As the crow flies it’s barely eight miles from Dunfanaghy to Falcarragh but the distance seemed a little longer on Sunday.
St Michael’s 2-11
That’s because St Michael’s enjoyed a dominant victory over their neighbours Cloughaneely to open their campaign in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta SFC Group 3.
Whatever chances there were of a surprise pretty much evaporated when the home side scored two goals inside a minute before half-time to turn a five-point advantage into an 11-point one.
Andrew Kelly and Colm McFadden were the goalscorers and with St Michael’s going in 2-7 to 0-2 in front at the break, all Cloughaneely could do in the second half was restore their pride.
John Paul Gallagher’s side, with the wind, outscored their rivals 0-5 to 0-4 in part two but would still have left the Bridge disappointed.
McFadden scored 1-6 in all, with his goal on 26 minutes expertly-taken following a lightening break from Martin McEhlinney, who latched onto a pass into the chest from Andrew Kelly.
That came right from a Cloughaneely kick-out after Kelly had scored the opening goal.
The St Michael’s corner-forward was the beneficiary from close range as he stabbed home after Cloughaneely goalkeeper Shaun McClafferty lost the coordinates in the swirling wind on a McFadden effort.
Those two goals made the score St Michael’s 2-5 to 0-2 and with Eddie Harkin’s hosts the unbackable favourites, they did their damage early to rule out any chance of an upset.
In all there were 11 yellow cards dished out over the course of the hour.
Cloughaneely managed just two Denis Boyle free-kicks in the first half and the former county panellist added two more after half-time.
All in all though, St Michael’s were very comfortable and were full value for their comprehensive victory.
St Michael’s: Mark Anthony McGinley; Peter Witherow, Stephen Doak, Brendan Rodden; Liam Paul Ferry, Ciaran Gallagher (0-1), Michael Gallagher; Martin McElhinney, Martin Breslin; Michael McGinley (0-1), Daniel McLaughlin, Christy Toye (0-2); Colm McFadden (1-6, 3f), Ryan Langan, Andrew Kelly (1-1, 1f). Subs: Michael Cannon for M.McGinley (51 ), Antoin McFadden for McLaughlin (55 ), Michael Langan for Kelly (60 ).
Cloughaneely: Shaun McClafferty; Eugene Maguire, Kevin McFadden, Martin Ferry; Darren Ferry, Kevin Mulhern, Shaun Maguire (0-1); Eamon Curran, Ciaran Scanlon; Denis Boyle (0-4, 4f), Darren McGeever (0-1), Lee O’Brien; Martin Maguire, John McGarvey, John Fitzgerald. Subs: Paddy Cannon for Ferry (half-time), Declan McGarvey (0-1) for M.Maguire (half-time), Ciaran McGeady for Curran (45 ), Cian McFadden for E.Maguire (49 ).
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).