MACCUMHAILLS 0-13 GLENFIN 1-08
BY CHRIS MCNULTY IN BALLYBOFEY
THE Finn Valley’s bragging rights are with Sean MacCumhaills after this win over derby rivals Glenfin in Ballybofey.
Not even a brilliant 1-5, including a late goal scored direct from a free, by Ciaran Moy could save Glenfin, who fell to a first defeat of the season against a MacCumhaills team that has a useful look about it in places.
Rising Donegal star Martin O’Reilly hit three points for the winners, with a couple of superbly taken long-range scores that showed that he could, perhaps, be given the right-footed deadballs for the county were Michael Murphy to be absent.
Both teams came into the game on a winning note, but Glenfin will be disappointed not to have put up a greater fight having won their opening trio of games.
Francie Martin’s side had full-back Paul McCrudden sent off three minutes from the end for lashing out in the move that led to MacCumhaill’s 13th point, scored by David Whyte. The well-worked score put six points between them (0-13 to 0-7) and the Twin Towners looked to be home and dry.
But Glenfin’s knack of scoring goals made for a tense finale. Kevin McGlynn had reduced the arrears with a score, aided by an upright, before Moy’s strike took his side to within a score.
From a 20 metre free, the deadly accurate Moy drilled straight to the top corner of the MacCumhaills net, past a stunned Chris Patton, who could do little to prevent it.
Glenfin just ran out of time, though MacCumhaills could, and should have been further in front by that stage. The home side kicked five second-half wides, while the visitors could thank veteran goalkeeper Benji O’Meara for two saves that kept the game alive.
Late in the first-half, O’Meara denied Benny McLaughlin, who looked to have been teed up for a certain goal by Gavin Gallagher, only for O’Meara to thwart his efforts. Eight minutes into the second-half he did well to turn away Martin O’Reilly’s shot from close range.
MacCumhaills threatened at times to move too far in front, but missed some good chances, which kept things interesting.
They were four ahead by the 24th minute.
Glenfin led only once, briefly, in the opening exchanges when points by Ciaran Moy and Ciaran Foy cancelled out Whyte’s opener.
The lead lasted only three minutes as Benny McLaughlin’s blistering effort whistled over O’Meara’s crossbar.
An O’Reilly free knocked MacCumhaills ahead again with Pat McNulty, O’Reilly again, McLaughlin and Whyte all on the mark as they led 0-7 to 0-3, Moy hitting Glenfin’s only response in that time.
The visitors were every bit as wasteful in the first-half as their opponents were in the second, kicking six wides with some costly decision making too.
But they only trailed by two at the changeover, Moy and Gerard Ward scoring late in the half.
However, they lost their way and took 19 second-half minutes to score again, with Brian Lafferty, O’Reilly (2), and McLaughlin stretching the MacCumhaills lead to six.
Pat McNulty and Whyte restored that margin after a quick-fire Moy brace. They did manage to narrow it, but couldn’t turn the tide and MacCumhaills held on for a deserved win that continues a promising start to the 2012 campaign that saw them win the Ulster Intermediate League.
MacCumhaills: Chris Patton; Eoghan Wright, John Lynch, Andrew McCloskey; Shane Duffy, Gary Dunnion, Joe Dunnion; Paddy Hannigan (0-1), Pat McNulty (0-1); Gavin Gallagher, David Whyte (0-3), Brian Lafferty (0-1); Benny McLaughlin (0-3, 1f), Steven O’Reilly, Martin O’Reilly (0-3, 3f). Sub: Enda Corry for S.O’Reilly (half-time).
Glenfin: Benji O’Meara; Stephen McGlynn, Paul McCrudden, Gary Herron; Dean Herron, Gareth Martin, Frank McGlynn; Michael McGlynn, Stephen McDermott; Ciaran Foy (0-1), Leigh Herron, Ciaran Moy (1-5, 1-3f); Gerard Ward (0-1), Malachy Martin, Kevin McGlynn (0-1). Sub: Daniel McGlynn for M.Martin (8 mins).
Referee: Sean McLaughlin (Malin).