Malin burst the coupons with vital home win over MacCumhaills

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MALIN WERE THE big coupon busters of the weekend as they overcame Sean MacCumhaills at Connolly Park.

Malin 2-09 Sean MacCumhaill 1-09

By Brendan Monagle

Darragh McLaughlin, the goalkeeper, saved a late penalty from Martin O’Reilly to preserve Malin’s advantage over 14-man MacCumhaills, who had Steven O’Reilly sent off.

Punters had seen MacCumhaills at generous 6/4 odds, with Malin absent a number of players, with the likes of Stephen Fildara, Christy Fildara, Seamus Doherty, John Gerard McLaughlin, Matthew Byrne and Michael Byrne all lining out with Glengad United today.

Sean MacCumhaillss took the lead with Darren McGowan winning a kickout before playing a one-two with Andrew McCloskey and finishing off from a central area.

Steven O’Reilly ran through and scored shortly after.

Brendan McLaughlin replied after good work from Anthony Kelly and Dan McDaid sent him on his way.

McLaughlin hit two goals and two points as the MacCumhaills’s defence found the pacy forward too hard to handle.

He cut in from the right and sped away from his marker before shooting low into the left corner for the first and two minutes later he flicked on Darren McLarkey’s long ball in and ran onto the loose ball before shooting soccer style from the 21’ past Patton.

Brian Lafferty scored a free from the right to keep the twin towns men in contention but McLaughlin again beat his marker down the right before cutting in and slotting over.

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Dan McDaid extended the lead out to seven after turning quickly and shooting over after Anthony Kelly worked in a short free. Martin O’Reilly freed for the visitors shortly after but MacCumhaill’s were then dealt a blow after Steven O’Reilly was given a straight red card for what appeared to be a strike.

Malin were caught in possesion by O’Reilly on the stroke of half time and as he advanced he was brought down for a penalty, which he himself made no mistake with shooting low into the right corner to give McLaughlin no chance to leave the halftime score Malin 2-04 Sean MacCumhaills 1-04.

Stephen Mulligan open the second-half scoring for the Ballybofey-Stranorlar side with a free after Lafferty was brought down. Brendan McLaughlin turned quickly and fired over in reply.

Player-manager Anthony Kelly hit two frees after he himself and Paul McLaughlin were brought down.

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McGowan and Martin O’Reilly hit two frees and an O’Leary score from the left kept MacCumhaills in touch.

Anthony Kelly scored a super point from play when jinking through a number of heavy tackles and powered over from out on the right to leave a goal between them again. Kelly and O’Leary traded frees before Malin were reduced to 14 with the impressive Gary Farren dismissed for two yellows.

There was late drama as Sean McGowan’s shot was adjudged to have been footblocked and up stepped O’Reilly to try and salvage a draw, but McLaughlin got down low to his left to deny the Donegal panelist, who had been kept quiet in the match by Declan Walsh, as Malin held on for a great victory.

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Malin: Darragh McLaughlin, Michael McLaughlin, Conor Farren, Gary Farren, Thomas McLaughlin, Declan Walsh, Paul McLaughlin, Kieron McColgan, Anthony Kelly (0-4, 3f), Darren McLarkey, Dan McDaid (0-1), Damien Harkin,Danny McCarron, Seamus Houghton, Brendan McLaughlin (2-4).

Sean MacCumhaills: Chris Patton, Gerard Grindle, Joe Dunnion, Conor Griffin, Andrew McCloskey, Gary Dunnion, Gary McGirr, Steven O’Reilly (0-1), Nathan Gavigan, Aaron Kelly, Martin O’Reilly (1-2, 1-0pen), Darren McGowan (0-2, 1f), Stephen Mulligan (0-1), Darren O’Leary (0-2, 1f), Brian Lafferty (0-1, 1f). Sub: Sean McGowan for Aaron Kelly

Sports writer from St Johnston, now based in Letterkenny, with ten years' experience covering sport in Donegal. Was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.

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