Six off as MacCumhaill's reach quarter-final

Six off as MacCumhaill's reach quarter-final
Gerry McLaughlin @dgldemocrat

There was a bit of GUBU and all kinds of everything in this feisty affair where six men were lined and a number of yellow cards flashed by the in the spotlight referee Andrew Mullin.

Sean MacCumhaills . . . . . 4-10

Naomh Muire . . . . . . . . . . 0-17

It all happened in a rather manic period in the second half and centred around two main flashpoints in a game that was studded with some fine scores from both sides.

Both teams finished with 12 men when James Lynch (straight red) Andrew McCloskey (second yellow) and John Lynch (second yellow) were lined for Sean MacCumhaills.

And opponents Naomh Muire lost Adam O’Brien, Paddy McCafferty (second yellow) and goalie Lee Boyle (straight red).

But it was MacCumhaill's ability to get goals at crucial moments from James Lynch, Steven O’Reilly, Darren O’Leary and Martin O’Reilly against a battling Naomh Muire that ultimately decided this affair.

And while the dismissals essentially centred mainly on two very different moments of tribal madness, this was by no means a malicious match.

The first manic incident happened in the 36th minute when inhabitants of both benches became involved in a frenetic free-for-all that resulted in O’Brien and James Lynch getting an early bath.

This was followed five minutes later by the dismissal of McCloskey and McCafferty.

And in the 47th minute Naomh Muire 'keeper Lee Boyle was lined after he appeared to catch Darren O’Leary around the neck as O’Leary ran right up to him in celebration of scoring a penalty that put MacCumhaill's ahead by 3-5 to 0-10.

The final sending off was that of MacCumhaill’s John Lynch, who was sent off for two yellow cards in extra time and neither club was happy with referee Andrew Mullin at the end.

Disappointed Naomh Muire boss Eamonn O’Boyle said referee Andrew Mullin “ruined the match”.

“It was ruined for both teams and this was a good game of football.

“It was a hard game of football but it was ruined by the dismissals.

"I can’t understand why it happened, maybe one maybe two but six.

"I don’t know what football is coming to and I just can’t understand," said O'Boyle.

But it would be unfair to say the somewhat controversial number of cards defined this match, and there could be a few appeals; this was quite an entertaining championship match between two relatively well-matched teams.

MacCumhaill's led by 2-3 to 0-6 at the interval thanks to two strikes from James Lynch and Steven O’Reilly, two instances where they were shown to be vulnerable under the high ball.

For Naomh Muire, Jack Boyle, Aida O’Gara and Shaun ‘Yank” Boyle landed some fine points.

O’Gara did a fine man-to-man marking job on MacCumhaill's icon Marty O’Reilly.

Naomh Muire roared out of the blocks in the early stages of the second half with points from Shaun and Paul ‘Yank” Boyle and Jack Boyle levelled matters from a 40 metre free in the 35th minute.

When manic melee was over Steven O’Reilly edged the winners back in front just before O’Leary’s penalty put MacCumhaills ahead by 3-6 to 0-10.

Despite being reduced to 12 men Naomh Muire continued to attack with substitute Harry Harden getting on the scoreboard.

And they reduced the margin to 3-8 to 0-15 when MacCumhaill's keeper Chris Patton made a great save from Aida O’Gara.

But MacCumhaill's were deadly on the counter and Marty O’Reilly blasted the ball to the roof the net to seal a match that had seven minute of added time that could also see a few appeals.

SEAN MACCUMHAILL'S: Chris Patton; Joe Dunnion, Marty Gallagher, Ronan McMenamin; Gary Dunnion, John Lynch, Alan Patton; James Lunch (1-0), Steven O’Reilly (1-2); Aaron Kelly, Martin O’Reilly (1-2), Gary Wilson; Brian Lafferty (0-2), Darren O’Leary (1-4, 1-0,pen, 3f), Andrew McCloskey.

NAOMH MUIRE: Lee Boyle; Cian Boyle, Brian Gallagher, Dan Gallagher; Shaun Gallagher, Aida O’Gara (0-3), Jack Boyle (0-3,f); Jack O’Brien, Adam O’Brien; Darragh White (0-1), Paddy McCafferty, Paul ‘Yank” Boyle (0-1), Owenie McGarvey, Patrick Gillespie, Shaun “Yank” Boyle (0-6,3f). Subs; Tomas Duffy for Paul ‘Yank” Boyle 50, Harry Harden 0-3,2f, for Owenie McGarvey 50, Daniel Devlin for Darragh White 60

REFEREE: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs)