Last-gasp McGroddy goal sees Downings land league title


Downings 1-16 Malin 1-15 AET

JOHNNY McGroddy crashed a brilliant last-gasp free into the net as Downings got the better of Malin in a pulsating Division 2 League Final at O’Donnell Park this evening.


It was a fantastic encounter that went to extra-time and both teams gave it all they had.

It looked like Malin were going to win when they moved two points ahead with time nearly up.

However, Downings were granted one more chance and McGroddy fired a close-range free high to the net to break Malin’s hearts.

Both teams have already secured promotion to Division 1 but they were keen to finish out the league with some silverware.

Johnny McGroddy and Josh Conlon swapped points before there was a stoppage when Gary Farren went down injured and he had to be stretchered off.

The break didn’t affect Malin too much and they scored a brilliant goal in the ninth minute.

Benny ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin played a clever pass inside to Christy ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin, who rifled a super shot into the bottom corner from twenty metres.


Conor McGettigan hit back with a point for Downings but they were having difficulty with Christy ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin who scored a free and a point from play.

There was a fast pace to the game and McGettigan and Lorcan Connor kicked neat points for Downings, while Conor O’Neill was on target for Malin.

The Rosguill men finished the half very strongly and a Johnny McGroddy score and two points from Lorcan Connor had the sides level at the break.

Lorcan Connor in action against Malin on Sunday evening. Photo: Evan Logan.

Downings remained on top after the restart and that deadly duo of Connor and Johnny McGroddy both scored points from play.

Malin needed a point and Josh Conlon provided it but they were fortunate not to concede a goal in the 38th minute but Daniel Mullarkey saved superbly from Connor.

The Inishowen men then started to motor again and Terence Doherty, Benny ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin and Conlon (free) were all on target to move them two ahead.

Downings were guilty of some poor wides in the second half and they went 22 minutes without a score before Johnny McGroddy curled over.

Allen Pasoma then levelled matters as the hour mark approached.

Matthew Byrne pushed Malin back in front but a pressure Johnny McGroddy free brought the game to extra-time.

Christy ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin under pressure from Martin McBride of Downings. Photo – Evan Logan.

Malin hit three of the four points in the first half of the additional time with Christy ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin (2) and Benny ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin on the mark, while Johnny McGroddy kicked a placed ball for Downings.

Kevin ‘Cookie’ Gallagher’s Downings didn’t panic and they registered three points on the trot with Johnny McGroddy, McGettigan, and Pasoma all on target.

It was great stuff despite the tiring legs and Malin went back in front after two more Christy ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin frees.

Adam McGonagle then put them two up and that appeared to be that.

However, Johnny McGroddy had other ideas and he fired a free to the net despite a packed goalline to ensure that Downings went home with the Division 2 league trophy.

Downings: Aaron McClafferty; Hugo Davis, Ben McNutt, Max Davis; Keelan McGroddy, Kevin Doherty, Conor Boyce; Conor McGettigan (0-3), Shane Boyce; Martin McBride, Johnny McGroddy (1-7, 1-2fs), James Lee McBride; Kyle McFadden, Lorcan Connor (0-4, 1f), Allen Pasoma (0-2). Subs: Danny McBride for K.McFadden (42 mins), Gary ‘Ban’ McClafferty for C.Boyce (53 mins).

Malin: Daniel Mullarkey; Gary Farren, Ciaran Doherty, John C Doherty; Conor Farren, John Gerard McLaughlin, Paul McLaughlin; Sean Kelly, Daniel Houghton; Josh Conlon (0-3, 1f), Matthew Byrne (0-1), Christy ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin (0-6, 5fs); Conor O’Neill (0-1), Benny ‘Fildara’ McLaughlin (0-2), Damien Harkin. Subs: Darragh McColgan for G.Farren (5 mins), Terence Doherty (0-1) for S.Kelly (34 mins), Adam McGonagle (0-1) for C.Farren (55 mins), Conor McColgan for O’Neill (60 mins), Joseph Doherty for Conlon (78 mins).

Referee: Shane Toolan (Aodh Ruadh).

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