Naomh Muire were convincing winners of the Intermediate Championship with a very good performance in O’Donnell Park.
Naomh Muire 1-13
St. Naul’s 1-7
They fashioned their victory in the opening minutes of both halves, but in truth they were much the superior side.
St. Naul’s were hampered by the loss of Stephen Griffin to injury, but they can have no complaints.
For Owenie McGarvey, it was a third Intermediate title and he made a wonderful controlled contribution in the middle of the field.
Then there were the Yank Boyles; the three brothers ended with 1-8 of their side’s final tally.a
There were emotional scenes at the end as Paul Yank Boyle lifted the cup and remembered young Conor Boyle, a Naomh Muire minor, who was laid to rest two weeks earlier on the date the final was first fixed.
Danny O’Donnell’s side were much the better outfit throughout. They were well organised from back to front and St. Naul’s just didn’t have any answers.
Naomh Muire got off to a whirlwind star with 1-2 in the first four minutes. It was the kind of start that dreams are made of.
Hugh Boyle had them on the board with a point on 26 seconds and then Harry Harden added a free on the third minute.
But it was the goal from Paul ‘Yank’ Boyle on four minutes that really lit up O’Donnell Park. Boyle turned his marker and came in along the endline before firing low past Lee McBrearty.
St. Naul’s were stunned and it was to get worse as Stephen Griffin picked up an ankle injury on his first sortee forward and had to be replaced on 17 minutes.
Before that Aidy O’Gara had Naomh Muire 1-3 to no score ahead on 10 minutes before Griffin had a pointed free for St. Naul’s a minute later.
Stuart Johnston landed a massive effort for St. Naul’s on 15 but Paul Yank Boyle replied for Naomh Muire.
Naomh Muire had the chance of a second goal when Edward Kane was penalised by referee Shaun McLaughlin for a foot block but Lee McBrearty made a good stop from Paul Yank Boyle’s penalty, which was a little tame after he stopped on his run-up
In the second quarter St. Naul’s did get back in the game with Paul McGroarty hitting a point on 21 minutes.
A free off the ball saw Paul Yank Boyle point before Barry Griffin and Mark Ward (free) reduced the margin to three with five minutes left in the half.
Just before half-time Paul Yank Boyle with his second free left Naomh Muire 1-6 to 0-5 at the break.
Naomh Muire were just as lively at the start of the second half with three points in four minutes from Paul Yank Boyle, Darragh White and Harry Harden (free)
When they added three more, all three from Hugh Yank Boyle, by the 43rd minute, the game was as good as over St. Naul’s were just not able to match the men from the Lower Rosses.
Player manager Brian McCabe had St. Naul’s first score of the half, but that was on 44 minutes.
Lee McBrearty denied Harry Harden a goal chance while Patrick McGroarty had a goal chance at the other end.
But the game was drifting to its inevitable conclusion. Andrew Gallagher pointed a free on 52 minutes.
They also got a consolation goal with time almost up, substitute Jamie Flynn finishing well, but it was academic.
Apart from the Yank Boyles, who were magnificent thoughout, Owenie McGarvey, Aidy O’Gara and Jack O’Brien were magnificent for the winners.
For St. Naul’s Stuart Johnston, John Rose, and Shane Conneely were best for the losers.
St. Naul’s: Lee McBrearty; Conor McBrearty, Edward Kane, Cathal Lowther; Mark Ward (0-1,f), Stuart Johnston (0-1), John Rose; Fiachra McGinley, Daniel Friel; Brian McCabe (0-1), Andrew Gallagher (0-1), Shane Conneely; Aidan Kennedy, Stephen Griffin (0-1), Barry Griffin. Subs., Paul McGroarty (0-1) for S Griffin 17; Jamie Coyle for Kane 36; Barry Rose for M Ward 43; Enda Lynch forMcCabe 49; Jamie Flynn (1-0) for A Gallagher 53.
Naomh Muire: Brian Grant; Robert O’Donnell, Brian Gillespie, Tomas Duffy; Shaun Point Gallagher, Aidy O’Gara (0-1), Jack O’Brien; Paul Yank Boyle (0-1), Owenie McGarvey; Darragh White (0-1), Paddy McCafferty, Owen Grant; Shaun Yank Boyle (1-3), Hugh Yank Boyle (0-4), Harry Harden (0-3,3f). Subs., Patrick Gillespie for S Point Gallagher ht; Ciaran McGinley for Grant 49; John Pigeon for White; Sean J Boyle for H Boyle; Tom McHugh for R O’Donnell, 53.
Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin)