DRUMOGHILL FC’s odds on capturing the Donegal League Premier Division shortened considerably with this thrashing of Castlefin Celtic at The Moss.
Drumoghill FC 5 Castlefin Celtic 0
Doubles from Chris Malseed and Paddy Rafferty, after Liam O’Donnell’s early opener, fired Michael Lynch’s men to an impressive win that really ignites their title charge.
For Castlefin, it was a jarring experience and one that puts a considerable dent in their own ambitions.
Joe McGee’s team entered this one as the League leaders, but things have significantly tightened up now at the summit, where Milford have joined Castlefin at the top.
Drumoghill – level with St Catherine’s – are only two points behind them and have two games in hand on Castlefin.
Picture caption: Drumoghill FC, who defeated Castlefin Celtic 5-0 at The Moss.
They led after 15 minutes and it was a goal that set the tone for a dominant and emphatic display by the hosts, whose 3-5-2 formation suits the panache, pace and precision the likes of Gerard McGranaghan, Malseed, Phillip Whyte and Benny Bonner give them on the break.
McGranaghan, after dispossessing Simon McGlinchey, fed Liam O’Donnell and he slipped Rafferty in. His first time shot crashed off the base of the post, but O’Donnell tucked home the rebound.
Drumoghill doubled the lead six minutes before half-time. Rafferty centred from the left-hand side, McGranaghan cleverly dummied and Malseed, with a wonderful, controlled shot that turned its direction, made it 2-0.
In between times, McGranaghan should have had his name on the scoresheet but, from inches out and with the goal yawning before him, shot over after Bonner was denied by Gary McCroary.
Last season’s First Division champions, Castlefin had taken the top flight by storm, but they crashed back to earth here. Their performance was devoid of invention with Ronan Tourish their one bright spark.
Tourish drilled wide from the edge of the box on the stroke of half-time having fired over with an earlier attempt when he scampered to connect with Barry Tourish’s cross.
In a lethal six-minute spell before the hour mark, Drumoghill – who were without the suspended Conor McNulty and Richie Moore – added three goals to wrap up the rout.
Rafferty coolly finished after being set up by Liam O’Donnell and a superb fourth arrived soon after. O’Donnell, after Bonner and McGranaghan combined to make the break, rolled out to Malseed and, via a slight deflection, his shot flew into the far corner.
Before Castlefin knew it, they were five down as Rafferty applied the finish after a sweeping team move.
It was a mark of their mood that Drumoghill, buoyed on by captain Chris O’Donnell, kept fighting to the finish and Paul McCauley assured himself of a clean sheet when he raced out to save from Corrie-Lee Bogan late in the day.
At the outset of the season, Lynch set his side the challenge of going one better than last time when they were runners-up to St Catherine’s. On this evidence, they won’t be far away.
Drumoghill FC: Paul McCauley; Ray Quinn, David O’Carroll, Chris O’Donnell, Paddy Collins, Chris Malseed, Gerard McGranaghan (Keith Malseed ’66), Phillip Whyte, Benny Bonner; Paddy Rafferty (Marcus Oliver ’70).
Castlefin Celtic: Gary McCroary; Damien McAnenny, Kieran Brennan, Peter Bryson, PJ McMenamin; Ronan Tourish, Johnny Doherty (Calvin Bradley ’52), Simon McGlinchey (Corrie-Lee Bogan half-time), Barry Tourish (Michael Dunnion ’64); Mark Lafferty; JP Malley.
Referee: Paddy Duffy.Tags: