Peadar Mogan . . . who hit late free to get draw for St. Naul's
Darkness was almost the winner in Mountcharles as Peadar Mogan kicked a 41st minute equaliser for St. Naul's.
St. Naul's 1-9
The home side led by five at half-time but were not at the races in the second half as Caolan McGonigle, Odhran Doherty and Darach 'Jigger' O'Connor were supreme. So much so that St. Naul's hardly had a shot but they hung in and three points in added time from the boot of Peadar Mogan saved their bacon.
The home side were hampered by the absence of up to eight first team players among them Stephen Griffin, Brendan McCole, Barry Rose, Conor Gavigan, Aidan Meehan and Des McGroarty.
John Campbell had Buncrana on the board inside the first few minutes but gradually St. Naul's got their running game going.
Peadar Mogan levelled from a free but Noel McLaughlin pushed Buncrana in front again on six minutes from fully 40m.
John Campbell had a half goal chance after a Caolan McGonigle free came back off a post, but Buncrana were lacking penetration.
Daniel Brennan levelled for the home side from a free. Barry Griffin put them ahead and Griffin broke the kick-out for Stuart Johnston to fire over a fourth point on 13 minutes.
Oisin Doherty pulled a point back from a free but St. Naul's took a firm grip in the final ten minutes of the half. Barry Griffin and Shane Conneely worked an opening for Johnston to point and then John Rose was involved before Daniel Brennan was in on goal. He dummied the 'keeper but was brought down when shooting. From the spot Stuart Johnston found the corner for a 1-5 to 0-3 lead.
Before half-time Darach O'Connor had a good point for Buncrana but with the last kick Daniel Brennan found the range from distance to leave St. Naul's 1-6 to 0-4 in front at the break.
The half-time break probably halted the St. Naul's running game and Buncrana were not going to let them run in the second half. The Inishowen men picked up to black cards and also lost Adrian Doherty to a second yellow, in a very well contested game.
The Dohertys, Oisin and Odhran shared four points inside 13 minutes of the restart before Kevin Campbell picked up the first black for Buncana. Darach O'Connor levelled matters and John Campbell pointed them in front after Jigger was fouled.
Buncrana had Ryan McElhinney also black carded but they had the momentum and it seemed as if they were on their way when John Campbell put them two in front in the 58th minute.
But there had been many stoppages with linesman Declan Callaghan was the busines man in Gerald Gallagher Memorial Park helping out Val Murray.
Peadar Mogan had St. Naul's first point of the second half in the 32nd minute, but almost immediately Caolan McGonigle pointed a '45' to put two in it again.
Mogan had a free on 35 minutes to cut the deficit but there was a chance for McMonagle to clinch it on the 40th minute, but he was off target, and St. Naul's came forward on one last attack and they won a free for Mogan to come forward and level it once again.
ST. NAUL'S: Patrick Burke; Conor McBrearty, Edward Kane, Caolan Gaffney; Stuart Johnston (1-2,1-0 pen), Peadar Mogan (0-4,4f), Martin Breslin; Lee McBrearty, Barry Griffin (0-1); Daniel Friel, Shane Conneely, Cathal Lowther; John Rose, Daniel Brennan (0-2,2f), Sean Griffin. Subs., John Relihan for Gaffney; James Flynn for S Griffin; Gavin Mulreany for Friel.
BUNCRANA: Alan Fletcher; Shane McLaughlin, Bruce Waldron, Stephen Doherty; William McLaughlin, Adrian Doherty, Andrew Doherty; Peter McLaughlin, Kevin Campbell; Noel McLaughlin (0-1), Odhran Doherty (0-2), Caolan McGonigle (0-1, '45'); Oisin Doherty (0-3,1f), John Campbell (0-3,1f), Darach O'Connor (0-2). Subs., Ryan McElhinney for N McLaughlin 20; Conor Grant for Campbell, bcard 42; Oisin O'Flaherty for R McElhinney bcard 47; Mickey Gallagher for S Doherty 66.
REFEREE: Val Murray (Aodh Ruadh)