Naomh Muire kept their survival hopes alive with a comfortable 16-point win over Naomh Columba, in wet and windy conditions at the Banks, yesterday.
Naomh Muire 3-12
Naomh Columba 0-5
Darragh White, Jack Boyle and Sean ‘Yank’ Boyle scored the goals for the home side who started the day the bottom team in Division Two of the AllSportStore.com league table.
But by virtue of their win and Glenfin’s 2-14 to 0-5 victory St Naul’s, in Mountcharles, Naomh Muire have leapfrogged St Nauls to second from bottom.
While they still have a battle on their hands to hold onto their Division Two status, yesterday’s win will have been a great boost in confidence against an understrength Naomh Columba.
This game was played in very testing conditions with driving wind and rain for most of the 60 plus minutes.
Naomh Columba were minus regulars Ryan Gillespie, Philip McNern, Padraig Cunningham and Christopher Byrne.
Such were the conditions, if it was a duck race there is a fair chance the ducks might not have turned up.
Naomh Muire played with the wind and the rainat their backs in the first half and with Brian Gillespie, Aidy O’Gara, Darragh White and Padraig McCafferty getting an early grip in the middle third, they got off to a flying start and hit 1-3 without reply in the opening ten minutes.
Darragh White scored the goal inside four minutes. And by the time Jack Boyle flicked the second to the net after Pauric O’Donnell’s kick out swirled around in the wind before landing back into the Naomh Columba goalmouth, they had six more points.
Leading 2-8 to 0-0 two minutes before half time, the winners added two more before the break to go in 2-10 to 0-0 in front.
Naomh Columba scored three quick points on the resumption but failed to threaten Lee Boyle’s net.
And the game as a contest was long over before Sean ‘Yank’ Boyle struck for Naomh Muire’s third goal towards the end of the third quarter.
In fairness to Naomh Columba, looking down the barrell of a big defeat, they battled to the end.
Michael Maguire, Ciaran McBrearty and Padraig Byrne simply refused to throw in the towel.
And they were rewarded in the final quarter with points from Byrne, McBrearty and Declan McGuire, who played his first competitive game in over 12 months.
This was an important win for Naomh Muire as they bid to move up the table and away from relegation bother.
But with a number of players back from their travels and injury they fielded their strongest team this season so far.
They have five games to save their status. And while they have a number of tough games still to play, they would appear to be more than capable of picking up enough points to stay in the divsion.
Naomh Columba are fairly comfortable in mid table and their main focus now will turn to the championship.
They are in the intermedaite championship.
Naomh Muire: Lee Boyle; Daniel Devlin, Brian Gillespie, Tomas Duffy; Cian Boyle, Aidy O’Gara (0-3), Sean Gallagher (Point); Darragh White (1-1,1f), Adam O’Brien; Jack Boyle (1-1,1f), Padraig McCafferty, Harry Harden (0-2,1f); Owenie McGarvey, Paul ‘Yank’ Boyle (0-3), Sean ‘Yank’ Boyle (1-0). Subs: Patrick Gillespie for A O’Brien, 42; Hugh ‘Yank’ Boyle for E McGarvey, Danny Devlin for S Yank Boyle, both on 45; Jamie Boyle for J Boyle, 52; Conor White for C Boyle, 54; Darren Gallagher for P McCafferty, 55.
Naomh Columba: Pauric O’Donnell; Barry Carr, Ciaran McBrearty (0-1), Conor Kennedy; Martin Cunningham, Michael Maguire, Padraig Ward; Stephen Jones (0-1), Padraig Byrne (0-2, 1,45, 1f); Pauric O’Neill, Ryan McNern, Gavin McGinley; Philip Doherty, Jamie McNern, Paul Doherty. Sub: Declan McGuire for P O’Neill , h/t.
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)