to the MacRory Cup with a 2-8 to 2-5 victory over Patrician College, Carrickmacross in a game played at Drumragh, Tyrone. Colm Anthony McFadden’s boys bounced back from a poor start with two first half Conor O’Donnell penalties giving Eunan’s a 2-4 to 2-2 lead at the break.
The Michael Murphy managed Letterkenny IT secured their place in the Higher Education GAA Senior Football League 2 quarter-finals after drawing with Dundalk Institute of Technology on a final score of 4-11 to 2-17 at the O’Donnell Park in Letterkenny. The LYIT got four goals with St. Michael’s and Donegal senior player Michael Langan finding the net late on to secure the draw.
Tir Chonaill Gaels won the London Senior Football Championship replay 0-15 to 0-13 against Fulham Irish at McGovern Park. It was the club’s 17th time to take the senior title and among the Donegal players involved were Brendan Friel (Termon), Benny McGarvey (Dungloe), Sean Burke (Glenswilly) and David O’Donnell (Burt). The success also meant a unique achievement for Glenswilly native Shaun Burke who has now won championship medals in four different countries. Burke has a senior medal with Glenswilly from two years ago. Back in 2003 USA the defender was on the Intermediate winning USA side Parnells, Chicago. Then in Australia in 2011 Shaun picked up a senior medal with St. Finbarrs, Perth. Burke came on as a first half substitute for Tirconaill Gaels in the London final. Donegal County hurling player and Setanta clubman Danny Cullen was a member of the Ireland squad that had a 1-11 to 1-10 win over Scotland in the Hurling/Shinty International in Inverness. It was Ireland’s first win in the series since 2014.
At the start of October there was a big disappointment for Ballybofey and Stranolar Golf Club team who lost their All Ireland Mixed Foursomes Final in Dublin 3 -2 to Portumna from Galway.
In hockey there was a couple of good results for the Raphoe Ladies 1s XV who advanced to the second round of the Irish Hockey Trophy after a 3-1 away win over Rainey, a side that is a division above them Ulster and they extended their excellent unbeaten start to the season with a fifth league win. This time it was a 4-2 victory over KV Ladies at the Royal and Prior School Grounds. Meanwhile the Raphoe Men’s 1s XV produced a strong second half show to secure a 5-3 home league win over Belfast Harlequins.
15-year-old Eoin Grady from Woodlands, Letterkenny won the 2018 Ulster Karting Championship. Eoin who was racing in the Rotax Junior-Max class and at Nutts Corner Circuit in Antrim took the title in the final round of the Ulster Kart Club (UKC) Championship.
There was plenty of medal success for the Three Rivers Shotokan Club at the Onakai National Amateur Karate Association of Ireland Junior Kumite Championships at the Tallaght Leisure Centre. There was gold for Kodi Connolly, Ciaran Crawford and Brodie Hannigan. Lauren Wallace, Mark Doherty and Eoin Crawford won silver while there was bronze for Tammy Porter and Caoimhe Dolan.
On the last Saturday of October, Letterkenny lad Conor McMenamin made his All Ireland League debut for City of Derry in a 27-10 away defeat to Bangor in Division 2C. Last season’s Ulster’s Youth Player of the Year is the reigning Donegal Sports Star Rugby Award winner.
Tony McNamee’s penalty on 82 minutes earned the Ulster Senior League a share of the spoils in their final game of the 2018 FAI Intermediate Inter-League Tournament. The 2-2 draw saw the USL just miss out on second place by virtue of Leinster’s superior goal difference over the three games of the weekend. McNamee got both goals for Anthony Gorman’s side having got an early opener before Leinster bounced back to go 2-1 in front.
Milford Utd won the Brian McCormick Area Final after a sudden death 6-5 penalty shoot-out against Bonagee Utd at the Dry Arch.
Finn Harps Football Club Academy players Luke McGlynn and Conor Campbell were included in the Republic of Ireland U15 squad for the international games against Poland next month. Letterkenny Rovers and Bonagee Utd booked their places in the national stages of the FAI Intermediate Cup after big wins over Cockhill Celtic and Swilly Rovers respectively.
For further information on the Donegal Sports Star Awards and nomination details go to donegalsportsstarawards.ie or Facebook Donegalsport Starawards and Twitter DL @Dlsportstars.