CLOUGHANEELY got the home win they required to confirm a top four berth and home advantage in the last eight of the Donegal IFC.
Cloughaneely 1-14 Naomh Bríd 1-9
A five-point win means that Michael Lynch progress unbeaten as they attempt to go one better than last year, when they were beaten in the final by St Naul’s in Ballybofey. They’ll start the next phase of that journey in two weeks’ time against Red Hugh’s.
This evening at PCC Falcarragh, they were pushed all the way by their guests from Ballintra, who were only beaten in the corresponding fixture last year by a Darren Ferry goal at the death.
Cloughaneely might’ve had a goal as early as the fourth minute to settle any nerves only for Callum Gallagher to make a telling block from Martin Maguire.
Naomh Bríd popped over the first two scores, with Darragh Brogan and Ryan Brogan the scorers, before Cloughaneely found their groove to go into a 0-8 to 0-4 by the 29th minute.
Shaun McGuire scored three, while Shaun Curran got two. However, Naomh Bríd’s Darragh Brogan and Eoin Rush got the final points of the half, so it was 0-8 to 0-6 for the home team at the break.
By the 45th minute it was 0-12 to 0-9 for Cloughaneely, with the closest either team got to a goal was when Naomh Bríd’s Eoin McGarrigle could only blast over the bar and not under it. However, Paul Sweeney continued his fine run of goalscoring for Cloughaneely with a goal on 45 minutes for a 1-12 to 0-9 lead.
Never ones to make it easy on themselves, Cloughaneely conceded a penalty a minute later and Callum Gallagher shot past Shaun McCafferty. Cloughaneely, though, stayed cool and Curran and Stephen Rodden scored late on to clinch it.
Cloughaneely: Shaun McClafferty; Noel Sweeney, Cian McFadden, Michael Fitzgerald; Ciaran McFadden, Darren McGeever, Shaun Curran (0-4, 2f); Martin Maguire, Mark Harley; Ciaran McGeady (0-1), Kevin Mulhern (0-1), Conor Coyle (0-1); Shaun McGuire (0- 5, 3f), Paul Sweeney (1-1), Michael McHugh. Subs: Cian Duggan for Ciaran McFadden (20), Sean Geaney and Stephen Rodden (0-1) for Coyle and McHugh (55).
Naomh Bríd: Pauric McDaid; Liam Duffy, Sam Burgess, Jamie Timoney; Eoin McGarrigle (0-1), Shaun Gormley, Gary McCafferty; Callum Gallagher (1-2, 45), Thomas Gallagher; Eoin Quinn, Declan McCafferty, Darragh Brogan (0-3, 1f); Eoin Rush (0-2, 1f), Ryan Brogan (0-1), Ross Gallagher. Sub: Shane Walsh for Quinn (half-time).
Referee: Kevin McGinley.