Glenswilly 0-6 Naomh Conaill 0-6
Darragh Gallagher kicked a late point to earn champions Naomh Conaill a draw with Glenswilly in their eagerly awaited first round, first leg senior championship tie in Pairc Naomh Columba on Sunday evening.
Gallagher struck for the equaliser in the second minute of injury time, three minutes after what looked like Glenswilly’s second half substitute Gerard McGrenra had kicked a dramatic winner.
In a closely contested encounter it was tit for that throughout in a very tactical battle as Naomh Conaill employed their trademark blanket defence.
Glenswilly playing with the strong breeze led by two points 0-3 to 0-2 at half-time with two points from a strangely subdued Michael Murphy and one from Gary McFadden. All three scores were scored in the opening eight minutes.
Anthony Thompson, who passed a late fitness test, and Dermot Molloy were the Naomh Conaill first half scorers.
Just a point down and the wind in their backs in the second half all the smart money was on Naomh Conaill at the interval.
When Leon Thompson pointed within three minutes of the restart followed quickly by a point from Gallagher, it looked as if the champions were on their way.
However, Glenswilly were in no mood for rolling over and they were soon back on level terms when Gary McFadden raised Glenswilly’s first flag in over 30 minutes.
With Murphy now operating at midfield and Neil Gallagher finally rising to the challenge Glenswilly upped their game. By the three quarter mark they were back in front again after Murphy pointed from a 20 metre free.
As the clock ticked and scoring still proving elusive Glenswilly suffered a setback when reduced to 14 men with Kealan McFadden being shown a red card shortly after coming on. McFadden got his marching orders from referee Jimmy White, who consulted with his umpires following an off the ball incident with Jason Campbell.
The teams were level with two minutes of normal time remaining when Gallagher once again converted from close range to tie it up at 0-5 each.
But in a granstand finish McGrenra pointed only for his strike to be cancelled out two minutes into injury by a simple tap over from Gallagher.
Glenswilly: Phi lip O’Donnell; Rory McDaid, Eamon Ward, Ruairi Crawford; Joe Gibbons, James P. McDaid, Brian McDaid (Shorty); Leon Kelly, Neil Gallagher; Kealan Kelly, Darren McGinley, Gary McFadden (0-2,2f); Brian McDaid, Ciaran Bonner, Michael Murphy (0-3,1f). Subs: Gerard McGrenra for D. McGinley (58).
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Jason Campbell, Thomas Donoghue, Jamie Gallagher; Marty Boyle, Anthony Thompson (0-1), Owen Waide; Martin Regan, Johnny McLoone; Brendan McDyre, Darragh Gallagher (0-3,2f), John O’Malley; Seamus Corcoran, Dermot Molloy (0-1), Leon Thompson (0-1). Subs: Conal McNelis for J.O’Malley (48).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).