Malin blown away as Glenfin run
by Damian Dowds at Connolly Park (Photo: Herbie Barr)
HOTSHOT Malachy Martin helped Glenfin to a vital championship victory in Malin on Sunday. The corner forward hit 2-2 as Glenfin won by three points in a high scoring encounter.
The game got off to the worst possible start for the home team. Having lost the toss, they faced into the teeth of a strong wind and worse, they started slowly while their opponents opened at a hundred miles an hour and led by 1-5 to 0-0 by the 21st minute.
Malin didn’t open the scoring, and did create many scoring chances, until the 25th minute when Anthony Kelly converted a free. Malin pegged their opponents back before the break and a Matthew Byrne penalty reduced the half time deficit to 1-7 to 1-3.
The second half was a real ding-dong affair with play swinging from end to end. Michael Doherty goaled for Malin within two minutes of the restart, but Ciaran Moy responded with a Glenfin goal from the penalty spot soon after. A sweeping move mid way through the half saw Malin keeper Declan Lafferty pull off a fine save but Martin netted his second goal to extend Glenfin’s lead to seven points, 3-9 to 2-5, in the 42nd minute.
Malin wouldn’t give up though, and hit four points to Glenfin’s one over the following 15 minutes to reduce the deficit to four points.
But Glenfin soaked up the pressure, and points from Martin and Kevin McGlynn maintained their cushion. Three late pointed frees couldn’t save Malin and Glenfin held on to record a well-merited three point victory.
The foundation of Glenfin’s victory was built in the opening 20 minutes. They played with the wind and settled quickly while Malin were left chasing shadows. Kevin McGlynn opened the scoring in the fifth minute and Malachy Martin doubled their tally by the ninth. With Stephen McDermott dominant in the air, and his midfield partner Michael McGlynn supporting the attack at every opportunity, Glenfin attacked in wave after wave.
Ciaran Moy converted a free
won by Michael McGlynn in the tenth minute, and Mark
McGinty Junior scored a fine point from outside 45
metres to give his side a four point lead.
Malachy Martin’s first goal came on 18 minutes when he collected a long ball into the parallelogram, turned past marker Darren Doherty and slammed an unstoppable shot past Declan Lafferty into the bottom left comer.
Another Moy free extended Glenfin’s advantage to eight and just when it looked like they were in danger of drifting out of touch, Malin finally found their scoring touch from the 25th minute with two Anthony Kelly frees and a point from play from Matthew Byrne who punched over the bar after racing in along the end line.
Ciaran Moy and the hard
working Kevin McGlynn hit back for Glenfin and they led
by seven points as the half time whistle loomed.
However, Malin were thrown a lifeline when Anthony Kelly won a penalty that Matthew Byrne calmly finished to the net with the last kick of the half.
Michael McGlynn pointed 30 seconds after the restart, but Malin found the net within a minute when Terence Doherty and Matthew Byrne combined to set up Michael Doherty whose goal reduced the deficit to just two points, 1-8 to 2-3. With the wind now in their favour and their opponents rocked, that should have provided Malin with the platform from which to seriously challenge their opponents, but it was as close as Malin would get all afternoon.
Michael McGlynn won a 34th minute penalty and Moy made no mistake from 11 metres out to restore Glenfin’s five point advantage.
Two Malin points, from Terence Doherty and Matthew Byrne, on either side of one from Mark McGinty kept the scoreboard ticking over before Glenfin got their third goal with their best move of the game.
Paddy O’Connor on the right wing punched an inch perfect pass into the path of the inrushing Mark McGinty. Lafferty came off this line to save from McGinty, but the usually reliable Malin defence was posted missing as the ball spilled to Malachy Martin and his goal pushed Glenfin seven points clear and they never looked in danger of losing after that.
Anthony Kelly and Stephen McDermott exchanged points before Malin enjoyed their best spell with Declan Walsh, Matthew Byrne and John G McLaughlin all getting points, but they also hit three consecutive wides from distance which, had they been converted, would have posed serious questions of Glenfin.
Malachy Martin 59th minute point was Glenfin’s first in 15 minutes, and Kevin McGlynn added one soon after to put six between the teams again.
Malin got three late frees from Anthony Kelly and Matthew Byrne (2), but good defending from the visitors ensured they didn’t get in for the goal they needed.
Malin will travel to Glenfin for the return leg – whenever that is – knowing that only a win will keep their championship hopes alive.
And they’ll also know that they can’t afford to start so slowly again. They trailed by eight points after 20 minutes on Sunday, but outscored their opponents by five points over the remaining 40-odd minutes of the game.
The problem was that they’d dug too deep a hole to get out of.
Malin: Declan Lafferty; Kevin McColgan, Daniel Green, Darren Doherty; John McLaughlin, John G. McLaughlin (0-1), Charlie Byrne; Paddy Kelly, Anthony Kelly (0-4, 3f); Damian Ward, Matthew Byrne (1-5, 1-0 penalty, 2f), Gary Farren; Terence Doherty (0-1), Patrick McColgan, Declan Walsh (0-1). Subs: Conor Farren for J. McLaughlin (6 mins); Michael Doherty (1-0) for D. Ward (35 mins); Damian Harkin for D. Doherty (46 mins).
Glenfin: Benjy O’Meara; John Harkin, Gavin McDermott, Gary Herron; Mark McGinty Jnr (0-2), Gareth Martin, Frank McGlynn; Michael McGlynn (0-1), Stephen McDermott (0-1); Paddy O’Connor, Kevin McGlynn (0-3), Ciaran Moy (1-3, 1-0 penalty, 2f); Malachy Martin (2-2), Lee Herron, Seamus McGlynn.
Referee: Paddy McBride
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