Burt qualify for historic first Intermediate final

Burt qualify for historic first Intermediate final

Conor Harkin scored the goal and Paul McHugh kicked four points as Burt came from behind against Naomh Columba, to book their place in a first ever Intermediate Football Championship final.

Burt 1-8

Naomh Columba 0-7

The winners were ultra defensive in the first half and trailed Naomh Columba by a point, 0-3 to 0-2, at half-time.

McHugh drove forward from wing-back to kick their second point on 26 minutes, six minutes after Joe Boyle had opened their account from a 20 metre free.

Naomh Columba, who were playing their third game in six days, had enjoyed the Lion’s share of possession in the opening 20 minutes.

Martin Cunningham, Ryan McNern, Kevin McNern and Pauric Cunningham wove pretty patterns and Michael Maguire drove forward at every opportunity as Naomh Columba laid siege on the Burt half.

But a Pauric Cunningham fisted point after nine minutes and a well struck Martin Cunningham point were their only end product on the scoreboard.

Burt defended tenaciously and hit Naomh Columba on the break. But in those opening exchanges found Kieran McBrearty, Barry Carr and Philip Doherty in the Naomh Columba last line of defence were on top of their game.

And it was McBrearty that joined the attack to hone out Naomh Columba’s third point kicked by Pauric O’Neill, for a 0-3 to 0-2 half-time lead.

Ronan McLaughlin introduced the London based Christopher McDermott and Enda McDermott were introduced early in the second half. This and the moving of Conor Harkin to midfield and all of a sudden Burt were a different outfit.

Christopher McDermott and man of the match Paul McHugh kicked two quick points and Burt led for the first time on 43 minutes.

As the game opened up it became a much better spectacle and points from the impressive pair of Ryan Gillespie and Kevin McNern saw Naomh Columba wrestle back the lead.

With eight minutes remaining Naomh Columba led 0-5 to 0-4.

But Harkin’s goal on 55 minutes after good combination play with the lively Mark Coyle, propelled the Inishowen back in front, 1-4 to 0-5.

And when McHugh again raided down the right wing for a sweet point, Burt were three up for the first time.

But Naomh Columba were not in the mood of giving up without a fight and two quick points in the space of a minute, from Pauric O’Neill and Declan McGuire reduced the margin to one again.

It, however, proved a last hurrah as McHugh and Joe Boyle posted late points to close out the game for Burt, and a historic first Intermediate football final appearance.

Burt will face Milford in the final on Sunday, 9th next in O’Donnell Park.

BURT: Kevin McDermott; Martin Donaghey, Stephen O’Donnell, Tom Doherty; Mickey McCann, Sean McHugh, Paul McHugh (0-4); Stephen Gillespie, Ciaran Dowds; Joe Boyle (0-2,2f), Darren Gallagher, Dara Grant; Mark Coyle, Conor Harkin (1-0), Calvin Gallagher. Subs: Christopher McDermott (0-1) for D Gallagher, Enda McDermott for S Gillespie, both 36; Ronan McDermott (0-1) for J Boyle 49.

NAOMH COLUMBA; Pauric O’Donnell; Barry Carr, Kieran McBrearty, Philip Doherty; Pauric Ward, Michael Maguire, Stephen Jones; Declan McGuire (0-1), Patrick Byrne; Ryan McNern (0-1), Martin Cunningham, Pauric Cunningham (0-1); Kevin McNern (0-1), Ryan Gillespie (0-1), Pauric O’Neill (0-2).Subs; Gavin McGiven McGinley for P O’Donnell 30 inj; Paul Doherty for P Cunningham 49; Jamie J McGinley for S Jones 51; Jamie McNern for M Cunningham 58.

REFEREE: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin)