St Michael’s will meet Gweedore in the quarter finals of the Donegal Senior championship after a comprehensive victory over Mac Cumhaill’s at the Bridge on Sunday evening.
St Michael’s 2-13
Sean Mac Cumhaill’s 1-7
The Dunfanaghy men raced into a five point lead inside the first ten minutes and never relinquished their advantage. MacCumhaill’s did fight back to score a goal through David White, but goals from Martin McElhinney and Raymond McLaughlin gave St Michael’s a half time lead of seven points.
The second half was a drab affair lacking intensity and excitement, as both sides appeared to accept St Michael’s progression to the next round. St Michael’s showed their intentions with the first attack of the game, as Toye set up Raymond McLaughlin to score. Brian McLaughlin added a second moments later, before Colm McFadden and Brian McLaughlin tagged a free each on to the scoreboard.
Toye then left county minor, Martin O’Reilly, in his wake to score his first point of the evening. MacCumhaill’s had to wait to the 13th minute to open their account, when Bernard McGeehin kicked a fine point. However, the Bridgemen responded with a point from Ciaran Gallagher, before his midfield partner, McElhinney scored the first goal of the match. Brian McLaughlin won possession before laying off to the onrushing McElhinney, who drove past the MacCumhaill’s defence to give Darren O’Leary no chance with an excellent finish to the bottom corner.
Benny McLaughlin kicked a free for the Twin Towns side, but Toye was causing all sorts of problems to the MacCumhaill’s backline, and he kicked another point in the 19th minute. St Michael’s were dominating, but complacency set in and a minute later, MacCumhaill’s had the ball in the net. St Michael’s needlessly gave up possession in defence, and when James Lynch’s shot was blocked, Dubliner David White followed up to fire past Ciaran Gallagher in the St Michael’s goal.
Benny McLaughlin kicked another long distance free for Pat McNabb’s side, as they narrowed the gap as half time approached. However, St Michael’s pounced for their second goal seconds before the half-time whistle. Andrew Kelly intercepted a MacCumhaill’s attack, and the ball was moved to Daniel McLaughlin, who played a superb pass to Raymond McLaughlin, and the corner forward hammered the ball to the net, to send them into the half time break with a 2-7 to 1-3 lead.
The second half began in a lethargic manner, and it took 12 minutes for a score to arrive, when McElhinney scored an outstanding point. McFadden and O’Reilly exchanged frees, before Andrew Kelly raced clear to kick a point. MacCumhaill’s almost registered their second green flag, but Gallagher diverted McGeehin’s effort over the crossbar. St Michael’s finished the game strongly with three points in the last five minutes through Toye, Daniel McLaughlin and Colm McFadden . David White did kick a late consolation point, but it was not enough to stop St Michael’s march into the quarter-finals.
St Michael’s: Ciaran Gallagher, Brendan Rodden, Stephen Doak, Michael Gallagher, Andrew Kelly (01), Michael McGinley, Michael Cannon, Ciaran Gallagher (0-1), Martin McElhinney (1-1), Daniel McLaughlin (0-1), Barry McGinley, Christy Toye (0-3), Colm McFadden (0-3,2f), Brian McLaughlin (0-2,1f), Raymond McLaughlin(1-1). Subs: Martin Breslin for Gallagher (38 mins), Stephen Coyle for Cannon (49 mins), Stephen Black for McGinley (58 mins).
Sean MacCumhaill’s: Darren O’Leary, Shane Duffy, John Lynch, Joe Dunnion, Sean McGowan, Shane McNulty, Andrew McCloskey, Paddy McNulty, Pat McNulty, Martin O’Reilly (0-1, f), James Lynch, Gavin Gallagher, Benny McLaughlin (03,3f), Bernard McGeehin (0-2), David White (1-1).
Referee: Michael Mulhern (St. Eunan’s)