Cloughaneely came though by a goal in a titanic struggle against Gaeil Fhanada in the Intermediate A Football Championship at Portsalon on Friday evening.
Gaeil Fhanada 1-12 Cloughaneely 2-12
Two goals at the latter end of the first half from Paul Sweeney meant that the side from Falcarragh got the points.
After torrential rain during the afternoon, the game was played in lovely bright conditions with the visitors enjoying the advantage of a subtle breeze in the opening period.
John Fitzgerald opened the scoring for the visitors but Mark McAteer responded to leave the teams level in the fourth minute. It could have been so much better for the home team, as a Jimmy Coyle pile driver crashed off the bar and Bernard McGettigan also saw an effort come back of the woodwork in the opening five minutes.
The visitors moved two ahead with a pair of quick fire points from John Fitzgerald by the 27th minute before a Gaeil Fhánada surge forward ended with a goal.
Michael Sweeney who saw a lot of ball in the first half combined with Fergus Friel and Oisín Shiels before the latter slid the ball under Cloughaneely net-minder Shaun Mc Clafferty with a classy finish. Kevin Mulhern evened things up once more two minutes into injury time before the game completely turned on it’s head in the time that followed.
Paul Sweeney who was stationed at full forward was having a great duel with Odhrán Shiels, managed to squeeze the ball goalwards and it crept over the line despite the best efforts of Eoin Mc Gonigle to give Cloughaneely a crucial advantage.
Two minutes later the ball was in the net again, Paul Sweeney credited with the final touch in a scrappy score. Cloughaneely led by six at the break. With the wind at their back, the Gaels wasted no time getting back into the contest after the break. Mark Mc Ateer was on target with two free kicks, after fouls on Sweeney and Paddy Carr.
Oisín Mc Fadden drove through the centre and fired over while Fergus Friel also split the posts from an angle to leave two between the teams after nine minutes of the second period. Gaeil Fhánada had been very much on top during that period, but Cloughaneely slowly managed to stamp their authority on things again.
Kevin Mulhern was superb in the second period seemed to be positioned every place there was a dirty ball to be won or a ball to be turned over. Ciarán Mc Fadden drove forward to win a free which John Fitzgerald converted for the Falcarragh outfit’s first score of the second half in the fourteenth minute. Mc Fadden saw black just after the water break when he upended Mark Mc Ateer in a dangerous position, and Bernard duly converted to reduce the gap to two.
Ciarán Mc Geady was then shown a red card for the visitors and the Gaels punished on their next attack, a fine fisted point from Conor Mc Gonigle who cut in from the right hand side.
Fanad pushed up looking for an equaliser, but squandered possession and took the wrong option a couple of times, with Cloughaneely breaking up the field twice in injury time and finding the target. Odhrán Shiels saw a late black card for a similar foul to Mc Fadden’s.
Bernard Mc Gettigan fired over once more to give the Gaels a glimmer but Cloughaneely rounded off the scoring with a late late point to seal a three point win.
Goals win games, and the critical period of this game was injury time. Two goals and a point at the end of the first period and three points at the end of the second drove Cloughaneely to victory.
Gaeil Fhanada: Eoin Mc Gonigle (0-1); Joe Blaney, Ryan McGonigle, Odhrán Shiels; Fergus Friel (0-2) Oisín Shiels (1-0), Jimmy Coyle; Paddy Carr, Bernard McGettigan (0-3); Conor Mc Gonigle (0-1), Mark Mc Ateer (0-3), Oisín McFadden (0-2); Alan Mc Ateer, Michael Sweeney, Paddy Heraghty. Subs: Kevin Mc Gonigle for Joe Blaney, Mark Mc Conigley for Ryan McGonigle, Shaun Kerr for Oisín Mc Fadden, Darren Mc Elwaine for Fergus Friel, Eoghan Carr for Alan McAteer.
Cloughaneely: Shaun McCafferty; Kevin Mulhern (0-1), Cian McFadden, Noel Sweeney; Shaun Curran (0-4, 3f), Ciaran McFadden, Mark Harley; Martin Maguire, Darren McGeever; Michael McHugh, Ciaran McGeady, Conor Coyle; John Fitzgerald (0-5, 3f), Paul Sweeney, Shaun Maguire (0-2). Subs: Cillian Gallagher for Coyle (38), Ciaran Scanlon for C Gallagher (45)Tags: