Malin got a brilliant victory over league leaders MacCumhaill’s in Connolly Park in great battle in which the visitors really played their part in.
Sean MacCumhaill 2-11
The win opens up the Division Two title and a number of teams will be happy with the result for Malin.
Mac Cumhaill’s led at one stage by six points but Malin never gave up and three goals in the final fifteen minutes of the game got the win for Terence Colhoun’s young side.
MacCumhaill’s started the brighter and Darren O'Leary blasted in penalty after he was brought down on five minutes. He tapped over 13 yard free a minute after when Gavin Gallagher's strong run was halted. Brendan McLaughlin hit Malin's first score from a ground free after Joseph Doherty was fouled.
Stephen McLaughlin followed this up with a lovely score up the right. Stephen Mulligan responded with a good team score for the twin town side. Joseph Doherty hit back with a good team score with a number of players involved.
Luke Gavigan got a black card midway through the half and Brendan McLaughlin scored the resulting free. Stephen Mulligan replied after a patient build up. O'Reilly then scored a free after Padhraic Patton was brought down. Brian Lafferty hit a good score with outside of boot after Malin over complicated things in defence. Brendan McLaughlin had a cheeky goal effort saved shortly after with the attempted lob from the angle just pushed out for a 45’. Stephen McLaughlin got Malin to back within a goal with a great run and score, this time up the left. Padhraic Patton had goal chance well saved just before half-time.
Brendan McLaughlin hit a score after quick hands from brother Stephen, after a delightful ball in from Damien Harkin. O'Leary again freed just after to stretch lead out to three to leave half time score Malin 0-06 MacCumhaill 1-06. At the start of the second half, Mac Cumhaills won the throw in, launched a ball in to O'Leary who caught it, turned and blasted into the net as simple as you like for the perfect start to the second half.
Malin replied with three Stephen McLaughlin scores, two frees and one from play, although advantage was being played, after Paul McLaughlin's strong running. O'Leary was denied his hat-trick by a brilliant Darragh McLaughlin save after a mix up in the Malin defence. Mulligan freed from the right after he himself had been fouled. O'Leary scored a good point after a turnover block and good run and ball in from Mulligan.
Mulligan added another free and Brian Lafferty scored on the break with Malin keeper just unable to reach it as it edged over the bar and at this stage it didn’t look good for Malin as the visitors had a six point lead. Malin responded with a goal and a point, Daniel Mullarkey’s difficult point in the right corner gave them some inspiration before Paul McLaughlin, who has a knack of scoring big goals, rattled in out of nowhere and suddenly it was game on. O’Leary steadied the Ballybofey men briefly with a free but Malin were level going down the stretch as they were awarded a penalty after Damien Harkin, who was immense throughout, was bundled over after he ran onto Paul McLaughlin’s driving run. Up stepped Brendan McLaughlin and dispatched the penalty perfectly to level the game.
MacCumhaill’s, to their credit, looked to have ground out an important score from Oisin Gallen but John Gerard McLaughlin had other ideas, Seamus Doherty did very well to run onto a stray ball in the MacCumhaill defence and fed McLaughlin who blasted in a quite simply brilliant goal, in high off the post to send the stands in Connolly Park into raptures. Malin showed great experience in injury time with Damien Harkin and Paul McLaughlin leading the way in ball retention along with Brendan and Stephen McLaughlin.
MALIN: Darragh McLaughlin, Michael McLaughlin, Conor Farren, Aiden Bambrick, Kieron McNicolas, Damien Harkin, Paul McLaughlin (1-00), John Gerard McLaughlin (1-0), Daniel Mullarkey (0-1), Stephen McLaughlin (0-5, 2f), Dan McDaid, Joseph Doherty (0-1), Brendan McLaughlin (0-3,2f) Seamus Doherty and Gary Farren. Subs used: John Gerard McDermott for Dan McDaid 42 mins, Sean O’Neill for Joseph Doherty 46 mins.
MACCUMHAILL'S: Christopher Patton, Aaron Kelly, Ronan McMenamin, Gerard Grindle, Martin Gallagher, Gary Dunnion, Luke Gavigan, Gavin Gallagher, Padhraic Patton, Brian Lafferty (0-2), Gary Wilson, Stephen Mulligan (0-4, 2f), Steven O’Reilly, Darren O’Leary (2-4, 1 pen, 2f) and Adam Lynch. Subs used: Conor Griffin for Luke Gavigan (Black card 15 mins), Oisin Gallen (0-1)for Stephen O’Reilly 45 mins, Benny McLaughlin for Padhraic Patton 48 mins, Chris Gallagher.