Malin gave themselves a boost ahead of the senior championship semi-final with a great away win against Ardara.
Despite trailing for the entire opening half - the Peninsula me, bided their time having kicked against the elements in the opening period, and finally grabbed control of proceedings late on in the second period.
Trailing 0-10 to 0-6 seven minutes after the restart, Anthony Kelly’s speculative effort dipped cruelly under Declan Gallagher’s crossbar before ending up in the back of the net. That came against the run of play after Ardara, against the breeze, had booted over the first two points of the new half courtesy of Brendan McNelis (0-2,1f).
Prior to Brendan McLaughlin’s intervention, Ardara seemed to be coasting. They hammered over the first six points in this one thanks to the boots of Brendan McNelis (0-3,1f) Brendan Boyle and Gareth Concarr.
It took twelve minutes for the visitors to open their account courtesy of an Anthony Kelly over. Dan McDaid and Declan Walsh quickly added to that to halve the gap on a difference of 0-3 to 0-06.
But points from Concarr and McNelis (free) once again opened up a four-point deficit. However, a Declan Walsh over on the stroke of half-time left the away charges three points off the pace and looking forward to kicking into the elements after the interval.
In between, Ardara had to rely on netminder Gallagher to deny Colgan as he bore down on goal.
Half-time: Ardara 0-08:0-05 Malin.
Against the breeze the hosts made the perfect start when McNelis clipped over two points inside the opening five minutes of the new half. But with McDaid dragging back a point, the intervention of McLaughlin minutes late helped Malin steal a real march when his shot for a point somehow ended up in the back of the net.
McLaughlin and Conor Farren, after a cheap Jimmy O’Connell dispossession, pushed Malin to the fore for the first time on a difference of 1-08 to 0-10.
Brendan McNelis tied matters up momentarily before substitutes Martin Shovlin and Kevin Byrne squandered glorious opportunities to extend their side’s lead.
Those mistakes were punished, before the end by the accurate boot of Anthony Kelly as the visitors ran out deserving winners by a two-point margin in the end. Both sides now turn their attentions to championship matters as Ardara tangle with Glenswilly and Malin lock horns with Killlybegs.
Ardara: Declan Gallagher; Shaun McLaughlin, Declan Gavigan, Kevin Breslin; Paddy Gallagher, Kevin Herron, Nicholas Maguire; Brendan Boyle (0-1), Conor Classon; Brendan McNelis (0-7, 4f), Peter McNelis, Kieran Breslin; Noel Gallagher (0-1), Jimmy O’Connell, Gareth Concarr (0-1). Subs: Stephen Boyle for Classon, Kevin Byrne for S. Boyle, Marty Shovlin of Concarr, Tomás Boyle for P. McNelis, Steven McHugh for J. O’Connell.
Malin: Declan Lafferty; Finbar Collins, Damien Harkin, Michael McLaughlin; Ciaran McColgan, Declan Walsh (0-2), Danny Green; Anthony Kelly (0-3), Conor Farren; Seamus Doherty, Brendan McLaughlin (1-1), Gerard Gallen; Conleth Farrn, Dan McDaid (0-3), Paul McLaughlin.
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).
Aodh Ruadh 2-10
A Damien Cleary goal a minute from the end saw Aodh Ruadh snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on an evening when much of the second half was played in very poor light, despite the game throwing in not much after the 6pm mark.
Aodh Ruadh had started brightly and led 0-6 to 0-1 after 20 minutes andit got better as David Dolan goaled to leave the home side 1-7 to 0-2 ahead but before the break Gary Ban McClafferty converted a penalty to leave it 1-8 to 1-3 at the break.
Downings were hoping for a good start to the second half, but it was Aodh Ruadh who made the first impression on the scoreboard, Peter Boyle hitting a brilliant dead ball into the wind to put two goals between the side. Things were about to swing towards the visitors though.
Lorcan Connor added three points and Patrick McGroddy two to cut the deficit to the minimum by the 46th minute. Shortly after Connor found the net to edge Downings into the lead for the firs time.
But it was the home side who edged it with Cleary’s late goal to put a dent in Downings’ chance of automatic promotion.
Aodh Ruadh: Peter Boyle (0-2f); Damien Cleary (1-0), Ciron Whoriskey, Niall McCready; Kieran Keown (0-1), Eamon McGrath, Anthony Boyle (0-3); Barry Ward (0-1), Conor Patton; David Dolan (1-1), Diarmaid McInerney, Ronan McGurrin (0-1); Kerry Ryan, Michael ‘Sticky’ Ward (0-1), David McGurrin. Subs: Brian Roper for Kerry Ryan 25, Kerry Ryan for K Keown: 44; Stephen Ward for B Ward 54.
Downings: Brian McGee; Gerard Coyle, David Hay, James McFadden; Brian McGinley, Oisín Boyce, Mícheál Bradley; Sean McBride, Sean McGinley; Shea Coyle, Gary Ban McClafferty (1-1, 1 pen), Patrick McGruddy (0-3); Lorcan Connor (1-4, 4f), Colm Gallagher, Aaron McClafferty (0-1), Seamus Gallagher. Subs: Finnian McClafferty for S McGinley 25; Seamus Gallagher, Eric Roberts.
Referee: Enda McFeely (Robert Emmett’s)
Naomh Brid 0-8
Red Hugh’s 0-11
Red Hugh’s gave themselves a chance of avoiding the relegation quagmire with a good away win at Naomh Brid on Saturday evening. They led 0-6 to 0-3 at the break and just about held on in the second half with Damien Browne in exceptional form.
Naomh Brid: S Doherty; M Quinn, S Burgess, S Quinn; J Timoney, C Walsh, C Rooney; T Gallagher, P McDaid (0-5,5f); G McCafferty (0-1), S Gormley, D McCafferty; C Gallagher, D Brogan (0-2), O Harron. Subs., P Rooney for D McCafferty; R Gallagher for Harron.
Red Hugh’s: L Kelly; A Bradley, S Sweeney, P McGlinchey; K Gallen, G Kelly, K Melaugh; T McMenamin, M Bonner; P McMenamin, G Melaugh, S Gallagher; C Melaugh (0-2), D Browne (0-7), C Bradley (0-2).
Referee: S Toolan (Aodh Ruadh).
Naomh Padraig 0-12
A late Ritchie Cunningham goal finally sealed the two league points for Carndonagh, in this evenly contested encounter at Pairc Mhic Diarmaid, in Lifford.
Gary McGirr did the bulk of the scoring for the locals.
Naomh Padraig: J Nelson; M Carlin, M McNulty, D Tourish; J Quinn, D Gethins, K Lynch; G McGirr, S Breslin; B Breslin, P Given, D Friel; P Carlin, L Crossan, M Ferry. Subs: K McBrearty, J Devine, S Devine.
Carndonagh:R Lannon; M Nelson, G Doherty, R Davenport; D Monagle, P Nelson, P Doherty (0-3); D Doherty (0-3), R Kelly (0-3), P McCallion,; R Cunningham (1-1), C Coyne (0-1), F Doherty, J Lafferty.