In the league meeting in Connolly Park in April, Malin snatched a last gasp goal with the last kick of the game and Sunday’s encounter in Glenties followed a similar pattern to the their championship meeting, when last year’s beaten county finalists raced into an early lead, but Terence Colhouns men’s battling qualities and never say attitude came to the fore once again as they levelled the game in stoppage time.
Malin lining out minus a few regulars due to injury and holiday commitments, were playing into a stiff breeze and couldn’t have wished for a worse start to the game as they fell behind to a Dermot Molloy goal in the first minute
Two Anthony Kelly points from frees helped to reduce the deficit but it wasn’t long before the home side increased their lead as points from Brendan Mc Dyer, Leon Thompson(2), Marty Boyle and a fine effort from Dermot Molloy pushed the south Donegal men further in front. Paul McLaughlin pointed for Malin as the first half drew to a close leaving the scoreline 1.5 to 0.3 in favour of N Conaill.
Malin came out in the 2nd half with the advantage of the breeze at their backs but it looked as if would have little bearing on the outcome as Leon Thompson and Brendan Mc Dyer knocked over points early in the second half to stretch their lead out to seven points.
Anthony Kelly and Daniel Mc Daid kept Malin in touch but their prospects were looking bleak as points from Brick Molloy and Brendan Mc Dyer saw Naomh Conaill leading by seven points with 12 minutes left.
While lesser sides would have wilted, Malin displayed the same never say die attitude as they did in their previous two meetings with the N Conaill side. A goal on the 49th minute from Adam Byrne who missed a large chunk of the season threw the visitors a lifeline. Spurred on by this, Malin had the home side on the back foot and were forced to bring on county star Anthony Thompson in attempt to steady the ship. 3 unanswered points from the impressive Anthony Kelly left the bare minimum between the sides as the clock ticked down. By this stage Malin were throwing everything but the proverbial kitchen sink at their hosts and they got their reward deep in stoppage time as Seamus Doherty fired over, much to the delight of the Malin following.
The draw means that Malin remain a point ahead of Paddy Campbell’s side, and sit in 4th position in the Division 1 standings with 6 games remaining.
Naomh Conaill: Stephen Mc Grath; Tommy Donoughue, Jason Campbell, Johnny Bonner; Aaron Thompson, Cathal Ellis, Marty Boyle(0-1); Johnny Mc Loone, Mark Gallagher; Brendan Mc Dyer (0-3),John O’Malley, Eunan Doherty; Dermot Molloy (1-2 1f), Leo Mc Loone, Leon Thompson(0-3). Subs: Anthony Thompson and AJ Gallagher
Malin: Declan Lafferty; Michael McLaughlin, Daniel Greene, Charlie Byrne; Ciaran Mc Colgan, Declan Walsh, Gary Farren; Michael Byrne, Anthony Kelly (0-6 5f); Gerard Greene, Conor Farren, Seamus Doherty(0-1); Paul McLaughlin (0-1), Daniel Mc Daid, Damien Harkin. Sub: Adam Byrne(1-0)