CLOUGHANEELY are safely through to the semi-finals of the intermediate football championship after seeing off Malin in the O’Donnell Park rain.
Cloughaneely 0-11 Malin 0-5
By Chris McNulty at O’Donnell Park
The Pairc Naomh Fionnan residents led from start to finish and move into semi-final against either Gaeil Fhánada or Buncrana – who meet in Letterkenny tomorrow afternoon.
A period of five successive points in the first half helped Cloughaneely into a position of command from which they wouldn’t be caught.
Malin were just unable to claw the deficit, but gave it a real throw of the dice in the closing stages.
Cloughaneely hit the front when Paul Sweeney drilled over with only 15 seconds on the watch – and they led from there until the conclusion.
It was the start of Cloughaneely’s dominance, although Josh Conlon might’ve backed himself and gone for goal. Conlon, though, settled for Malin’s opening point.
Donegal midfielder Jason McGee converted a free and when Sweeney punished a short kick-out by Daniel Mullarkey that went awry the Falcarragh representatives were three in front.
McGee nailed a 45-metre free and Cloughaneely led 0-5 to 0-1 when the water was passed around for the first time.
Paul McLaughlin landed Malin’s first score in 17 minutes, quickly followed by a today Conlon score that narrowed the margins to a score.
Beaten by Aodh Ruadh in the 2020 Intermediate final, Cloughaneely – lining out without the injured John Fitzgerald, Kevin Mulhern and Shaun Curran – but McGee’s third free of the afternoon had them 0-7 to 0-3 ahead at the short whistle.
Conor Coyle won and pointed a free and Darren Ferry followed up to stretch Clioughaneely’s lead to six.
Malin might have been in for a goal late in the game, but Conlon’s stinging effort was well blocked by Ciaran Scanlon. Goalkeeper Shaun McClafferty did well to turn over a powerful follow-up from Christy McLaughlin.
In added time, Terence Doherty’s blistering shot was superbly saved by McClafferty.
By then, a Blake McGarvey brace had the game a little beyond Malin’s reach and Cloughaneely are back in the last four again.
Cloughaneely: Shaun McClafferty; Noel Sweeney, Cian McFadden, Michael Fitzgerald; Lee O’Brien, Ciaran McFadden, Conor Coyle (0-1f); Jason McGee (0-3f), Darren McGeever; Aidan Doohan, Mark Harley, Ciaran McGeady; Blake McGarvey (0-2, 1f), Paul Sweeney (0-3), Sean Maguire (0-2). Subs: Darren Ferry for McGeever (17), Cillian Gallagher for McGeady (46), Ciaran Scanlon for Cian McFadden (51), Ciaran Coll for Ferry (53) Martin Maguire for O’Brien (53).
Malin: Daniel Mullarkey; Gary Farren, Ciaran Doherty, Darragh McGeoghegan; Paul McLaughlin (0-1), Christy McLaughlin (0-1), Oisin McGonagle; John Gerard McLaughlin, Damien Harkin; Conor McGeoghegan, Kieran McColgan, Sean O’Neill; Josh Conlon (0-3, 1f), Conor Farren, Conor O’Neill. Subs: Connor McColgan for G.Farren (29), Seamus Houghton for O’Neill (half-time), Terence Doherty for C.Farren (half-time), Charlie Byrne for C. McGeoghegan (47), Adam McGonagle for D.McGeoghegan (54).
Referee: Greg McGroary (Four Masters).