Ballybofey United finally got their paws on the CT Ball Division Two title thanks to an emphatic win over Copany Rovers at the Finn Valley Centre.
Ballybofey United 6 Copany Rovers 1
Damien Glackin bagged the 25th and 26th League goals of his season, the excellent Darragh Redmond helped himself to a double and Mark Griffin and Alan Patton were on the mark as the Twin Towns men swept to victory.
A fortnight ago, they turned up in their droves for a derby against Lifford in anticipation of a coronation, but a draw there meant that the champagne was kept on ice.
But now Ballybofey – who will also meet Rathmullan Celtic in next month’s Brian McCormick Sports Cup final – are aiming to go the season unbeaten after wrapping up the title race today.
Vincent Breslin had pulled a goal back for Copany, who are without a League win in what has been a difficult season, when Ballybofey were 2-0 ahead, but they had it sewn up by the break.
It felt like only a matter of time before Ballybofey hit the front with Griffin and Patton testing the gloves of Stephen Doherty, the busy Copany goalkeeper.
They did get the lead on 16 minutes when Glackin’s wonderful first touch put himself through one-v-one and he steered a clinical effort past the committed Doherty.
Just three minutes later, they doubled the advantage. Redmond was a real livewire and had an effective 90 minutes that included two goals. His first was Ballybofey’s second as he tucked home to the bottom corner ater being teed up by Glackin.
The hosts were on their way, but they were halted momentarily on their march when Breslin broke clear to slot home.
Rory Dunleavy and Glackin went close but a quickfire double at the end of the opening half had Ballybofey on the brink of collecting their prize.
Griffin swept home after Ballybofey recycled a corner, taken by Griffin, that was only partially cleared. His finish, from just inside the left-hand edge of the penalty box, was well executed.
A minute later, Glackin nodded home and Ballybofey had a 4-1 lead to digest with the half-time refreshments.
Promotion had already been sealed, thanks top that one-all draw with Lifford, but from an early stage of the season, Ballybofey’s eyes have been on the trophy.
Shaun McGowan and Neil Lloyd have been key, not to mention the goals of Glackin, but it has been a real team effort from Ballybofey – a club on the rise with an exciting new development in the offing too – this season.
A minute into the second half, Patton steered home from close range and, two minutes from the end, Redmond crashed to the roof of the net.
Terry Leyden, the Donegal League Registrar, could hand over the title and the champagne could be sprayed at last as Ballybofey toasted a first title since 2000.
Ballybofey United: Chris Patton, Gavin Doherty, Ronan McMenamin, Shaun McGowan, Niall McCloskey, Darragh Redmond, Rory Dunleavy, Brian Lafferty, Mark Griffin, Damien Glackin, Alan Patton. Subs: Paul Kelly for Lafferty (74), Benny Kyle for Griffin (74), Martin Patton for A.Patton (83).
Copany Rovers: Stephen Doherty, Lee Johnston, Dean Scally, Frankie McGirr, Martin McGrath, Joe McGroary, Paul Patton, Thomas Given, Dale Duncan, Vincent Breslin, Lee Doherty. Subs: Darren Kilpatrick for Patton (55), Ryan Johnston for Doherty (68).
Referee: Con McLaughlin.