By Charlie Collins
Donegal Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final
Malin 1-14 v 1-07 Gaeil Fhanada
The opening twenty minutes of this semi-final was a very cagey affair and produced just four points, two for each team. Liam McGrenaghan And Darren McElwaine for Gaeil Fhanada and Josh Conlon and Conor Farren for Malin.
Then in the 21th minute out of the blue a goal, Malin keeper Daniel Mullarkey attempted a short kick-out which went straight to Darren McElwaine and he brillantly lobbed the retreating keeper into the net, 1-02 to 0-02 to the Gaels.
Malin had a great chance to reply almost immediately when Terence Doherty was put through on goal but Mark McConagley denied him with a super save.
Conor O Neill and Christy McLaughlin added Malin points and James Kerr got one for Fanad Gaels to leave it 1-03 to 0-04 for the Gaels at half-time.
It was score for score in the opening quarter of the second-half , Darren McElwaine and Eoghan Carr for Gaels, Sean O Neill and Terence Doherty for Malin, 1-05 to 0-06. Liam McGrenaghan’s 45 made it a three point again but very quickly that was back to one as Josh Conlon and Conor O Neill added Malin points, 1-06 to 0-08.
Calum McAteer and Conlon exchanged points as the excitement increased in the final minutes and then in the final minute of normal time Christy McLaughlin sent over a cracker to level it up, 1-07 to 0-10 and just like the other semi-final between Downings and Termon we were heading for extra-time.
Malin scored twice in the first period, Sean O Neill and sub Conor McGeoghegan and then again early in the second-half from re-introduced Josh Conlon. Two minutes later came the vital score that ended Gaeil Fhanada’s hopes as Conor O Neill raised away to score a brillant solo goal and then fittingly Christy McLaughlin kicked the final point to send Malin into the Intermediate Championship Final against Downings in two weeks time on a final score of 1-14 to 1-07.
Gaeil Fhanada: Mark McConigley, Shaun Kerr, Paddy Heraghty, Jimmy Coyle, Calum McAteer (0-01), Odhran Shiels, Brandon McClafferty, Liam McGrenaghan (0-01), Patrick Carr (0-01), James Kerr (0-01), Darren McElwaine (1-02), Eoghan Carr (0-01), Mark McAteer, Fergal Friel, Oisin Shiels.
Subs: Shaun Carr for Friel (h/t), Oisín McFadden for Coyle (53mins), Michael Sweeney for Carr (60mins), Mark Friel for Mark McAteer (68mins).
Malin: Daniel Mullarkey, Gary Farren, Ciaran Doherty, Sean Byrne, Taylor Bonner, Conor Farren (0-01), Paul McLaughlin, John Gerard McLaughlin, Daniel Houghton, Josh Conlon (0-04), Matthew Byrne, Christopher McLaughlin (0-03), Conor O Neill (1-02), Terence Doherty (0-01), Sean O’Neill (0-02).
Subs: Sean Kelly for Farren (h/t), Seamus Houghton ( 40mins), Conor McGeoghegan (0-01) for Doherty (55mins), Benny McLaughlin for Conlon (59mins), Josh Conlon for Byrne (68mins), Charlie Byrne for Sean O Neill (73mins), Terence Doherty for Benny McLaughlin (74mins).
Referee: Shane Murrin (Killybegs).