Paul Murphy races onto a loose ball for Bundoran against Cloughaneely Picture: Thomas Gallagher
Bundoran gained two valuable league points in a real roller coaster victory over a dogged Cloughaneely at Gaelic Park on Saturday evening.
Realt na Mara 4-13
The home side were a real mixed bag playing some excellent football early in both halves before switching off for a period to allow their visitors gain momentum before finally getting the job done.
Bundoran had a whirlwind start with Daragh Hoey crashing the ball off the crossbar before Cian McEniff reacted quickest to fist to the net after only two minutes. This was immediately followed by a well taken Tommy Hourihane point.
The Cloughaneely response was excellent and they had levelled matters by the 5th minute with a Ciaran McFadden point and a well finished Darren Ferry goal.
Sean McGuire added two points before the experienced Shane McGowan replied for the Realt. Ferry split the posts again on 20 minutes and shortly after they lost veteran Kevin Mulhern to injury which had an unsettling impact as it was to be their final score of the half as the men in black and amber registered 1-4 to finish the half strongly. Points from Alan Russell, Timmy Govorov, Michael McEniff, Hourihane and a unstoppable penalty from Gary Clancy (following a crude challenge on Govorov which saw Noel Sweeney black carded) sent the home side into the dressing rooms at the break leading 2-6 to 1-4.
A brilliant run and finish from centre-half-back Paul Murphy increased Bundoran's lead after only 20 seconds of the new half. For the next 10 minutes the home side produced some fantastic football. Russell again found the range and this was followed by a superb team move with at least five players exchanging passes before Michael McEniff produced a quality finish past the helpless Sean McClafferty in the Cloughaneely goals.
Three further points from Govorov, Hoey and Hourihane had Bundoran out of sight leading by 13 points. At this stage you would not have blamed the visitors for throwing in the towel but instead they finally registered their first score in 25 minutes with a fine score from sub John Fitzgerald.
Slowly but surely the Cloughaneely men gained belief. Two further points from McFadden and Ferry left 10 between the sides midway through the half. Another Cloughaneely goal from the impressive Fitzgerald, who rounded his man to fire past Conor Carty, left the natives feeling very anxious.
Their nerves were jangling further by the 55th minute with three further points on the board for the men in blue from Paul Sweeney and two frees from McGuire. Unbelievably it was now only a four point game but a point from sub Christopher Keaney settled the home team's anxiety. Then on 58 minutes Bundoran finally put the game to bed when sub Niall Carr pounced on a goalkeeping error to finish well to the net.
Cloughaneely were reduced to 14 when Aiden Doohan saw red for a high boot on Oisin Walsh. Another Keaney point added the gloss to the scoreboard to give Realt na Mara a deserved victory.
Bundoran manager Niall Dunne will be delighted with this win gaining another brace of valuable points even if it was a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde performance.
REALT NA MARA: Conor Carty; Matthew Duffy, Diarmuid McCaughey, Adam Gallagher; Oisin Walsh, Paul Murphy (0-1), Johnny Boyle; Cian McEniff (1-0), Michael McEniff (1-1); Timmy Goverov (0-2), Daragh Hoey (0-1), Shane McGowan (0-1); Tommy Hourihane (0-3.1f), Gary Clancy (1-0, pen), Alan Russell (0-2). Subs: Christopher Keaney (0-2) for Hourihane 48; Niall Carr )1-0) for Murphy 50; Brian McHenry for D McCaughey 52.
CLOUGHANEELY: Sean McClafferty; Fionn McGinley, Kevin Mulhern, Noel Sweeney; Aidan Doohan, Michael Fitzgerald, Ciaran McFadden (0-1); Martin McGuire, Ciaran Scanlon; Mark Harley, Darren Ferry (1-2), Ciaran McGeady; Sean McGuire (0-4,3f), Paul Sweeney (0-1), Cillian Gallagher. Subs: Cian McFadden (0-1) for K Mulhern 21; Michael McHugh for N Sweeney bcard 29; John Fitzgerald (1-1) for N McGuire 38; Sean McGarvey for C McGeady 54
REFEREE: Enda McFeely (McCumhaills)