A magnificent goal from Jamie Coyle when things seemed almost won the game for St Naul’s in the Intermediate Reserve final
St. Naul’s 1-5
The Parish of Inver men went two ahead thanks to Michael Quinn and Aidan Meehan but Downings fought back with two late frees from Shane McClafferty and James McBride to get another day, which they deserved.
It wasn’t a classic but it did create great excitement in the closing stages, especially after Coyle’s wonderfully taken goal.
Downings were the ascendancy in the second quarter and the half-time scoreline of 0-6 to 0-2 did not flatter them.
They could have had two goals, but for two superb saves from Patrick Burke in the St. Naul’s goal.
Burke denied Barney Curran at the expense of a point on 15 minutes and five minutes later stopped a goal bound effort from Eric Roberts from point blank range.
The opening quarter was of poor quality with wides the order of the day. Andy Connor had the opening point inside a minute from a free for Downings, while Jamie Coyle levelled matters on eight minutes.
Indeed at that stage St. Naul’s were doing most of the attacking, but there was no end produce against the stiffish breeze.
Paul Coyle edged Downings ahead on 13 minutes with an outrageous effort from near the sideline before Barney Curran availed of a slip in the St. Naul’s rearguard as a pass from Barry Trearty hopped over a defender. Curran went for goal but Burke tipped over.
Aidan Meehan had St. Naul’s second point from a free but immediately Eric Roberts replied. Then Roberts was put through by Barney Curran but Burke made a great stop.
In the remaining minutes Shane McClafferty and Christopher Carr, up from corner back, pointed, the latter from a free.
Barney Curran had Downings five ahead within 30 seconds of the restart but they weren’t to score again until the final minutes.
St. Naul’s didn’t look like they could create the openings but the arrival of Kevin Barry made a difference. Jamie Coyle and Aidan Meehan (free) reduced the margin to three.
But the score which really mattered came on 53 minuites when Barry released Coyle and he hit the corner of the net.
Michael Quinn, after twice being denied by the upright, put St. Naul’s ahead and Aidan Meehan doubled it. B
But Downings were not to be denied and McCafferty pulled a point back and with time almost up James McBride tied it up for the laste time.
In the end, it was a good enough result for both sides. as both had chances.
Downings: John McGroddy; Conor Shiels, Martin McLaughlin, Christopher Carr (0-1,f); Ben McNutt, Barry Trearty, Paul Coyle (0-1); Gerard McGee, Shane Boyce; Eric Roberts (0-1), Andy Connor (0-1,f), Barney Curran (0-2); Matthew Coyle, James McBride (0-1,f), Shane McClafferty (0-2,1f). Subs., John Doherty for A Connor; Maxi Curran for J McBride, both 49
St. Naul’s: Patrick Burke; Ronan Lowther, Martin Gillespie, John Kenny; Kenny McDaid, Conor McGowan, John McBrearty; Des McGroarty, Michael Quinn (0-1,f); Shaun Kerrs, Liam McGroarty, Jamie Coyle (1-2);Gary Ward, Aidan Meehan (0-3,3f), Caolan Gaffney. Subs., SP McHugh for Lowther ht; Kevin Barry for Kerrs 42; John Meehan for G Ward 49
Referee: Shane Toolan (Aodh Ruadh)