Calvin Bradley and Colm Melaugh scored the goals as Red Hugh’s drew first blood, in their championship opener with Moville at the Cross.
And in winning the game with eight point to spare the men from the Cross laid down a serious marker as they head to Moville for the second leg tie next weekend.
While Bradley with two and Melaugh raised the green flags, corner forward and the team’s sharpshooter Damien Browne was once again his side’s top scorer.
The rangy corner forward, who carried a big threat any time he won possession, ended the game with a personal tally of seven points, four of them from frees. His three points from play were all out of the top drawer with one in particular in the first half when he won a high ball ahead of his marker and with a turn and swivel of the hips the ball was sailing high between the posts.
Red Hugh’s led and deservedly so at half-time by three points having played with the aid of a stiff breeze. Gerard Melaugh, Shane Gallagher and Browne scored the points with Bradley netting the first of his goals, 11 minutes into the game.
But while the locals dominated in the possessions stakes Moville, having played into the elements, suggested that they were more than a match for their Division Three opponents.
And thanks to points from Conor Doherty, Jack Kees and Nigel McMonagle and a goal from Oran McDermott they were still very much in the contest as they changed over for the second half.
McMonagle’s goal, a first time effort from a Conor Doherty cross, tied up the game for the second and last time as Red Hugh’s took control shortly afterwards.
Gallagher (1) and Browne (4) saw the locals, who are managed by former Tyrone double All-Star John Lynch, raced into a 1-6 to 1-1 lead, before Kees and McMonagle scored late in the half to reduce the margin to three.
It was all Red Hugh’s in the second half with Bradley polishing off a sweeping move on 38 minutes for his second goal ,a carbon copy of the first.
Browne followed up shortly after with one his specials after minutes earlier being uncharacteristically wide from a 35 metre free.
McMonagle registered Moville’s first of the second half on 47 minutes and Browne and McMonagle traded scores twice in the closing stages as the locals ran out convincing winners.
Overall this was a highly entertaining contest between two extremely fit and talented sides; it certainly was much more evenly contested than the final margin suggests.
The big difference between them was that Red Hugh’s were more direct in their approach and were always willing to take on the man. And of course in Damien Browne they had a man that was capable of translating that possession into scores.
Eunan and Seamus Hegarty, Enda Faulkner, Joe McBride, Danny Murphy and young Conor Doherty all impressed for Moville who lacked the penetration and up front to punish the locals.
As well as the aforementioned Damien Browne, the other stars of this win were Thomas McMenamin, Sean Sweeney and Kevin Melaugh, in defence, Eugene Browne and Marty Bonner in midfield, while Gerard Melaugh and goal machine Bradley shone brightest up front alongside man of the match Browne.
Red Hughs: Luke Kelly; Thomas McMenamin, Sean Sweeney, Aaron Bradley; Karl Gallen, Gary Kelly, Kevin Melaugh; Eugene Browne, Marty Bonner; Shane Gallagher (0-1), Colm Melaugh (1-0), Peadar McGlinchey; Calvin Bradley (2-0), Gerard Melaugh , Damien Browne (0-7,4f). Subs: Micheal McMenamin for K Melaugh (45); Kevin Melaugh for K Gallon (59). Moville: Tom Houston; Jack Kees (0-1), Eunan Hegarty, Declan Logue; Joe McBride, Enda Faughnan, Micheal Fiorintini; Seamus Hegarty, John McGeady; Nigel McMonagle (0-3); Ciaran Moore, Conor Doherty (0-1,1f); Oran McDermott (1-0), Danny Murphy, Tony McCleneghan. Subs: Michael B Doherty for M. Fiorintini (29); Malachy McDermott (0-1) for S Moore (h/t); Ciaran Diver for C Doherty (40).
Referee: Shane Toolan (Aodh Ruadh).
Na Rossa 0-9
Robert Emmet’s 2-3
It ended all square between Na Rossa and Robert Emmet’s in a very closely contested Junior A Championship meeting in Dooey, on Sunday afternoon.
In a nip and tuck encounter throughout the sides were level - Na Rossa 0-5, Robert Emmets 1-2 - at half-time.
Na Rossa corner forward P J Hanlon tied up the game on the stroke of half-time after a Ciaran Brennan goal had seen the visitors hit the front with ten minutes to go to half-time.
Danny McBride’s goal ten minutes from the end of normal time edged Robert Emmet’s two in front, but late points from Odhran Gallagher tied it up and it will be all to play for when the sides meet in the second leg.
Na Rossa: James Bonner; Denis O’Donnell, Daniel Melly, Jamie McCready; Conor Melly, John McDyre, Shane McCready; Eugene Molloy, Odhran Gallagher (0-2); Daryl Devenny (0-1), Ryan Hennessy (0-1), Christian Bonner; P. J. Hanlon (0-1), John Paul McCready (0-4,4f), Cormac McHugh. Subs: John P Breslin for C Melly; Martin Bonner for P. J Hanlon.
Robert Emmetts: Tyler Lafferty; Brian Dooher, Damien McAneney, John Doherty; Aaron Dalton, Sean Coyle, Ryan McGirr; Dean McBrearty, Simon McMenamin; Mark Lafferty, Johnny McLaughlin, Ciaran Brennan (1-0); Darren McBride (1-0), John Hunter (0-2), Dominic McGlinchey (0-1). Sub: Tom Devlin for A Dalton.
Boyles increase lead
Donegal’s, Declan Boyle/Declan Boyle (Subaru WRC) won the Waterford based Raven’s Rock Rally, round four of the Dunlop National Rally Championship that was curtailed due to a fatal accident on the fourth stage which claimed the life of Paul Mulcahy of Dungarvan. The win increase Boyle’s lead in the championship.
Boyle finished 20.5 seconds ahead of Welsh driver, James Belton (Subaru WRC) with last year’s event winner, James Stafford (Darrian T90) eleven seconds further behind in third.