Red Hugh's too strong for Naomh Padraig

Red Hugh's too strong for Naomh Padraig
Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

It was all very comfortable for Red Hugh's in this Junior A Championship clash with Naomh Padraig, Lifford, at the Cross, Killygordon on Saturday night.

Red Hugh's . . . . . . . . . 2-22

N Padraig (Lifford) . . 1-6

Of the 24 scores - all but two points from frees - there were nine different scorers in a polished performance that must have pleased manager Seosamh McKelvey no end.

But despite the 19 point winning margin, the win must carry a health warning.

Naomh Padraig were well below their best and were short a number of key players to injury and other commitments and are really struggling this season.

Nevertheless, no matter what way you look at it this was a good performance from a well organised outfit with quality footballers right through the team.

Gerard Melaugh and Damien Browne gave them a solid platform at midfield with the energetic Melaugh the playmaker in the engine room.

Sean Sweeney at full-back was the rock on which a solid defence was built.

Calvin Bradley led the attack in the number 11 shirt and was flanked by Odhran Doherty and Colm Melaugh who between them accounted for seven of their points and linked well over the 60 minutes.

Pauric McMenamin proved a good target man on the edge of the square and also roamed at times and won a good deal of possession away from the goals and used it well.

Red Hugh's led 1-10 to 0-3 at half-time and after getting off to a lively start and scoring a goal and three points in the opening six minutes.

Damien Browne, who ended the game with 1-6, scored the goal on three minutes after good work and an inch perfect pass from P J Gallagher. Odhran Doherty and Browne posted the early points as the locals laid siege on the Naomh Padraig posts.

They had added a further five points from Doherty, Gerard Melaugh, Colm Melaugh, James Carlin and Browne, before Darren Gillespie raised Naomh Padraig’s first white flag on 20 minutes.

Gillespie split the posts after a good run and pass from Kevin Lynch, Lifford’s best player by a good stretch.

After being under the cosh for much of the half, to their credit Naomh Padraig, mainly through the work and industry of Lynch, Gillespie, Paul Lynch and Paul Grant, enjoyed a good spell and matched the locals on the scoreboard in the closing ten minutes of the half thanks to points from Keenan Gallagher and Grant. Cathal Gallagher and Calvin Bradley scored the Red Hugh points.

Colm Melaugh and Gillespie traded early points on the resumption before Red Hugh's took control again and reeled off 1-6 without response by the end of the third quarter.

Bradley struck for the second goal on 45 minutes after a penetrating run from deep by Cathal Doherty and pass from Pauric McMenamin for a 2-17 to 0-4 lead.

Minutes earlier Bradley was denied from the penalty spot by a brilliant full stretch save from Sean McBrearty in the Naomh Padraig goals.

This was a number of good saves made by McBrearty, who had a fine game, a feature of which was his pinpoint kickouts - one of the best I have seen in club football in a long time.

With the game as a contest long over Browne and Gillespie exchanged points and Donal Grant hit 1-1 before James Carlin, P J Gallagher and Browne rounded off the scoring for a comfortable win and a place in the last eight of the championship for Red Hugh's.

Red Hugh's: Ciaran Kelly; Shane McGlinchey, Sean Sweeney, Dylan Irwin; Alfie Mullan, Odhran Doherty (0-4), Cathal Doherty (0-1); Gerard Melaugh (0-2), Damien Browne (1-6,2f); P J Gallagher (0-1), Calvin Bradley (1-2), Colm Melaugh (0-3); James Carlin (0-2), Pauric McMenamin (0-1), David Gallen.

Naomh Padraig: Sean McBrearty; Micheál Ferry, John Lafferty, Pauric Brennan; Keenan Gallagher, Johnny Mahon, Conor Mulhern; Paul Lynch, Paul Given; Kevin Lynch, Damien Tourish, Jack Mahon; Darren Gillespie (0-3,1f), Donal Grant (1-1), Jeffrey Crawford. Sub., Aaron Vanbeck for C Mulhern (black), 27.

Referee: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs).