BUNDORAN OVERCAME MALIN comfortably in this SFC Group B encounter in a suprisingly one-sided match in sun drenched Gaelic Park today.
Realt na Mara 3-18 Malin 1-11
The home side were quickly into their stride and posted the first five scores of the match with two from Gary Clancy and one each from Tommy Hourihane, Diarmuid Spratt and Michael McEniff.
Malin eventually awoke from their slumber with two great goal chances but both were denied by excellent stops from Bundoran keeper Ashley Mulhern, although one of them did result in the visitors registering their first score a point from Joe Doherty.
Another Hourihane point was soon cancelled out by the livewire Brendan Mc Laughlin and then added to by his namesake Stephen. A clever interception by the impressive James Keaney in the Bundoran defence saw the ball moved at pace resulting in another Spratt point on 17 minutes.
Both teams then squandered great goal chances with Damien Harkin and Jamie Brennan failing to find the target at either end. Bundoran extended their lead further with points from Brennan and Clancy before Brendan Mc Laughlin hit Malin’s fourth point of the game on 23.
The final mins of the half saw the hosts become quite wasteful hitting a succession of wides and when referee Mark Browne blew his whistle for half time the visitors trailed by five, 0-9 to 0-4.
The men from Inishowen started the second half brightly with a Harkin point. They should have made it a one-point game seconds later when a palmed effort from Seamus Houghton skimmed the outside of the post as the empty net lay gaping.
With 33 minutes of the clock gone in the second half a brilliant run from Paul Brennan opened up the Malin rearguard but Jamie Brennan’s effort flew wide of the post.
Hourihane hit Bundoran’s first score of the half and it was quickly followed by a great effort from Alan Russell. In the 38th minute a McLaughlin point was immediately cancelled out by Jamien Brennan.
Then on 40min the men in black and amber put the game out of reach for the visitors with two quick fire goals. The first was a scrambled effort from Timmy Govorov who had replaced giant midfielder Ciaran Mc Caughey at halftime due to a shoulder injury and then a composed finish from Michael McEniff following good work from Brennan and Spratt.
Two further points from Hourihane and Clancy left 14 points between the sides at the midway point of the half and the Malin lads with a near impossible task on their hands.
To their credit they battled gamely and were rewarded with a well finished Seamus Houghton goal.
But any hope of a Malin revival was completely extinguished when a Michael McEniff point was soon followed by a Cian Mc Eniff goal set up unselfishly by his older brother. Malin hit two further points from Mc Laughlin and Declan Walsh and Clancy replied for the hosts.
Another brace of points from Darren Mullarkey and Doherty reduced the deficit before Russell once again scored for the home side. With time nearly up a Paul McLaughlin rasper stung the gloves of Mulhern before Clancy hit the final score of the game from a close in free to give the seasiders a deserving victory.
The homeside had excellant contributions from Mulhern Brennan and Keaney in defence whiist Hourihane and Spratt were very impressive up front. Malins best player on a day to forget was the pacey Brendan McLaughlin.
Bundoran: Ashley Mulhern; Matthew Ward, James Keaney, Diarmuid McCaughey; Shane McGowan, Paul Brennan, Peter McGonigle; Ciaran McCaughey, Gary Clancy (0-6, 3f); Michael McEniff (1-1), Diarmaid Spratt (0-3), Alan Russell (0-2); Tommy Hourihane (0-4), Jamie Brennan (0-2), Cian McEniff (1-0). Subs: Timmy Govorov (1-0) for C Mc Caughey (half-time), Paul Murphy for Ward (54, black card).
Malin: Martin McLaughlin; Conor McColgan, Connor Farren, Gary Farren; Declan Walsh (0-1), John C Doherty, Paul McLaughlin (0-1); Christopher McLaughlin, Anthony Kelly; Stephen McLaughlin (0-1), Seamus Houghton (1-0) Brendan McLaughlin (0-4, 2f); Joe Doherty (0-2, 1f) Daniel McDaid, Damien Harkin (0-1). Subs: Darren Mullarkey (0-1) for McDaid (53).
Referee: Mark Brown (Four Masters)