After producing a poor performance by their high standards in the first half, Clonguish asserted their superiority on the changeover in gradually running riot and outstanding in grabbing this Senior Football Championship Round 4 clash by the scruff of the neck was class act Paddy Dowd who ended up scoring a total of 2-11 (seven frees) which was some achievement regardless of the weak opposition.
Considering the so one-sided nature of the current Connolly Cup campaign, it was hardly surprising that a sparse attendance gathered at the Monaduff grounds in Drumlish on Thursday night last to witness the latest landslide win in the league stage of the championship which was played in terrible wet and windy weather conditions.
While it was yet another demoralising defeat for Sean Connolly’s, they battled extremely well in putting it up to their illustrious opponents in the first half of this floodlit fixture and only trailed by a solitary point with 24 minutes gone on the clock. But moments later a crucial Clonguish goal materialised when a slick move involving Darren Quinn, Joe O’Brien and Shane O’Brien put Colin Clarke in a position to find the back of the net from close range.
That certainly lifted the presssure on one of the leading contenders for championship glory this season who had to be content with a 1-5 to 0-3 lead at the break after squandering several chances in the first half. The Clonguish points were fired over by Joe O’Brien (2), Eoin Keane and Paddy Dowd (two frees) while Mark Diffley, Trevor Murtagh (free) and Stephen Lynch replied for a gallant Connolly’s side.
Aided by the wind in the second half, Clonguish then took over completely with Paddy Dowd clocking up 2-9 as the predicted demolition job eventually developed. The deadly Dowd fire home a cracking goal in the 38th minute after receiving the ball from David Barden and Paddy found the back of the Connolly’s net again soon after direct from a long range free.
Clonguish were now rampant in a determined bid to boost their scoring difference and also on target in the second half seige were Joe O’Brien, lively substitute Stephen Norton, centre-half-back Enda Williams and a brace from the accurate Eoin Keane, another of the new faces in action for the Newtownforbes outfit and who looks a useful addition.
Outclassed Connolly’s could only manage to register a single point in the second half, a free converted by Stephen Murtagh in the 58th minute, but they will battle it out to the bitter end in the relegation play-offs under the guidance of manager Paschal Hennessy.
Clonguish, on the other hand, can look forward with confidence to the knock-out stages of the championship in their burning desire to make amends for the defeat in last year’s county final and their coach Trevor Smullen will welcome back Paul Barden and Kevin Burke (both of whom are currently on the injured list) for the serious stuff in a couple of weeks time.
CLONGUISH: Mikie McGuinness; Brendan Devine, Brendan Burke, Anthony Watters; Darren Quinn, Enda Williams (0-1), Padraig Cooney; Paddy Dowd (2-11, seven frees), David Faughnan; Stephen McLoughlin, David Barden, Eoin Keane (0-3); Shane O’Brien, Joe O’Brien (0-3), Colin Clarke (1-0). Subs:- Danny Keenan for D Quinn (injured, 29 mins); Stephen Norton (0-1) for S McLoughlin (half-time); Ciaran Corcoran for A Watters (injured, 55 mins). SEAN CONNOLLY’S: John McKenna; Kevin Reynolds, Michael McGlynn, Dominic Waters; Frank Reynolds, Andy McNamee, Thomas Keogh; Stephen Lynch (0-1, free), Mark Diffley (0-1); David Brady, Trevor Murtagh (0-2, frees), Gregory Masterson; Brendan Treacy, Stephen Murtagh, Adrian Brady. Subs used (all in the second half): - Ciaran Brady, Thomas O’Neill, Daniel Waters, Padraig Brady and Fergal Brady. Referee: Michael Farrell (Ballymahon).