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Malin survive in Division 1B 06.11.08
All County Football League Division 1B – relegation play-off

Malin 1-11
(Michael Byrne 1-2; A. Kelly 0-3; D. Walsh 0-2; Matthew Byrne 0-2; M. Doherty 0-1; B. McGonagle 0-1)

Fanad Gaels 0-5
(M. Sweeney 0-2; P. McConigley 0-1; C. McElwaine 0-1; S. Friel 0-1)

by Harry Walsh, for the Inishowen Independent
Photos by Donna McBride

MALIN assured their Division 1B status for 2009 following Sunday’s comfortable victory over Fanad Gaels in Convoy. Fanad will now join Cloughaneely in Division 2 football next season.
Fanad only managed to convert two points in a low scoring opening half while they fared little better after the break, firing over three points.
Malin were also guilty of some poor finishing in what was a poor opening half hour - leading 0-4 to 0-2 at the break - but they improved considerably in the second half as they ran out deserving nine point winners.
Led by their hard working captain Paddy Kelly in midfield, the Inishowen men had leaders all over the pitch. Full back Damien Harkin was excellent against Fanad dangerman Seimi Friel, while county player Declan Walsh at wing half back was also solid in defence. Walsh also managed to notch over two fine points during the course of the hour.
At the other end of the field the inside forward line of Paul McLaughlin, Michael Byrne and Patrick McColgan were lively throughout with full forward Byrne netting the game’s all important goal ten minutes from time.
Fanad captain Patrick McConigley battled hard throughout while Aiden McAteer and Ciaran McElwaine also looked sharp, but too many of their players had an off day.
Malin opened the scoring on two minutes through Walsh before McConigley’s quickly taken free kick released Michael Sweeney to slot over the equalising score 60 seconds later.
Wet underfoot conditions meant that the ball was like the
proverbial bar of soap and it would be 16 minutes before the game’s third score - an Anthony Kelly free for Malin. Indeed, Fanad’s only other point of the half arrived in injury time through a Ciaran McElwaine fisted effort but another Kelly free and a Michael Byrne point left the score 0-4 to 0-2 in Malin’s favour at the break.
Seimi Friel reduced to deficit to a point with a left foot shot inside 30 seconds of the restart before McConigley fired over an excellent equalising score. Michael Byrne thought that he had restored Malin’s lead on 35 minutes only for referee Tony Callaghan to rule out the ‘score’ after consulting with his umpires.
Anthony Kelly (free) and Michael Sweeney exchanged scores before Matthew Byrne edged Malin back in front on 43 minutes. While they were not to know it at the time, Fanad had just scored their last point of the contest.
A well-taken point from Michael Doherty and a second point from Walsh stretched Malin’s lead out to three points by the midway point. The game was effectively ended as a contest when Michael Byrne combined well with Patrick McColgan before firing low beyond Mark McConigley into the Fanad net on 49 minutes.
Further points from Brendan McGonagle, Michael Byrne and Matthew Byrne followed in quick succession as Malin cemented their Division 1B status.
Fanad Gaels: Mark McConigley, Colm McElwaine, Cathal Martin, Fergal Friel, Paddy Shiels, William McAteer, Shane McAteer, Michael Sweeney, Benny Callaghan, Eamon McGrenaghan, Patrick McConigley, Davitt Walsh, Ciaran McElwaine, Seimi Friel, Aiden McAteer. Subs: Ephrin McFadden for McGrenaghan (30 mins), McGrenaghan for S McAteer (51 mins), Paddy Hegarty for Martin (55 mins) and Paul Coyle for Callaghan (59 mins).

Malin: Declan Lafferty, Damien Ward, Damien Harkin, John McLaughlin,
John McLaughlin, Charlie Byrne, Declan Walsh, Paddy Kelly, Anthony Kelly, Michael Doherty, Brendan McGonagle, Matthew Byrne, Paul McLaughlin, Michael Byrne, Patrick McColgan.

Referee: Tony Callaghan (Red Hughs).

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