Two early goals helped Naomh Colmcille to victory over St. Naul’s in a close encounter in Mountcharles on Saturday evening.
St. Naul’s 0-12
Naomh Colmcille 2-7
St. Naul’s were caught on the hop as Willie Gillespie made a difference in those opening minutes.
By the time St. Naul’s closed the gate, Naomh Colmcille were 2-3 to 0-2 ahead after just 11 minutes.
From there to the finish the home side dominated but in the difficult conditions of a heavy, misty rain, they were unable to claw back the deficit.
The warning signs were there from the 2nd minute when Willie Gillespie pointed and even though St. Naul’s responded with points from Stephen Griffin and Barry Rose, Gillespie struck for the first goal on eight minutes.
A minute later he was fouled for Joe Donaghy to point and then Thomas McKinley added the second goal while Daniel Clarke pointed to open a seven point gap with just 11 minutes gone.
St. Naul’s, with the elements at their back, were facing a stiff climb, but they kept driving forward and points followed from John Rose and Cathal Lowther.
Daniel Clarke had an effort drop short but Willie Gillespie nipped in to fist it over, while Barry Griffin and Stephen Griffin (from a sideline) reduced the margin.
In the final minutes of the half Michael Lynch hit a magnificent ‘45’ against the wind (indeed, he did it twice as his first effort was ruled out as the referee was not ready!), but in the final minutes Stephen Griffin with two frees left just three in it at the break, St. Naul’s 0-8, Naomh Colmcille 2-5.
St. Naul’s brought in Eddie Gallagher and Aidan Kennedy for the second half and Gallagher along with John Rose did their best to overturn the deficit.
Points from Barry Rose and Stephen Griffin (free) reduced the deficit to a point while Shane Conneely was denied a goal from close range.
Willie Gillespie rounded three defenders to win a free for Donaghy to point but Stephen Griffin finished a great John Rose run after 42 minutes.
In the remaining 19 minutes the sides shared two points, Michael Friel for the Newtown men while Stephen Griffin pointed a 40m free. But try as they might, the home side could not get the equaliser.
Apart from John Rose and Stephen Griffin, Barry Griffin, Cathal Lowther and Eddie Gallagher were best for St. Naul’s while Willie Gillespie, Michael Lynch, Alex Devenney and Thomas McKinley starred for the winners.
St. Naul’s: G Mulreaney; E Lynch, C McBrearty, C McDevitt; B Griffin (0-1), P Coyle, S Johnston; D Friel, S Griffin (0-7,4f,s/line); M Ward, C Lowther (0-1), B Rose (0-2); L McGroarty, S Conneely, J Rose (0-1). Subs., E Gallagher for McGroarty; A Kennedy for Lynch, both ht; D McGroarty for McDevitt 57.
Naomh Colmcille: G McDaid; R Hegarty, A Devenney, M Friel (0-1); G Curran, O Hilley, E Gillespie; C Devine, M Lynch (0-1,45); J Fullerton, T McKinley (1-0), P Friel; D Clarke (0-1), J Donaghy (0-2,2f), W Gillespie (1-2).
Referee: E McFeely