Goals from Steven O’Reilly, Darren O’Learn and Shaun McGowan got Sean MacCumhaill’s the points against Cloughaneely on Sunday after they had lost against Fanad Gaels on Friday night.
Sean MacCumhaill’s 3-9
In a scrappy encounter that never rose above the ordinary all the goals were fisted efforts with O’Reilly netting the first two minutes from half-time when he connected with a Brian Lafferty centre.
O’Leary’s three pointer in the early minutes of the second half was an almost carbon copy of O’Reilly’s strike when the corner forward got a fist to a long ball into the Cloughaneely goal area to deflect past Lee McFadden.
That was on 34 minutes and gave MacCumhaill’s the lead for the first time after they trailed 1-2 to 0-7 at half-time.
McGowan’s strike was a real bizarre score when the replacement just after coming on seemed to punch the ball along the ground into an empty net as he stumbled to get to his feet after tripping over Clouganeely’s full-back Kevin McFadden.
The third goal on 39 minutes opened up a four point lead and was a real game turner as Cloughaneely, who had lost experienced defenders Denis Ferry and Paddy Joe Doohan, both to injury, either side of the goals, struggled to regain their composure.
Cloughaneely had led 0-7 to 1-2 at half-time having dominated the opening 30 minutes, Denis Boyle, John McGarvey and Eugene and Sean Maguire clocking up the scores.
It took O’Reilly’s goal on 28 minutes to keep Pat McNabb’s men in touch as David White, on eight minutes from a free and 15 minutes from play, was their only other scorers in the first half.
With Brendan McLaughlin extending the locals grip on the game with a superb individual point, Denis Boyle with two pointed frees reduced the margin to three with ten minutes remaining.
But it was the locals prompted by a Paddy Hannigan and Pat McNulty at midfield who made sure of the points as Hannigan, McGowan, and O’Leary rounded of the scoring with five unanswered points.
Both sides were short a number of regulars with county player Marty O’Reilly, Darren McGowan and John Lynch the main absentees from the MacCumhaill’s line-up with Shaun McGarvey and Joe Friel the big name players missing from the Cloughaneely starting fifteen.
The win, after three defeat in a row – Killybegs, Naomh Brid and Fanad Gaels – gets MacCumhaill’s league ambitions back on track but more importantly away from the bottom end of the table and relegation bother.
The defeat, on the other hand, sees Cloughanrely, who were relegated from Division One at the end of last season, drop into the bottom of three of the Division Two table and into relegation bother.
Sean McCumhaills: Chris Patton; Eoghan Wright, Joe Dunnion, Andrew McCloskey; Shane Duffy, Gary Dunnion, Gerard Grindle; Paddy Hannigan (0-1), Pat McNulty; Gavin Gallagher, David White (0-3,2f)), Brian Lafferty (0-1); Brendan McLaughlin (0-1), Steven O’Reilly (1-0), Darren O’Leary (1-2). Subs: Shaun McGowan (1-1) for A. McCloskey (34); Enda Corry for D. White (59).
Cloughaneely: Lee McFadden; Paddy Joe Doohan, Kevin McFadden, Micheal Lynch; Joe Gallagher (0-1), Conor McGee, Denis Ferry; Paddy McClafferty, Brian Cuffe; Ciaran McFadden, Joe Boyce, Eugene Maguire (0-1); Denis Boyle (0-4,4f), Sean Maguire (0-3), John McGarvey (0-1). Subs: Cian McFadden for D. Ferry (32 inj); John Harley for P. J. Doohan (40 inj); Darren Ferry for C. McFadden (53).
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).