Adding to their midfield woes, Ian Mulroy hobbled off injured in last week's win over Annaghminnon. Jack Maguire is out for the season, while Piece Hawkins was sent off against Rovers
DKIT Sport Junior Football Championship Round 3 Group 2
ANNAGHMINNON ROVERS 0-6 LANN LÉIRE 4-16
Lann Léire cleared both hurdles in front of them as they advanced as Group 2 winners with another big win. This time Annaghminnon Rovers were on the receiving end at Ballybailie on Sunday midday.
Rovers were in the hunt for a quarter final place, but they were no match for the cohesive group toppers. They moved in numbers, defended well, and tied bows in a lot of team moves at the other end.
Yet despite the 22-point winning margin, Dunleer manager Glen O’Reilly will come away from the game with a number of headaches.
Having started without midfielder Jack Maguire, who suffered a season ending injury the week previous, Lann Léire will have to do without the services of Pierce Hawkins in the quarter final.
The other half of the first-choice midfield pairing struck out right in front of promising young referee Bryan Smith. Smith had little or no choice but to send Hawkins off and to compound matters further, Ian Mulroy hobbled off towards the end of the contest, also after slotting into the middle.
On the other hand, Darragh Malone was forced into the middle of the field and whether by accident or design the mercurial Malone is now central to things and that would suit Malone and Dunleer going forward.
Malone fired home a first half hat-trick, all with his so-called weaker left foot. The third is already a contender for goal of the championship.
Malone drove from the middle of the field, turned on the afterburners, left Rovers defence behind him and even rounded goalkeeper Sam Kennaugh to finish to an empty net.
Paul Callan got to work early in the second half with the first two of a five in a row run of scores. Bob Murphy coming off the bench to score with his first touch. Markey added to his tally and Niall Brennan found the target from way out the field.
Lann Léire ran in late points and Brendan McEvoy wrapped things up with 1-1 in the dying minutes. Finding a midfielder ahead of the quarters will determine things in the coming weeks for the Junior Championship favourites.
ANNAGHMINNON ROVERS: Sam Kennaugh; Paul McArdle, Sean McMahon, Padraig Russell; Tiernan O’Brien, Niall Brennan (0-1), Mark Hoey; Colin Campbell, Conor Russell; Fergal Markey, Rory Phelan (0-1 free), James O’Connor; Aidan Lee Martin, Dylan Mulholland (0-1), Dwayne Markey (0-3, 0-1 free). SUBS: Sean McDonnell for McArdle (HT), Richie Ashfield for Martin (40), Tony Brennan for F Markey (40).
LANN LÉIRE: Liam Callan; Thomas Doyle, Paul McGeough, Jason Torris; Brendan McEvoy (1-1), Briain McGuinness, Kyle van Rhijn (0-1); Pierce Hawkins, Ian Mulroy (0-1); Colin Murphy (0-7, 0-3 free), Paul Callan (0-2), Peter Fortune; Paul Doyle; Darragh Malone (3-1, 0-1 free), Killian Gregory (0-2 frees). SUBS: Garry Monaghan for Fortune (33), Laurence McEntee for P McGeough (HT) Darragh Goodman for Mulroy (39), Bob Murphy (0-1) for P Callan (42), Niall Lennon for P Doyle (42).
Referee: Bryan Smith (O’Raghallaigh’s)
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.