Naomh Conaill’s victory over Dungloe was every bit as comfortable as their nine point winning margin in Davy Brennan Memorial Park, suggests.
Naomh Conaill 2-14
The difference in class became apparent fairly early on as Naomh Conaill raced into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after just nine minutes. This despite facing into a strong wind in the opening 30 minutes.
Veteran Johnny McLoone opened the scoring on 18 seconds after a driving run from Anthony Thompson and Eunan Doherty netted the goal five minutes later. The wing forward had the simple task of tapping home from close range after good work from Brendan McDyer, who squared the ball after beating two defenders along the endline.
McDyer, who had a fine game in the corner, got his name on the scoresheet shortly before Cory Gallagher and Adrian Sweeney added to Darren Curran’s opener for Dungloe to keep Dungloe in touch.
But the locals added a further 1-5 to a single Dungloe’s point in the closing fifteen minutes of the half.
Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy, Ciaran Thompson, Kevin McGettigan and McDyer kicked the points while Leon Thompson drilled home the goal after the Dungloe defence was once again carved open.
Dungloe did hint at a revival at the start of the second half thanks to points from Gerard Walsh and Mark Sweeney and a super individual goal from half-back Darren Curran.
Curran drove from midfield to give Stephen McGrath no chance from 20 metres. The goal cut the Naomh Conaill lead to five points, 2-8 to 1-6 with just six minutes on the second half clock.
But as they had done in the closing ten minutes of the first period Naomh Conaill slipped into a higher gear and with Brick Molloy, Johnny McLoone, Eunan Doherty and Anthony Thompson all taking advantage of the elements as they hit six points, all from long range.
Such was the locals’ domination in the second period Mark Sweeney, who ran at the Naomh Conaill defence at every opportunity, raised Dungloe’s last white flag of the game on 40 minutes.
Naomh Conaill had former championship winning manager, Cathal Corey, back on the line for the first time this season. The Tyrone man is a mentor to new manager Martin Regan.
Naomh Conaill: S McGrath; K McGettigan (0-1), J Bonner, J Campbell; M Boyle, A Thompson (0-1), E Waide; J McLoone (0-3, 1,45), C Thompson (0-1); E Doherty (1-1), D Gallagher, D ‘Brick’ Molloy (0-4); B McDyer (0-2), L McLoone, L Thompson(1-1). Subs: J O’Malley for E Doherty (48); C Ellis for E Waide, A Thompson for M Boyle (both on 52).
Dungloe: C Sharkey; J Scally, G Ward, D Boyle; N McBride, S Sharkey (0-1), D Curran (1-1); C Gallagher(0-1, 45), R Sweeney; M Sweeney (0-2), A Neilly, G Walsh (0-1); A Sweeney (0-1). Subs: E. Scally for J Scally (h/t); P McGarvey for R Sweeney (40); M Redmond for N McBride(48, inj); B Curran for C Gallagher (51).
Referee: M Coll (Gaoth Dobhair).