GLENSWILLY will advance to the quarter-finals of the Donegal SFC as Group 2’s winners after Michael Canning’s team saw off Malin in a biblical downpour at Pairc Naomh Columba.
Glenswilly 3-09 Malin 1-08
They seven-point win means they can’t be caught at the head of their pack.
Conditions were torrid (as shown above in the picture, courtesy of Geraldine Diver) on what was an emotional day in Glenswilly, the game being preceded by a minute’s applause in honour of the club president, Finbarr Glackin, who was laid to his rest earlier today.
His beloved Glenswilly honoured his memory just how he’d have wanted – with a win.
Neil Gallagher, Oisin Crawford and Darren McGinley hit the goals as Glenswilly made the most of the torrid and, in places, treacherous conditions.
The game was delayed by half-an-hour to allow the groundstaff clear surface water that had threatened to put the game in jeopardy and it wasn’t convincing that the right call was made.
The natives won’t complain, though, after their side booked a passage into the last eight.
It was to the credit of both sides that they served up an entertaining hour for the 500-or-so in attendance.
On an evening when they kicked a total of 14 wides, it took Glenswilly until the 20th minute to raise their first flag as Gary McFadden polished off a three-man move involving Caolan Kelly and Neil Gallagher.
Malin had two early frees from the on-fire Matthew Byrne, who carried the bulk of the Inishowen team’s threat, but Liam Bradley’s men couldn’t make hay in the early stages.
They survived a real scare when Michael Murphy rose to meet a dropping ball from McGinley only to bat against the post.
Neil Gallagher bagged their first goal. Kelly, Gallagher and McGinley all had a hand in it with Gallagher steering home neatly.
Gary McFadden and Kelly steered over for the hosts, but there were just two between them at the break with Anthony Kelly and Dan McDaid on the mark for the visitors.
Two minutes into the second half, Crawford netted goal number two for the beaten Championship finalists of last year – who were without the injured Ciaran Bonner.
After Murphy found Cathal Gallagher with a deadly arrow, Ruairi Crawford off-loaded to his brother, who made no mistake.
A majestic point by Murphy, who was masterful throughout, stretched the lead and when McGinley pointed on 41 minutes it was a six-point game.
A madcap minute followed as goals arrived at both ends in passages that will have the respective rearguards answering charges once their managers review the footage.
After failing to clear the lines, Seamus Doherty’s shot wasn’t dealt with by Glenswilly and Byrne fired past Philip O’Donnell.
Glenswilly’s response was instant. Darragh McLaughlin, the Malin goalkeeper, let Gary McFadden’s long ball slip from his clutches and McGinley pounced to fire home.
Cathal Gallagher, McGinley and Caolan Kelly added points as Glenswilly moved through the gears.
Manager Canning had said beforehand that he wanted to channel last year’s hurt in the right manner – they’ve done exactly that so far.
Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell; Ruairi Crawford, Eamonn Ward, Joe Gibbons; Oisin Crawford (1-0), Aidan McDevitt, Cormac Callaghan; Neil Gallagher (1-0), Cathal Gallagher (0-1); Caolan Kelly (0-2), Gary McFadden (0-2), Brian Farrelly; Darren McGinley (1-2), Michael Murphy (0-2, 1f), Kealan McFadden. Subs: Leon Kelly for K.McFadden (48), Paul O’Brien for O.Crawford (51), Gerard McGrenra for McGinley (60).
Malin: Darragh McLaughlin; Michael McLaughlin, Damien Harkin, Gary Farren; Stephen McLaughlin, Declan Walsh, Charlie Byrne; Anthony Kelly (0-2, 2f), Seamus Houghton (0-1); Christy McLaughlin, Seamus Doherty, Dan McDaid (0-1); Brendan McLaughlin, Matthew Byrne (1-4, 4f), Paul McLaughlin. Subs: Terence Doherty, John G McLaughlin and Daniel Mullarkey for B.McLaughlin, Houghton and M.Byrne (55).
Referee: Mark Dorrian (Gaeil Fhánada).