Mark Curran of Dungloe moves in to challenge Stephen O’Donnell from Burt. Photos: Tom Heaney
Oisin Bonner and Barry Curran scored the goals as Dungloe got their Donegal IFC campaign off to a winning start with victory over Burt on Friday.
The men from the Rosses and last year’s beaten finalists had 10 points to spare at the end of a hard fought encounter. Barry Curran’s third goal deep in injury time gave the final margin of victory a slightly flattering look against a dogged Burt side who were in the game up to the three-quarter mark.
Oisin Bonner, who missed much of Dungloe ‘s league campaign through injury, scored the other two goals, one in each half.
Both scores were big scores. The first on eight minutes opened up a 1-2 to 0-1 lead playing into a stiff breeze. With the game's first score, Sean McHugh kicked a Burt point. Daniel Ward and Barry Curran responded with Dungloe’s two early white flags.
Bonner was first to react when a high ball from Matthew Ward into the Burt goalmouth broke to first time it to the net.
Though rattled by the goal Burt - the Division 3 All-County Football League champions - responded well and they rattled off three quick points - McHugh from a free and strikes from play off the boots of MarkMcElhinney and Jack O’Brien to cut the lead to one.
Midfielder McElhinney’s point from outside the 45 was one of the best strikes of the night. Dungloe did a lot of pressing in the opening half with Barry and Mark Curran driving forward and with Matthew and Daniel Ward playing well.
But they found the local defence - with corner forward Darren Gallagher sweeping - hard to break down. Daniel Ward was denied a green flag with a good point blank save from Kevin Glenn in goal for Burt.
Nevertheless the visitors, thanks to points from Daire Gallagher (2) and one each from Daniel Ward and Barry Curran, led 1-6 to 0-6 at the break. Christy McDermott posted the home side’s two points late in the half.
The early stages of the second half proved a slow burning affair with playing swinging from end to end. Dungloe, as in the opening quarter, were turned over or ran down cul de sacs time after time. Burt were guilty of dropping a number of scoring opportunities into the arms of Dungloe keeper Danny Rodgers.
Burt twice cut the Dungloe lead to two points before Bonner pounced for goal number two. That was on 48 minutes and came when a long kick-out from Rodgers bypassed midfield and was picked up by Daire Gallagher with acres of space in front of him.
The centre-forward carried on before laying off to Bonner, who made no mistake for a 2-7 to 0-8 lead. Boosted by the goal and with Burt committed to going forward Gallagher added two more points to open up a seven-point lead with the clock ticking.
Ronan McDermott brought down the curtain on Burt’s scoring three minutes from the end of normal time. But with the Dungloe tails up Barry Curran, Dungloe’s best player on the night, got forward to finish off a sweeping move for goal number three in injury time to add the cream topping. Burt lost Denvir Kelly to a second yellow at the bitter end.
Burt scorers: Sean McHugh 0-3,2f; Jack O’Brien 0-2; Mark McElhinney, Christy McDermott, Calum Gallagher, Ronan McDermott 0-1 each.
Dungloe: Oisin Bonner, Barry Curran 1-2 each; Daire Gallagher 0-4,4f, Daniel Ward 0-2.
Burt: Kevin Glenn; Darren Bradley, Ronan McDermott, Callum Porter; Dara Grant, Stephen O’Donnell, Sean O’Donnell; Mark McElhinney, Denvir Kelly; Calvin Gallagher, Sean McHugh; Michael McHugh; Jack O’Brien, Christy McDermott, Darren Gallagher. John Fitzpatrick. Subs: Caolan McDermott for M McHugh, Sean Mullan for C Gallagher, Michael McHugh for Stephen O’Donnell.
Dungloe: Danny Rodgers; Jason McBride, Conor O’Donnell, Gerard Walsh; Karl McGee, Mark Curran, Barry Curran; Darren Curran, Ryan Brennan; Dylan Sweeney, Daire Gallagher, Matthew Ward; Daniel Ward, Aaron Ward, Oisin Bonner. Subs: Shaun McGee for D Ward, Jordan Saville for G Walsh, James McCole for J McBride.
Referee: Enda McFeeley (St Mary’s, Convoy).
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