Dermot 'Brick' Molloy - goal for Naomh Conaill
Goals win matches as home side Naomh Conaill showed in this breezy cold opening encounter against a game Bundoran side in the Davy Brennan Memorial Park
Naomh Conaill 2-13
A GOAL in either half, at vital times, was the catalyst for this valuable home victory for Naomh Conaill whose opening match against Gaoth Dobhair was called off due to a pre-arranged social occasion for Naomh Conaill.
But goals from Dermot 'Brick' Molloy and A J Gallagher in the 21st and 33rd minutes were the real difference for the winners against a Jamie and Paul Brennan inspired Bundoran side who battled gamely to the bitter end.
Naomh Conaill’s Eoghan McGettigan was the man of the match hitting five fine points and was at the hub of all that was good about the winners.
Jamie Brennan hit 0-9 for the losers, eight from place balls and was always a threat up front along with the busy Timmy Govorov.
They were missing regular free-taker Gary Clancy and Brennan deputised very capably.
And the well balanced Glenties men grabbed a precious goal in the 21stminute to put real daylight between the sides.
It was a crucial score as it knocked back a spirited Bundoran revival led by full-forward Jamie Brennan as the sides were tied at 0-3 each after early points from the impressive Eoghan McGettigan, Brendan McDyer pushed the home side to a 0-3 to 0-0 lead by the 16ht minute.
rennan opened the Seasiders account with a pointed free which was added to by well struck efforts from Shane McGowan and the beavering Timmy Govorov.
But Glenties replied like a rattlesnake in the 21st minute when a high speculative lob from Ciaran Thompson was broken down by the hard- working McGuinness to McGettigan, who flicked the ball to Dermot “Brick” Molloy who had the simple task of tapping the ball to an empty net.
Anthony Thompson immediately tacked on another point and suddenly Bundoran were four points adrift.
To their credit they did not buckle with the inevitable Jamie Brennan replying with a point in the 26thminute.
Brennan then fell heavily to the ground after an Ultan Doherty tackle which did not look too dangerous, but referee Jimmy White flashed the black card as Brennan hopped up to tap over the free.
He added another point to leave a somewhat wasteful Glenties ahead by 1-5 to 0-6 with McGettigan getting their final point.
And they should have had another goal just before the break when Glenties elegant midfielder Ethan O’Donnell found himself clear on goal but he hesitated and his shot was smothered by Bundoran keeper Conor Carty.
The winners got an early tonic after just 45 seconds when Molloy hoisted over a fine point for Glenties to which Brennan replied with a point for Bundoran.
But Glenties struck what proved to be the clinching score in the 33rdminute.
The Bundoran defence looked vulnerable under the high ball all day as evidenced by Glenties first half goal.
rendan McDyer launched a Garryowen into the Bundoran square and the Seasiders keeper Conror Carty hesitated, allowing the ball to bounce where Glenties full-back A J Gallagher was waiting to tap the ball to the net.
In a carbon copy of the first half goal, Eoin Waide added another point to leave Bundoran trailing by six points.
And even though, they never yielded, the south Donegal side never quite looked like penetrating a solid Glenties rearguard.
And while his brother Ultan was a tad unlucky to pick up a black card, Eunan Doherty can consider himself lucky to escape with a yellow card for a heavy tackle on Bundoran’s Paul Brennan midway through the second half.
Glenties threw on Seamus Corcoran, Kieran Gallagher and Paul McGuinness who got his name on the scoresheet as Bundoran brought Diarmuid McCaughey, Tommy Hourihane and Diarmuid Spratt to boost their efforts.
This was a fully deserved victory for Glenties in truly miserable conditions as they prepare to play three games in six days starting on Friday with a trip to Towney against Kilcar.
They then play St Eunan’s at home next Sunday and Gaoth Dobhair in Magheragallon on the following Wednesday.
Who said the opening of the League might not be hectic!
NAOMH CONAILL: Stephen McGrath; Ultan Doherty, A J Gallagher (1-0), Hughie Gallagher; Eoin Waide (0-1), Kevin McGettigan, Eunan Doherty; Ciaran Thompson, Ethan O’Donnell; Brendan McDyer (0-1) Eoghan McGettigan (0-6) Anthony Thompson (0-1); Dermot Molloy (1-1) Leo McLoone (0-1), Charlie McGuinness (0-1) Subs: Aaron Doherty for Ultan Doherty (b-card 23), Seamus Corcoran for Brendan McDyer (50), Kieran Gallagher for Dermot Molloy (53), Paul McGuinness (0-1) for Charlie McGuinness (56)
BUNDORAN: Conor Carty; Matthew Duffy, Paul Murphy, Matthew Ward; Peter McGonigle, Shane McGowan (0-1) Niall Carr; Ciaran McCaughey, Michael McEniff; Paul Brennan (0-2) Timmy Govorov (0-1) Oisin Walsh; Darragh Hoey, Jamie Brennan (0-8,7f) Cian McEniff. Subs: Diarmuid McCaughey for Matthew Ward (24), Tommy Hourihane for Peter McGonigle (35), Diarmuid Spratt for Oisin Walsh (57)
REFEREE: Jimmy White (Killybegs)