St. Michaels made it three League wins in a row as they produced an excellent second-half performance to beat neighbours Cloughaneely in this keenly contested derby clash in Falcarragh.
Cloughaneely 1-10 St Michael’s 2-15
By Charlie Collins
Cillian Gallagher opened the scoring for the home team with a point in the fourth minute, bursting through but shooting over with a goal chance on. Colm Anthony McFadden tapped over a free to level it in the seventh minute and then Christy Toye burst into a Michael Langan pass to drill home the game’s opening goal three minutes later.
Martin McElhinney extended the lead to four points with a fine score from distance but Aidan Doohan and Darren Ferry replied with two excellent points fro play to leave two between them after 15 minutes.
After a scoreless period St.Michaels should have had second goal when Martin McElhinney got on the end of a super build-up but decided to try and find a teammate closer to goal.
This produced a scramble near the goal line, Referee Shane Toolan awarded a penalty for a defender touching the ball on the ground but after consulting his umpires changed his mind.
Eoghan Kelly and Colm Anthony McFadden points from frees for the visitors and the lead was again four, but that soon became just a single point when Darren Ferry and Mark Harley combined to create the opening and the inrushing Aidan Doohan palmed the ball to the net 1-3 to 1-4.
Doohan picked up a hand injury in the goal incident and had to be replaced.
St.Michaels again responded well and Martin McElhinney pointed from distance while the impressive Michael Langan converted two long range frees in the difficult windy conditions, while Cillian Gallagher replied for the home team to leave it 1-04 to 1-07 at the break.
Edward O Reilly and Colm McFadden got early second-half points for St.Michaels while Sean McGarvey replied for Cloughaneely in the 40th minute.
A minute later St. Michaels struck a vital blow which put them in control, a sweeping movement involving a number of players ended with Christy Toye’s pass to the galloping Michael Langan and the Donegal player blasted the ball past the helpless Sean McClafferty to make it 2-9 to 1-5 in St.Michael’s favour.
Sean Maguire added a home point but Langan , Eoghan Kelly and Edward O Reilly all scored from play and the visitors led by double scores 2-12 to 1-6.
Cloughaneely continued to compete but St.Michaels were always able to respond as the home team edged the final ten minutes by 0-04 to 0-03 but by that stage it was done and dusted and St. Michaels third league win in a row had been secured.
While nothing is certain just yet, with MacCumhaiils defeat by St.Eunan’s, it would seem that both these teams will be retaining their Division status for 2020.
Cloughaneely: Sean McClafferty; Michael Fitzgerald, Kevin Mulhearn, Noel Sweeney; Mark Harley, Ciaran McGeady, Cian McFadden; Ciaran Scanlon, Martin Maguire (0-1); Aidan Doohan (1-1), Ciaran McFadden (0-1), Darren Ferry (0-2); Cillian Gallagher (0-2), Sean McGarvey (0-1), Sean Maguire (0-2). Subs: John Fitzgerald for Doohan (30), Finn McGinley for McGeady (48), Michael McGinley for McClafferty (50).
St Michael’s: Mark Anthony McGinley; Jamie Hunter, Liam Paul Ferry, Chris McElhinney; Kyle McGarvey, Michael Gallagher, Daniel McLaughlin; Oisín Langan, Martin McElhinney (0-2); Michael Langan (1-3, 2f), Christy Toye (1-0), Martin Breslin; Edward O Reilly (0-2), Colm Anthony McFadden (0-5, 3f), Eoghan Kelly (0-2). Subs: Andrew Kelly ) (0-1) for M.Langan (48), Stephen Black for Hunter (54), Ryan Langan for McGarvey (58), Odhran McFadden for C.McFadden (60).
Referee: Shane Toolan.