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Donegal Sports Star Awards July Review
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