REIGNING CHAMPIONS GLENGAD UNITED lost their first Jackie Crossan Premier Division match in a year when Clonmany Shamrocks – who had been the last team to beat them – repeated a 1-0 victory from 2014 at The Crua in difficult conditions this afternoon.
Glengad United 0 Clonmany Shamrocks 1
This weekend last year was the last occasion on which Shane Byrne’s team lost in the League, but an early goal by Mark McLaughlin handed Clonmany (pictured above) a win that puts them ten points clear of the defending champions.
Clonmany faced a strong breeze in the first half, but got the perfect start when they took the lead in the 8th minute.
Fergal Harkin’s free from 22 yards was only parried by Shaun O’Donnell and McLaughlin pounced to score from six yards.
Glengad almost equalised a minute later, but Paddy Harkin produced a brilliant one-handed save to deny Matthew Byrne’s cracking 25-yards shot.
The home side were the dominant force with the elements in their favour and they should have equalised in the 25th minute when, following excellent build-up play by Matthew Byrne, Seamus Doherty and Nigel McMonagle, whose low cross set up Paddy McDermott, but the midfielder blazed over from eight yards when seemed easier to score.
Four minutes later, Stephen McLaughlin was just over with a free from the edge of the box and, just before the break, Byrne, again, went close, following good play.
With the wind in their favour, Clonmany would have been happy that their one-goal lead would have been enough, but their chances appeared to take a real blow when, following a tackle on and then a tangle with Matthew Byrne, goalscorer McLaughlin was given a straight red card.
Not surprisingly, despite facing the elements, Glengad dominated for long periods from then until the conclusion.
The Glengad United team that played Clonmany Shamrocks
Some fantastic – and at times desperate – defending denied them.
Mind you, they didn’t create what could be described as a ‘clear cut’ chance until the 82nd minute when a good move involving John G McLaughlina and sub Michael Byrne set up Terance Doherty, but Harkin advanced to thwart the striker at point-blank rage.
A minute later, Michael Byrne was in the thick of it again when he got on the end of Christy McLaughlin’s cross, but he could only shoot straight at the goalkeeper.
Two minutes from the end, Harkin produced a repeat of his first-half save when Matthew Byrne let fly from 18 yards, but Harkin tipped it over the bar.
In the 95th minute Clonmany full back Fergal Harkin broke out of defence and beat two defenders but, with only O’Donnell to beat, blazed over.
The final whistle came two minutes later and ensured that Clonmany go into the Christmas break with a nine-point lead over their closest pursuers, QPS, who were held to a scorless draw by Greencastle.
Perhaps more significantly, they have a ten-point lead over the champions, who have three games in hand, but a lot of catching up to do.
Glengad United: Shaun O’Donnell, Stephen McLaughlin, Seamus Doherty, John G McLaughlin, Jason Doherty, Adam Byrne, Christy McLaughlin, Matthew Byrne, Terance Doherty, Paddy McDermott (Michael Byrne ’65), Nigel McMonagle.
Clonmany Shamrocks: Paddy Harkin, Conor Bradley, Fergal Harkin, Paul McLaughlin, Philip Devlin, Raymond McDaid, Steve Harkin (Jamie Coyle ’55), Mark McLaughlin, Jason Devlin (Greg Bradley ’65), Paddy Doherty, Niall McLaughlin.
Referee: Warren Harvey.Tags: