Drumoghill FC romped past Bonagee United to win the Watson Hire Division One title at Dry Arch Park on Sunday afternoon.
Drumoghill FC 6
Bonagee United 0
Michael Lynch’s team required the three points to stave off the challenge of Cappry Rovers and took control of the contest right from the off.
After a narrow 2-1 victory over Keadue Rovers a week beforehand had kept Drumoghill’s destiny in their own hands, Lynch would’ve been eager for his team not to sail quite to close to the wind against Bonagee.
Within four minutes, the league leaders had got their noses in front when Richie Moore, the former Drumkeen United frontman, opened the scoring.
The centre forward tucked home a rebound from close range after Shane Kelly had initially cleared a Kevin Kelly header following a corner from Brian Coll.
That goal relaxed Drumoghill and freed them from any jitters that might’ve been evident going into the match.
In just three more minutes, the advantage was doubled and again Bonagee struggled to defend a corner from Coll.
The ball was inexplicably allowed to bounce inside of the penalty area and it left Liam O’Donnell with the chance to nod past John Carr in the Bonagee goal.
Carr kept his team in it with a host of decent saves all afternoon but it was clear whatever flickering hopes they had of avoiding relegation to the CT Ball Division Two were all but ceased.
As it turned out, Eany Celtic, who picked up just one point from the entire season, were unable to produce a favour as they went down to a relieved Keadue Rovers.
After their lightening start, for Drumoghill it wasn’t a case of how but more of how many?
Right before half-time, they had a third goal and this time it was produced by a fine run by Shane McIntyre down the left.
He centred and Karlos Rodgers nipped in ahead of Kevin McHugh to establish a 3-0 interval lead - the softest of cushions.
Drumoghill had been homeless for the season due to the fact they’ve been laying a new pitch at the Moss.
They’ve been tenants at a numbers of premises around the county over the last eight months, including Station Road, the Aura Centre in Letterkenny and Diamond Park in Ballyare.
The Bonagee fixture was actually a home fixture for Drumoghill, who were happy enough to play at Dry Arch Park.
They were certainly happy enough with how the first half had panned out and we’re really in the mood to take their foot off the pedal.
Bonagee, after a hard slog all season, were deflated at that stage and there was more to come. They had zero chance of survival at that particular juncture.
On 61 minutes, Coll was again the architect from a corner kick and again Bonagee were punished for their shortcomings in trying to keep Drumoghill out from what was certainly proving to be a incrediblly profitable series of placed balls.
David O’Carroll sneaked in at the near post to make the score 4-0.
Then, just four minutes afterwards, came the fifth. This time Bonagee were fortunate to retain their full compliment as Seamus McGinty took down Liam O’Donnell as he bore down on Carr’s goal.
Referee Paddy Martin opted not to send off the Bonagee defender, who saw his side obtain a punishment of sorts when Moore curled in the free-kick for his second goal of the afternoon.
With the cake well and truly iced at that stage, there was still time for the cheery to be placed on top.
In the last minute of the 90, Liam O’Donnell again got the better of McGinty and although his shot wasn’t the most crisply ever struck, it unconventionally bounced over Carr to complete the rout.
It completed a simple win in the end to confirm Drumoghill as league champions for the first time since 1996.
They’ll have the trophy to parade next season when they will return to their home at the Moss.
Drumoghill FC: Greg Regan; Ronan Gibson, Chris O’Donnell, David O’Carroll, Brian Coll; Karlos Rodgers (Shane McDaid 70), Kevin Kelly, Richard Tinney (Joe English 78), Shane McIntyre (John Madigan 68); Liam O’Donnell, Richie Moore.
Bonagee United: John Carr; Conor Browne, Kevin McHugh, Darren Hunter, Seamus McGinty; Mark Huntre, Hugh McDaid, Ciaran Gibson, Reece Shortt; Shane Kelly, Paddy McLaughlin (Sean Crossan 66).
Referee: Paddy Martin