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17th Nov 2019

Ciaran Thompson’s joke of a left peg shows Naomh Conaill can do it every way

Niall McIntyre

Christ the night Naomh Conaill.

Defending will only get you so far. These lads are a one trick pony. If they’re not found out in Donegal, they’ll get a rude awakening in Ulster.

Naomh Conaill are still alive. Naomh Conaill are alive and well.

Throughout the Donegal championship and not just this year, ‘Glenties’ have been under the microscope. They’ve been getting it from up and down the country.

Their style of football is outdated they said, you can’t win games like that, they said.

These lads don’t really mind. They’ve great footballers in that little club and they’ve heart to beat the band too.

What the rest of them all ignored is that Martin Regan’s west Donegal side have much more up their sleeve than just a rigid defensive plan that can keep out the best of forwards like Conor McManus, like Kevin Cassidy, like Cian Mackey.

That matters too you know.

And on top of that – the fierce, disciplined tackling style – Naomh Conaill have Ciaran Thompson too, and they know well how to use him.

Thompson is one of the most gifted players in Ulster with his farce of a left foot and sprightly running style – but he’s far from out on his own up around here. Eoghan McGettigan can kick points for fun. Ethan O’Donnell will be a big player for Donegal in the future. Then you’ve stalwarts ‘Brick’ Molloy and Anthony Thompson driving them on.

This is a serious unit and they’re not stopping yet.

They’re into the Ulster final now and on an an icy Saturday night in Omagh, Naomh Conaill showed that they’ll be hard beaten by any club football team in the country.

That man McGettigan – the rising Donegal star – was man-of-the-match at the end of their 0-12 to 0-9 win over Monaghan champs Clontibret but once again, it was all about Ciaran Thompson.

The midfielder has been bubbling on the county scene for a couple years now, ready to boil over. On the club scene, he’s a different beast and his left peg is on a different level.

His first score of the night was Ciaran McDonald-esque. Little one-two, little clap before he receives it. The Naomh Conaill crowd know where it’s going.

A slingshot over the bar, it cuts through the Tyrone night sky.

And then, just a half an hour later, he was at it again landing a free from God knows how far out.

See that free from 1.22 here.

Some player. Some team.