Malin are the form team in Division 2 of the All-County Football League
This was a game that remained in the melting pot right the way through until injury time, as a Matthew Gallagher goal for Gaeil Fhánada in the 59th minute reduced the gap to two, but Malin were to tag on the final two scores from John G Mc Laughlin and Josh Conlon to win by four at the conclusion.
Gaeil Fhánada 2-10
It’s a fifth win from five for the Connolly Park side, who also ended the visitors’ 100 percent record in Division 2, whose goal came from Conor O’Neill - who scored 1-7 in all - in the first half. Conlon had a fine game with four points to his na,e. The other goal for Aidan McAteer’s side was scored by Patrick Heraghty, while Bernard McGettigan hit 0-7.
In what was a brilliant game of football, from beginning to end, the defining period came from the 7th to the 15th minute of the second half when Malin surged ahead, scoring five points on the bounce to take charge on the scoreboard, as proceedings had been nip and tuck until that point.
The first half was high intensity stuff, with the home team sitting the majority of their players behind the ball in the opening 10 minutes, with the intention of breaking hard on the turnover.
The lively O’Neill hit the opening point, but two booming scores from Eoghan Carr left the Gaels a point ahead after five minutes. The pivotal score of the opening period came in the seventh minute. A couple of Gaeil Fhánada errors were clinically punished as O’Neill fired to the roof of the net.
The Gaels responded, with Bernard McGettigan adding a handy free, before a booming score from play. The first half continued to be played at a really high pace, and both sides must be commended for what they brought.
Conlan edged the hosts ahead once more after 17 minutes, but a long range McGettigan free kept the Gaels in right in it. O’Neill struck again from play and Conlan added a further free for the hosts, but Bernard McGettigan had the final say of the opening period, with a free and then a huge score from play to leave it all square at the break.
McGettigan opened the second half scoring with an effort from play before the teams missed two chances apiece as the second half settled. The aforementioned Malin period of dominance followed with quick fire points from Conor O’ Neill, two, a couple from Matthew Byrne, and wing-back Paul McLaughlin also pointed.
Paddy Carr almost struck for goal for Gaeil Fhánada, but the Malin keeper Dónal Mullarkey got down smartly to save. Conlan added a free for Malin before Darren McElwaine struck to keep the Gaels in touch.
The next three scores went the way of Malin courtesy of O Neill, twice, and substitute, Conor McGeoghegan. The Gaeil Fhánada side didn’t buckle, and showed their fighting spirit in the final five minutes.
Paddy Heraghty bundled home a goal from close range to close the gap but Malin’s Christy McLaughlin broke down the field to fire over in response for the hosts. Gaeil Fhánada weren’t finished yet, as Paddy Carr caused bother inside as a long ball came in.
Carr steered it in the direction of Matthew Gallagher who buried low and hard beyond the keeper and suddenly it was a two-point game. There was time for two more points, but they were to the delight of the home crowd as John G Mc Laughlin from play and a Josh Conlon free saw out the game for the hosts as they moved clear into first position in Division 2 after five rounds of fixtures.
Malin scorers: Conor O’Neill 1-7; Josh Conlon 0-4; Matthew Byrne 0-2; Paul McLaughlin, Christy McLaughlin, Conor McGeoghegan and John G McLaughlin 0-1 each;
Gaeil Fhánada scorers: Bernard McGettigan 0-7; Matthew Gallagher and Patrick Heraghty 1-0 each; Eoghan Carr 0-2; Darren McElwaine 0-1.
Malin: Daniel Mullarkey, Gary Farren, Ciarán Doherty, Darragh Mc Geoghegan, Conor Mc Colgan, Charlie Byrne, Paul Mc Laughlin, John G Mc Laughlin, Daniel Houghton, Josh Conlon, Matthew Byrne, Christy Mc Laughlin, Conor O Neill, Joseph Mc Laughlin, Damien Harkin. Subs used: Stephen Mc Laughlin, Sean Kelly, Conor McGeoghegan.
Gaeil Fhánada: Mark Mc Conigley, Odhrán Shiels, Jimmy Coyle, Shaun Kerr, Ryan Mc Gonigle, Matthew Gallagher, Liam Mc Grenaghan, Bernard Mc Gettigan, Eoghan Carr, Darren Mc Elwaine, Paddy Heraghty, Brandon McClafferty, Seamie Friel, Paddy Carr, James Kerr. Subs used: Oisín Mc Fadden, Jonny Friel.
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