Naomh Conaill, pictured before Sunday's game with Kilcar. Photo: Geraldine Diver.
Dermot 'Brick' Molloy was once again Naomh Conaill's saviour as he kicked a late equaliser to earn his side a dramatic draw with Kilcar in Davy Brennan Memorial Park on Sunday.
NAOMH CONAILL .... 0-11
Naomh Conaill, who were out of sorts and short a host of first choice players, came from five points behind with a little over five minutes remaining to share the league points with the reigning champions.
And but for the width of a crossbar, depleted Naomh Conaill could have claimed both points against a Kilcar side who must be wondering how they let the game slip away.
Brendan McDyer, who along with the Brick, Eoin Waide and Ciaran Thompson, played a key role in the comeback, smashed a 55th minute penalty off Eamon McGinley's crossbar.
And shortly after McGinley denied McDyer a goal when he deflected over for a point.
Kilcar played into a strong wind in the first half and were good value for their four point half-time lead.
Stephen McBrearty posted 0-4 of their first half total with Ashley Carr and Ciaran McGinley hitting the other two.
Dermot 'Brick' Molloy opened the scoring for the locals who lined out without Leo McLoone, Anthony Thompson, Marty Boyle, Seamus Corcoran, Kevin and Eoghain McGettigan and Johnny McLoone.
But despite playing with the stiff wind, Kilcar, without the injured Ryan and Eoghan McHugh, dictated for the most of the half.
And with Patrick McBrearty playing in a more withdrawn play-maker role out around midfield, the champions combined the possession and short hand-passing game with the long quick ball into Stephen McBrearty and Ashley Carr and the scores flowed.
McBrearty converted two close in frees. Carr outstipped his marker to kick a super point and McGinley got up to split the posts for a 0-5 to 0-1 lead after 15 minutes.
‘The Brick’ was wide from a close in free before John O'Malley kicked a delightful point off his left for Naomh Conaill's second. ‘The Brick’ was wide from way out on the right hand side from a placed ball before McBrearty kicked Kilcar's first in the best part of a quarter hour to send his side in 0-6 to 0-2, in front at the break.
Naomh Conaill through Molloy (2) and one from Kieran Gallagher got the second half off to a flying start as they cut the Kilcar lead to one, 0-6 to 0-5, eight minutes into the new half. But Kilcar regrouped and that great warrior Ciaran McGinley landed a super point.
And McBrearty quickly raised two more white flags for a three point Kilcar lead once again.
The champions led 0-9 to 0-5 with under ten minutes remaining. And when McBrearty converted a monster free from way out on the left hand side the margin was still five with 55 minutes on the clock.
But Naomh Conaill simply refused to buckle and driven on by Ciaran Thompson, McDyer and the Brick, they finished strong.
And Molloy, who missed a couple of chances in the first half, did the business when it mattered.
NAOMH CONAILL: Stephen McGrath; Stephen Molloy, Jason Campbell, Ultan Doherty; Eunan Doherty (0-1), Aaron Thompson, Eoin Waide; Ethan O'Donnell, Ciaran Thompson; John O'Malley (0-1),Dermot Molloy (0-7, 4,f), Logan Quinn; Brendan McDyer (0-1),Kieran Gallagher (0-1), Leon Thompson.
Subs: J D Boyle for J O'Malley, 34,inj; Paul McGuinness for L Quinn,49.
KILCAR; Eamonn McGinley; Stephen Shovlin, Conor McShane, Pauric Carr; Matthew McClean, Mark McHugh, Daniel Lyons; Ciaran McGinley (0-2),Michael Hegarty; Andrew McClean, Conor Doherty, Aodhan McGinley; Ashley Carr (0-1), Stephen McBrearty (0-7,4f), Patrick McBrearty (0-1,1f).
Subs; Mark Sweeney for A McGinley, 50
REFEREE: Enda McFeely(Convoy).