WITH FIFTEEN MINUTES to go last Sunday at Pairc Joe in Glaserchoo, Glenea United midfielder Michael McClafferty fell to the turf with an almighty clatter.
Their Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division clash with Kilmacrennan Celtic was delicately poised after Aodhán Ferry drew the home side level following Kevim McMenamin’s early opener.
Just as the game turned for home, McClafferty went full throttle into a challenge for a loose ball.
The reaction told the tale for him. As the right-sided midfielder and his opponent crashed down, McClafferty’s arm felt the brunt of the weight.
With NowDoc and ambulance services called, referee Marty Quinn did the sensible thing and abandoned the game.
Picture caption: Michael McClafferty is pictured extreme left of the front row in the above Glenea United team. Tom Coll, the team manager, is on the left of the back row.
“Michael put the shoulder out of place and he broke the arm – he came down with some force,” Glenea United manager Tom Coll said.
“It was just whatever way the two players went in for the ball.
“I was up with Michael on Tuesday night there and he’s in grand form. He’s back out at home again. They’ve popped the shoulder back in and the arm is strapped up.
“The players from both teams didn’t want to play on. It had been a good game before that and a draw would probably have been a fair result.
“The way it happened you could see it was a nasty one and Michael was in an awful lot of pain.”
McClafferty had just stepped into Coll’s senior team having previously turned out for the club’s reserve side, but he now faces two months on the sideline to recuperate.
Coll said: “He’d be one of our main men this year. I don’t think he’d have had any trouble being one of my big players this season, but he’ll be out for a good while now before Christmas.
“We were down a lot of players now so with Michael’s injury we’ll have even less to choose from.”
It’s certainly been a trying start to the season for Coll, who is operating without the likes of Paul Sweeney, John Harley, Kevin Mulhern, Darren McGeever, Eugene Maguire and Ciaran McGeady until Cloughaneely’s GAA season has ended.
Michael Barry has signed for Gweedore United, Declan McGarvey has left to join Fanad United and Ryan McFadden now dons Bonagee United’s colours.
Chris Cannon, Daniel cannon and Shaun McClafferty were recruited from the now defunct Dunlewey Celtic, with the trio traveling back, when possible, from London.
Despite their numerical trevails, Glenea managed to win the Area Shield of the Brian McCormick Cup.
Coll said: “Winning the Area Shield was a good start for us and it’s given us a good bit of confidence.
“We were down to the bare bones. We still are actually, but we’ll give it a rattle anyway.”
They head for The Moss on Sunday to take on last season’s Premier Division runners-up, Drumoghill FC, who were beaten 3-1 by Castlefin last Sunday.
Michael Lynch has added the likes of Gerard McGranaghan, Benny Bonner, Ray Quinn and Keith Malseed to his ranks and with big hopes of silverware won’t want to end up in a chase early in the season.
DONEGAL JUNIOR LEAGUE FIXTURES
Saturday 12th September
Old Orchard Saturday Division, 2pm
Fintown Harps AFC v Glencar Celtic, Mulroy Celtic v Strand Rovers, Drumbar FC v Orchard FC.
Glencar Inn Saturday Reserve Division, 2pm
Curragh Athletic Reserves v Erne Wanderers Reserves, Drumoghill F.C. Reserves v St. Catherines Reserves, Glenea United Reserves v Milford United Reserves, Cappry Rovers Reserves v Keadue Rovers Reserves, Castlefin Celtic Reserves v Donegal Town Reserves.
Sunday 13th September
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division, 2pm
Milford United v Cappry Rovers, Gweedore Celtic v Rathmullan Celtic, Kilmacrennan Celtic v Kildrum Tigers, Drumoghill FC v Glenea United, St. Catherines v Castlefin Celtic.
Watson Hire Division One, 2pm
Cranford United v Bonagee United, Keadue Rovers v Raphoe Town (12.15pm), Lagan Harps v Lifford Celtic, Convoy Arsenal v Donegal Town, Gweedore United v Kerrykeel ’71 F.C.
CT Ball Division Two, 2pm
Curragh Athletic v Whitestrand United, Deele Harps v Glenree United, Ballybofey United v Dunkineely Celtic, Copany Rovers v Eany Celtic, Erne Wanderers v Letterbarrow Celtic.