Cloughaneely are back in another Donegal Intermediate Championship final following this afternoon's narrow win over Buncrana.
Cloughaneely …………... 1-13
In a closely contested encounter in O’Donnell Park, just two points separated the sides at the finish with an early Darren McGeever goal, the defining score.
Cloughaneely got off to a dream start with a goal and point in the opening four minutes. The goal from the penalty spot placed well wide of Harry Doherty, in the Buncrana goals by Darren McGeever.
The penalty was awarded after Kevin Mulhern was bundled over the Buncrana area.
McGeever one minute earlier kicked the opening score after good play from Mark Harley.
Buncrana did finally settle and William McLaughlin, Caolan McGonagle, and Oisin O’Flaherty struck for points.
It was a one point game by the ninth minute. But Cloughaneely were more composed and better balanced and were two up by the first water break.
Shaun Curran, who got on a lot of ball in the opening half, and Paul Sweeney pointed for Cloughaneely while John Campbell, who was well marshalled by Cian McFadden, scored the Buncrana point.
Campbell and Martin Maguire exchanged minors and Odhran Doherty cut the lead to a single point
In the closing minutes of the half Buncrana, who played with aid of the wind, put on a late spurt and points from Shaun Magurie and Jason McGee (who made his first championship start since last year's final defeat to St Naul’s).
Cloughaneely led 1-6 to 0-6 at half-time.
The early exchanges of the second half were pretty even with Shaun Curran, Jason McGee and Paul Sweeney - who proved a great target man up front - scoring for Cloughaneely and Campbell, Ryan McElhinney and Peter McLaughlin pointed for the Inishowen men.
The goal still separated the sides at the second water break. Cloughaneely 1-10, Buncrana 0-10.
Cloughaneely went five up for the first time in the early minutes of the final quarter through Sweeney and Mulhern.
These were quickly cancelled out by good scores from Caolan McGonagle and Peter McLaughlin.
McGee, with a 50 metre free into the breeze, restored Cloughaneely’s four point advantage in the first minute of injury time.
Buncana did pile on pressure in the seven minutes of injury time. But they never threatened for the goal they needed and they had to be happy with two late converted frees from Odhran Doherty.
CLOUGHANEELY: Shaun McClafferty; Michael Fitzgerald, Cian McFadden, Noel Sweeney; Ciaran McFadden, Mark Harley, Shaun Curran (0-2, 2f); Darren McGeever (1-1, 1-0 pen), Martin Maguire (0-1); Ciaran McGeady, Kevin Mulhern (0-2), Jason McGee (0-3,3f); Shaun Maguire (0-2, 1f), Paul Sweeney (0-2), Michael McHugh. Subs: Conor Coyle for McHugh h/t, Ciaran Scanlon for C McGeady 57, Stephen Rodden for Sweeney 60+4.
BUNCRANA Harry Doherty; Evan McCallion, Jack O'Loughlin, Noel McLaughlin; William McLaughlin (0-1), Bruce Waldron, Oisin O'Flaherty (0-1); Peter McLaughlin (0-2, 1fm), Caolan McGonigle (0-2,1f); Ryan McElhinney (0-1), Odhran Doherty (0-3,3f), Adrian Doherty; Oisin Hegarty, John Campbell (0-3, 1f, 1m), Darach O'Connor. Subs: Ben Bradley for A Doherty, 34, Cathal McNutt for McCallion 42, Matthew Mulholland for N McLaughlin 48, Oisin Doherty for Hegarty 53, JP McKenna for W McLaughlin 57.
REFEREE: Mark Dorrian (Gaeil Fhanada)
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