ST MICHAEL’S got the spadework done in the first half, when goals by Andrew Kelly and Christy Toye, gave them breathing space and enabled them hold on for a win over Glenswilly.
Glenswilly 2-8 St Michael’s 2-12
As night fell swiftly over Pairc Naomh Columba, the relegation-threatened hosts were in all sorts of trouble, but the made a fist of it as Caolan Kelly converted a late penalty after Michael Murphy had powered a free to the net.
Picture caption: St Michael’s goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley and his defence watch on as Michael Murphy’s free kick ends up in the net. Picture by Geraldine Diver.
Defeat, though, means that Glenswilly now only have Ardara beneath them in the AllSportStore.com All-County Football League Division 1 table and the sight of Murphy having to be helped from the field hardly helped the mood.
Eight minutes from the end, the Donegal captain, slipped on the greasy surface as he contested for the ball and had to be aided off.
By then, Glenswilly were right back in the game, trailing by only four points.[adrotate group=”38″]
At half-time, they looked out of it as St Michael’s led 2-6 to 0-4.
Murphy clipped three points early in the second half, the third of them a wonderful spinning effort on the left-hand side before, in the 45th minute, he found a way through a glut of bodies in the St Michael’s goalmouth from 13-metre free for a goal.
With Murphy off, Glenswilly brought Philip O’Donnell – who had been brought on as a half-time replacement for James Gallagher – out of nets and into full-forward.
O’Donnell caused panic when he was picked out by Darren McGinley’s arrow, but the ball cannoned off the goalframe.[adrotate group=”59″]
Michael Langan, who had an excellent game for the winners, scored two late points and Colm McFadden – who recently announced his retirement from inter-county football – slotted over a free.
Glenswilly did reduce the arrears to four when Kelly tucked home a penalty, but time had run out for Michael Canning’s men and, deep into stoppage time, Oisin Crawford was black carded
Murphy scored the game’s first point, but St Michael’s weren’t long in taking control.
Gallagher had been forced into an early save by Toye, after he was played in by Kelly, but on 11 minutes Kelly fired past the veteran ‘keeper from close range and St Michael’s had a lead they’d hold for the remainder of the game.[adrotate group=”37″]
McFadden majestically split the sticks when, despite being forced out by Eamonn Ward, he spun back around onto his left and slotted over.
Langan, Toye and Langan again stretched the lead while Murphy was denied by Mark Anthony McGinley after a textbook fetch and turn from Ciaran Gibbons’ raking delivery.
Late in the half, Toye pounced to fire past Gallagher for a second St Michael’s goal and, the gap was at eight points at the changeover.
The drizzle became a deluge at the break and St Michael’s weren’t as clinical in part two.[adrotate group=”68″]
Eddie Harkin’s team had done enough, although they were made sweat it out with eight minutes of added time and a rapidly descending darkness adding to the drama.
When time was called, concerns turned to next weekend’s round of games in the Championship, though the more immediate concerns of the locals centred on their number 14’s fitness.[adrotate group=”46″]
Glenswilly: James Gallagher; Ryan Diver, Eamonn Ward, Sean Burke; Ciaran Gibbons, Paddy McFadden, Aidan McDevitt; Caolan Kelly (1-1, 1-0pen), Cathal Gallagher; Christopher McMonagle, Darren McGinley, Cormac Callaghan; Kealan McFadden, Michael Murphy (1-4, 1-2f), Gary McFadden (0-3). Subs: Philip O’Donnell for J.Gallagher (half-time), Frank Carberry for Murphy (52), Lee Crerand for McGinley (60).
St Michael’s: Mark Anthony McGinley; Chris McElhinney, Stephen Black, Michael Gallagher; Michael Cannon (0-1), Stephen Doak, Daniel McLaughlin (0-1); Ciaran Gallagher, Martin McElhinney; Andrew Kelly (1-0), Christy Toye (1-1), Michael Langan (0-6, 2f, 2 ’45); Colm McFadden (0-3, 1f), Ryan Langan, Brian McLaughlin. Subs: Liam Paul Ferry for D.McLaughlin (37), Keelan McFee for B.McLaughlin (38), Peter Sweeney for Kelly (60).
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).Tags: