Stunning last 5 minutes wins first O’Doherty for Coláiste Ailigh

February 27, 2018

Danske Bank O’Doherty Cup final
Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny 3-11 Ballybay CC 2-10
Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny are first time winners of the Danske Bank O’Doherty after lifting their game in the final five minutes to hold off a spirited challenge from Ballybay Community College in Garvaghey yesterday.
It was a dramatic ending to a match that looked to be going away from them when Ballybay recovered from a 0-10 to 0-2 deficit at the break to draw level on 1-10 each with less than six minutes to go and a strong wind behind the Monaghan challenge.
However Eoin Mac Gaoithin took Letterkenny’s first point of the second half from a free in the 55th minute and that seemed to get them moving again up front.
They followed that score with a fine sweeping move on the end of which was Seán Mac an Ultaigh to stab the ball to the net. And right from the kick-out they attacked again and won a penalty that Mícheál Mac Suibhne fired to the net.
Not even a late goal from Padraig Hughes could save the Ballybay team who will wonder how the game got away from them so late on.
Coláiste Ailigh made good use of the breeze in the first half and deservedly led by eight points at the break with fine scores from the Mac Gaoithin brothers and Conor Mac Menaman. Significantly though they couldn’t break Ballybay for a goal chance.
The Monaghan come-back was delayed at the start of the second half with Joel Wilson picking up a red card, but a goal from Hughes lifted their challenge and, despite Mícheál Mc Suibhne stalling them with a breakaway goal in the 44th minute, Ballybay eventually closed the gap and looked ready to push on for victory.
However Coláiste Ailigh somehow resurrected their challenge and that late blast of 2-1 took them over the line.
But there won’t be too much in the way of celebration for Coláiste Ailigh as they are in action in the All Ireland semi-final against Munster champions Rathkeel at Abbotstown this Saturday.
Coláiste Ailigh : J Pond, T Ó Gallchóir, R Ó Mearthaile, R Ó Buaidhe, I Mac Fhionnghaile 0-1, O Mac Gairbheith, D Ó Uiginn 0-1, S Mac An Ultaigh, S Ó Braoin, R Mac Gaoithin 0-3, M Mac Suibhne 2-0, 1-0 pen, D Ó Cathail 0-1, S Ó Riain, C Mac Meanman 0-1, E Mac Gaoithin 1-3, 0-2 frees.
Subs : P Ó Duibheannaigh for R Ó Mearhtaile (42)
Ballybay CC: S Black, D McCabe, S Duffy, C Counihan, D Johnston, L McKeown, S Slevin, S Forde 0-1, P Hughes 2-0, A Mulligan 0-3 frees, J Wilson, P Quinn, C Monaghan 0-1, O O’Neill 0-3, D Dempsey 0-2.
Subs: A McCabe for D McCabe (42), D McCann for C Monaghan (51)