NAOMH BRID’S hopes of promotion to Division Two are still on track after a vital in their last game at home to St. Naul’s on Sunday in Trummon.
Naomh Brid 2-8
St. Naul’s 1-8
The win puts them in a strong position for the promotion play-off place and it is very possible that they could face St. Naul’s in that play-off. But it could well be March of 2012 before that takes place with Burt still having five games to play.
Anything other than a win on Sunday would have virtually ended Naomh Brid’s hopes and when they trailed 1-4 to 1-1 at the interval, the omens weren’t good.
But county player David Walsh stepped up to the plate in the second period to give the leadership necessary and in the end they were comfortable enough winners.
Both sides were short a few regulars but with much depending on the outcome, this was a well contested affair. Pauric McDaid hit a rare wide from a free early on for the home side before Paul McGrory, from an acute angle, fired over the first point on seven minutes.
The score was cancelled within a minute as Shane Conneely put Danny McDyre through to point. It seemed the home side had taken a giant step on 14 minutes when an effort for a point from Dermot Langan fell short and wide of the target but Declan McCafferty got a fist to it and was denied by a great save by Sean McCready. However, Pauric McDaid first-timed the clearance to the St. Naul’s net.
But just like the opening point, St. Naul’s hit back within 60 seconds with Danny McDyre crossing and young James Flynn reacted quickest to break the ball and fire home to have the sides level once more at 1-1 each.
The second quarter belonged to St. Naul’s, who made use of the breeze which seemed to strengthen as the game wore on. Conal McGinley was hauled down by Dermot Langan and Stephen Griffin pointed on 21 minutes before McGinley drove through to fire over on 24 minutes.
Two minutes from the break Naomh Brid substitute, Petie Walsh (who had replaced JP Langan after 11 minutes) was dispossessed on a forward run and Barry Griffin, after a great run, pointed to leave St. Naul’s 1-4 to 1-1 ahead at the break.
The sides were level five minutes into the second half as Dermot Langan almost lost possession but somehow managed to get the ball away and David Walsh (with a great pick-up on the run) drove through the St. Naul’s defence and found the corner of the net with his left.
Declan McCafferty with two points inside a minute had the home side two up on 39 minute and a David Walsh interception led to Dermot Langan stretching that lead on 42 minutes.
St. Naul’s had their best period in the middle of the half with Griffin (free) and Conal McGinley pulling points back, the latter after good work from Aidan Kennedy and Andrew Gallagher.
Langan set up Petie Walsh for a Naomh Brid point and then found Paul McGrory with a high centre. McGrory got a good break and was through on goal but then lost possession with just the ‘keeper to beat.
It didn’t matter in the end as Pauric McDaid stretched the lead again to three from a free with ten minutes left.
Despite being reduced to 14 when Petie Walsh saw red on 53 minutes, the home side held out in the final ten minutes with Pauric McDaid and Paul McGrory points cancelling efforts from Cathal Lowther and a Griffin free.
Overall, Naomh Brid had the greater hunger for the contest and their good home record against the top teams is one of the main reasons why they are second in the Division Three table.
Apart from the excellent David Walsh, Jamie Timoney, Maurice Quinn, Dermot Langan, Thomas Gallagher, Gary McCafferty, Paul McGrory and Declan McCafferty were very prominent.
For St. Naul’s, John Rose, Gavin Maguire (until forced to retire), Conal McGinley and Barry Griffin were best.
Naomh Brid: Stephen Doherty; Jamie Timoney, Sam Burgess, Maurice Quinn; Sean Gormley, JP Langan, Stephen Quinn; Thomas Gallagher, Dermot Langan (0-1); David Walsh (1-0), Pauric McDaid (1-2,1f), Gary McCafferty; Shane Walsh, Paul McGrory (0-2), Declan McCafferty (0-2). Sub., Petie Walsh (0-1) for JP Langan 11.
St. Naul’s: Sean McCready; John Rose, Gavin Maguire, Aidan Kennedy; Daniel Friel, Stuart Johnston, Conor McGowan; Conal McGinley (0-1), Stephen Griffin (0-3,3f); Shane Conneely, Mark Ward, James Flynn (1-0); Andrew Gallagher, Danny McDyre (0-1), Barry Griffin (0-1)., Subs., Cathal Lowther (0-1) for McDyre 43; Martin Gillespie for Maguire 52.
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).
N. Colmcille 0-6
N. Mhuire 0-6
Scores were hard to get in this game both teams had a lot to play for with N. Mhuire looking for league win and N. Colmcille looking for points to avoid relegation.
N. Colmcille were first to score with a Barry O’Hagan free in the first minute. N. Mhuire had their first score on five minutes from a C.McGinley free.
It was tit for tat until half-time with Gillespie and Grant for the home side while Ciaran McGinley, Shaun Boyle and a late point from Dara White had Naomh Mhuire ahead by 0-4 tro 0-3 at the interval.
The second half was just as close with just five scores with two frees from Barry O’Hagan and a late equaliser from Ryan McErlean cancelling out points from McHugh and McGinley for N Mhuire.
Heavy underfoot conditions and a lot to play for meant the game was far from spectacular. Both teams had nine wides. Best for N.Colmcille were L.Grant and R.McErlean. Best for Naomh Mhuire, Aidi O’Gara and Paul Boyle.
N. Colmcille: M.Callaghan, P.Friel, A.Devenney, E.Gillespie, G.Curran, A.Grant, T.McKinley, L.Grant (0-1), R. McErlean (0-1), M.O’Donnell, B.O’Hagan (0-3), M.Callaghan, C.Callaghan, J.Donaghy, L.Gillispie (0-1).
N. Mhuire: S.Gallagher, A.O’Gara, T.Duffy, D.Gallagher, H.McGeady, S.Ferry, P.Boyle, D.White (0-1), O. McGarvey, H.Harden, P.McCafferty, S.Gallagher, S.Boyle, T.McHugh (0-1), C.McGinley (0-3).
Referee: K McShea (MacCumhaill’s)
Naomh Mhuir still need one point from their last game at home to Burt to clinch the title, although it would take a minor miracle to deprive them of going to Division Two. Burt need to win all remaining five games. St. Naul’s still need two wins to make sure of a promotion play-off place, with Naomh Brid still very much in the race although their destiny is now out of their hands as they have completed their programme.
With Burt on hurling duty again next weekend, it could be well into 2012 before this Division is completed.