Cloughaneely marked a seven year absence from division one with a brilliant opening day win over close rivals Dungloe, as Chris Cannon reports
Cloughaneely 3-15 1-08 Dungloe
Shaun McGarvey and John Fitzgerald put in inspirational performances for the home side who proved to be far too strong for Dungloe on the day. Dungloe kicked with the breeze in the first half, and there was only a point between the sides at the half-time whistle.
Cloughaneely prevailed in the second half showing superior pace and fitness to the away side. Dungloe just weren’t able to cope with the home side when they broke forward on the counter.
It was Cloughaneely who started brighter with Shaun McGarvey hitting two scorchers off the right foot. They could have been further ahead had Ciaran Sharkey not pulled off an excellent close-range save off John Fitzgerald.
Dungloe responded quickly when referee Connie Doherty penalised Michael Mulhern for pulling inside and awarded the away side a penalty. Conor Greene smartly tucked away the penalty but Cloughaneely were furious with the decision.
The lively Greene brothers and Ryan Connors quickly added on further scores for Dungloe. But John Fitzgerald responded with a point of his own to make it 1-3 to 0-3 in favour of the away side after fifteen minutes.
Noel McBride almost added a second goal for Dungloe but his strike hit the angle of the post. Cloughaneely reacted quickly and the in-form Shaun McGarvey pinned two scores to level the scores five minutes before the break.
Two free-kicks off the left from Shaun McGarvey with a Noel McBride score sandwiched in between them gave Cloughaneely a one point lead at half-time.
Ciaran Sharkey pulled off another fantastic save at the start of the second, this time deflecting a Lee O’Brien shot that was destined for the top corner over the bar.
Shaun Maguire got Cloughaneely’s tenth score of the game forty minutes in. But as was the pattern for much of the game, Dungloe replied. Conor Greene hitting a monster free-kick from the edge of the 45’ to reduce the deficit to two.
John Fitzgerald notched 1-1 in quick succession, the goal after a fine drive forward from John McGarvey and the point from a quick reaction to a breaking ball.
Cloughaneely were rampant going forward, this time it was Ciaran McGeady breaking forward with pace and he smartly placed the ball past Sharkey in the Dungloe goal. Both sides shared scores in quick succession with Ryan Connors adding some fine free-kicks off the left peg. With five minutes to go Cloughaneely were 2-14 to 1-08 ahead.
John Fitzgerald added a further point from a free and another goal to heap more misery on Dungloe. A Shaun McClafferty free-kick was slipped off to Mark Harley who put the burners on and found Ciaran McGeady in space, he slipped to Fitzgerald and the home side got their third goal.
A fantastic result for Cloughaneely, but Dungloe will be disappointed with their first outing of the year.
Cloughaneely: Shaun McClafferty, Cian McFadden (Michael Fitzgerald), Ciaran Scanlon, Micheal Mulhern, Ciaran McGeady(1-0), Paddy Cannon (Mark Harley, ht), Kevin Mulhern, Lee O’Brien (0-1), Martin Maguire, Aidan Doohan, Shaun McGarvey(0-9 2f), John McGarvey, John Fitzgerald (2-4 1f), Shaun Maguire(0-1), John Harley.
Dungloe: Ciaran Sharkey, Jack Scally, Doalty Boyle (Raymond Sweeney, 43), Seamus Coyle (Conor O’Donnell 51), Mark Curran, Gerard Breathnach, Ryan O’Connor (0-3 3f), Caolan Ward, Noel McBride (0-2), Barry Curran, Ryan Greene (0-1), Conor Greene (1-2), David McCarron.