A dramatic fight back saw Aughawillan come from four points down in the last ten minutes to claim a draw with Bornacoola in Saturday evening’s somewhat low key Group 3 Connacht Gold Senior Championship clash in Páirc Seán MacDiarmada.
Sub Gabriel Conlon salvaged a draw for Aughawillan with a point at the death. Prior to that Morgan Quinn had proved to be Aughawillan’s main marksman accounting for 1-5 of his side’s 2-6 total.
Bornacoola dominated the exchanges for most of this encounter and appeared to be going for a decisive win until the ‘Willies’ threw everything at Bornacoola in their late bid to claim a draw that could yet get them to the knockout stages of the championship and even put Bornacoola’s chances in peril of getting to the same stage in the championship.
The draw doesn’t do either team any great harm but they will be anxious to secure a win next weekend in their second round games if they wish to secure early qualification for the quarter-finals, particularly in view of Allen Gaels victory last Saturday.
Bornacoola got off to an ideal start when Damien Moran fired to the Aughawillan net in the 4th minute after Brian Conroy worked hard to keep a long Gary McCloskey delivery from midfield in play before sending the ball across to Moran for a quick goal.
Aughawillan levelled the encounter in equally an dramatic manner two minutes later when, with the advantage of a man over, Bornacoola keeper Bobby Shanley was powerless to stop Morgan Quinn’s pile-driver.
Lightning struck twice in the space of a minute when Aughawillan opened up the Bors defence once more for an unmarked Noel Plunkett to hammer home a second goal.
Mark McCloskey steadied Bornacoola nerves when he tapped over a 9th minute free and the Bors got right back in control after Philip Howard finished a well-worked 20th minute move to the Aughawillan net.
Over the next three minutes Bornacoola stretched their lead with points from play by Damien Moran and Gary McCloskey, who was dominating the midfield exchanges.
Morgan Quinn narrowed the gap when he fired over a 28th point. Bornacoola had a let off when Jason Conroy clear Niall Beirne’s virtually off the Bors goal-line with keeper Shanley beaten all ends up.
Bornacoola led by 2-3 to 2-1 at the break. After the restart Sean McKeon & Brian Conroy increased the Bors lead to four points but after failing to score for 20 minutes, Aughawillan opened their second half account when Morgan Quinn fired over a 48th minute point.
Bornacoola regained their four point advantage after Mark McCloskey converted a 52nd minute free but the Bor’s failed to score after that.
It was then that Morgan Quinn led the “Willies” charge for survival when he managed to shoot three successive points from play by the 58th minute and leave just the minimum between the sides. Stephen Gilheaney received a late yellow card.
Then Gerard Conlon rescued a draw for Aughawillan when he shot over just before the long whistle to leave Bornacoola to wonder how they let victory slip from their grasp and keep the “Willies” well in the championship race.
Bobby Shanley; Damien McGuinness, Morgan Shanley, Jason Conroy; Niall Conroy, Paul Hackett, John McGuinness; Gary McCloskey (0-1), Michael Duignan; Sean McKeon (0-1), Philip Howard (1-0), Shane Conroy; Damien Moran (1-1), Brian Conroy (0-1), Mark McCloskey (0-2). Subs: Oliver Vaughan for S. Conroy (20 mins); Fergal McGill for B. Shanley (45 mins), Trevor Howard for Moran (48 mins); Kevin Shanley for McKeon (54 mins).
Colin Maguire; Kevin McTague, Devin Quinn, Declan McGovern; Stephen Gilheaney, Sean Quinn, Gary Deane; Michael Quinn, Noel Plunkett (1-0); Niall Beirne, Christy Prior, Paul Prior; Morgan Quinn (1-5), Gary Plunkett, Ciaran Gilheaney. Subs: Fionnbarr Quinn for McTague (9 mins); Gerard Conlon (0-1) for C. Gilheaney (52 mins).
Referee: Gareth Foley.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.