Cloughaneely made it safely through to the Intermediate championship last four with a five point victory over Burt in O’Donnell Park on Saturday afternoon.
John McGarvey kicked the all important goal for the winners as early as the fifth minute and this score provided Joe McGarvey’s men with the cushion that ensured the issue was never really in doubt against a Burt side that battled bravely to the end.
Cloughaneely were the slicker outfit and in McGarvey, John Fitzgerald, Denis Boyle , Sean Maguire and man of the match, the bustling Darren McGeever, they had that little bit more polish and know-how up front.
Fitzgerald, who was the pick of the front three, was in dazzling form and along with kicking four points - three of them from placed balls - he also did the spade work for McGarvey’s goal.
He was a constant thorn in the Burt last line and gave McGeever, who was the outstanding player on the park, a run for his money.
Burt had their gems too with Conor Harkin putting in a good hour’s graft at midfield, especially after losing his midfield partner to injury after just 21 minutes. But the reals gems for the Inishowen men were their two lively and elusive corner forwards, Mark Coyle and Paul McHugh.
Joe Boyle, better known as a hurler and captain of the Donegal senior hurling team, after an indifferent first half, turned in a good second period and helped himself to two points.
Boyle was unlucky too, not to have poached a goal five minutes from the end when his fisted effort came back off the post.
This was one of a number of second half goal chances the Burt men had in the second period.
Another came eight minutes into the second period when McHugh left his marker for dead, rounded another Cloughaneely defender, before hitting the side netting, from a very tight angle.
If one or both of those chances had gone in, it could have been a different story. Certainly, the margin would have been a lot closer.
But in the end Cloughaneely, who led 1-5 to 0-3 at half-time, did enough in the second half to set up a semi-final meeting with Fanad Gaels.
Cloughaneely: S McCafferty; C McFadden, K McFadden, C McGee; K Mulhern, L O’Brien, D McGarvey; M Maguire, C Scanlon; D McGeever (0-3), D Boyle (0-1,1f), P Cannon; J McGarvey (1-0), S Maguire (0-1), J Fitzgerald (0-4.3f).
Subs: M Lynch for L O’Brien (46); Cillian Gallagher for P Cannon (50).
Burt: S Gillespie; S O’Donnell, M McCann, S O’Donnell; R Grant, M Donaghy, R McDermott (0-1); C Harkin (0-2,2f), P McDermott; D Gallagher, E McDermott, J Boyle (0-2,1f); M Coyle (0-1), C Dowds, P McHugh(0-1).
Subs: S McHugh for P McDermott (51,inj); J Downey for S O’Donnell (26); D Grant for P McHugh (60).
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings).
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