Derrynoose 1-12 Letterkenny Gaels 1-13
Derrynoose lost out to Donegal champions Letterkenny Gaels by a single point in the first round of the Ulster Junior Championship.
Paul Doyle’s men build up a seven-point have time lead, taking full advantage of the wind in the first half. But as the teams switched sides, Letterkenny Gaels took over and pushed on for victory.
Both sides were wasteful and took their time to settle into the game. Conor McNally, making his first championship start of the season, was in super form and caused numerous problems for the oppositions defence.
A brilliant through ball from Sean McGuigan found McNally, but a diving block from Niall Diver stopped a certain goal.
McNally made no mistake at the next chance. A defence splitting pass from cousin Conall saw the ace attacker in one on one. The keeper got a touch, but despite his best efforts, couldn’t stop the ball from crossing the line.
McNally traded scores with Conor McBrearty and the Derrynoose men carried a 1-7 to 0-3 lead into the break. Letterkenny Gaels flew out of the traps at the start of the second half. Talisman McBrearty drove the Donegal men from the first minute.
McBrearty (2) and Shea Doherty closed the gap to four and the decision to press the Derrynoose kickouts paid dividends. The Armagh side were reduced to 14 for a ten-minute period when Jack Fox picked up a black card, and with the extra man, Letterkenny Gaels made a charge for home.
A goal from substitute Brendan O’Brien fired the visitors in front for the first time in the game. The sides traded scores near the end, but Derrynoose couldn’t find an equaliser and Letterkenny Gaels held on to win by one.