Naomh Conaill and St Michael’s all square again

It was honours even once again at the end of this tussle between Naomh Conaill and St. Michael’s at a wet and windy Davy Brennan Memorial Park, on Sunday afternoon.

It was honours even once again at the end of this tussle between Naomh Conaill and St. Michael’s at a wet and windy Davy Brennan Memorial Park, on Sunday afternoon.

Naomh Conaill 1-6

St. Michael’s 1-6

Just as it was when the sides met in the opening game at the beginning of last month in splendid sunshine at the Bridge in Dunfanaghy.

However, it was a much lower scoring contest on this occasion. And that was not all down to the weather and the prevailing conditions. Both were short their big name players with Martin McElhinney and Colm McFadden sitting it our for St. Michael’s and Anthony Thompson, Leo McLoone and Dermot’ Brick’ Molloy doing likewise for the locals.

St. Michael’s did boast of Christy Toye, on the way back from a lengthy injury and in need of game time while another of the county squad Peter Witherow also featured for the visitors.

Toye had a good first half as St. Michael’s took full advantage of the prevailing conditions to race into a 1-5 to 0-1 half-time lead. But had a much quieter second half but that may have been down to two hard days of county training camp in Downings as much as his length lay off.

St. Michael’s did all the early running as Naomh Conaill struggled against the driving wind and rain.

John McFadden and Michael McGinley gave St Michael’s the early impetus they were 0-3 to 0-0 up after ten minutes courtesy of a Raymond McLaughlin.

And second after Leon Thompson limped out of the game with a hamstring injury, Naomh Conaill received a further setback when John McFadden set up Michael McGinley for St. Michael’s goal.

Brendan McDyre (free) got Naomh Conaill’s only score of the half on 19 minutes before further scores from McFadden and Ciaran Gallagher sent Eddie Harkin’s men in seven up at half-time.

Naomh Conaill got up and running early in the second period and pulled back two points in the opening minutes before a Darragh Gallagher ‘45 somehow ended up in the Ciaran Gallagher’s net.

That was on 35 minutes and when Gallagher split the post to reduce the margin to the minimum Naomh Conaill had the look of a team in the driving seat. But Stephen Coyle with St. Michael’s only point of the second half made it a two point game once more.

And with Naomh Conaill struggling up front against a well marshalled St. Michael’s rearguard it took late points from John O’Malley and Seamus Corcoran to earn the locals a divide of the points.

Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Dominic Bonner, Johnny Bonner, Jason Campbell; Cathal Ellis, Thomas Donoghue, Eoin Waide; Martin Regan, AJ Gallagher; Brendan McDyre (0-2, 1 free), Seamus Corcoran (0-1), John O’Malley (0-1); Leon Thompson, Johnny McLoone, Daragh Gallagher (1-2, 1 free). Subs: Aaron Thompson for L Thompson (13 mins), Marty Boyle for C Ellis (30 mins) and James Doherty for J Campbell (57 mins).

St Michael’s: Ciaran Gallagher; Brendan Rodden, Stephen Doak, James Alcorn; Gerard Gallagher, Ciaran Gallagher (0-1, free) Michael Gallagher; Martin Breslin, Lorcan McDaid; John McFadden (0-2), Peter Witherow, Christy Toye; Stephen Coyle (0-1, free), Antoin McFadden, Michael McGinley (1-1). Subs: Michael Cannon for M Breslin (50 mins) and Raymond McLaughlin (0-1, free) for S Coyle (53 mins).

Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Mhuire).