St. Mary's, Convoy now lead the way in Group B
St Mary’s, Convoy clinched their place in the knockout stages of the Junior A Championship with an eight point win over Naomh Colmcille in Pairc Colmcille, Newtowncunningham
Naomh Colmcille….. 1-11
St Mary’s, Convoy….. 3-13
Anthony Browne, Paddy Dolan and Keelan Gillen scored the goals for St Mary’s who recovered from a slow start to clinch the win.
It is now down to their final game against Letterkenny Gaels next weekend to determine who qualifies for the semi-final and who has to be happy with a place in the quarter-final.
St Mary’s are a point ahead of Letterkenny Gaels with three wins from their three games played.
St Mary’s were a little off the pace in the early exchanges as Naomh Colmcille broke from the traps in impressive fashion.
And after 22 minutes, the winners trailed by four points, 0-6 to 0-2 as everything Naomh Colmcille hit turned to a score.
Daniel Clarke (2), Stephen Gallagher, Ryan McErlain and Conor Grant scored for Naomh Colmcille.
Anthony Browne and Paddy Dolan had hit the Convoy points.
But two late Convoy goals, one from Anthony Bonner and the other from young Paddy Dolan, turned the tie on its head and it was Convoy who led at half-time.
They were 2-5 to 1-6 in front at the break, thanks to some wonderful play from young Paddy Dolan at wing forward and points from Dolan, Brendan Bonner and player-manager Lawrence McMullan.
Eddie Gillespie scored the Naomh Colmcille goal in between the two Convoy strikes.
With Willie Gillespie joining the action on the resumption, Naomh Colmcille were back on level terms by the 34th minute.
But they lost the influential William Lynch to a black card shortly after and then minutes later the locals were down to 14 men. Midfielder Ciaran Devine was shown a straight red card for a high challenge on Emmett Patterson.
And with the spare man Convoy took full advantage of the extra space and reeled off four points to open up a four point advantage, 2-11 to 1-10, with a little under ten minutes remaining.
And it didn’t get any better for the locals in the closing minutes as Keelan Gillen sunk the dagger with a third Convoy goal five minutes from the end.
Daniel Clarke scored their only point of the last quarter for Naomh Colmcille before he too got his marching orders for a second yellow card offence.
It was a decision which was contested by the player and the Naomh Colmcille officials who insisted that he had only been shown the one yellow.
And a bad day got a whole lot worse for them in injury time when Michael Friel was shown a black card.
Naomh Colmcille: Gary McDaid; Ricky Hegarty, Alex Devenney, Paul Friel; Conor Matthewson, William Lynch, Gerard Curran; Michael Friel, Ciaran Devine; Daniel Clarke (0-5,3f), Conor Grant (0-1,1f), Hugh O’Donnell; Stephen Gallagher (0-1), Eddie Gillespie (1-1), Ryan McErlain.
Subs: Willie Gillespie (0-2,1f) for H O’Donnell, h/t; Kevin Gallagher for G Curran, 32, inj; Hugh O’Donnell for W Lynch, 36; Shane McAteer for R McErlain, 44, inj.
ST MARY’S: Sean Patton; Caolan Gillen (1-0), John A Kee, Liam Prunty; Brendan Bonner (0-1), Bryan McNamee, Conor Rogers; Raymond McNamee, Emmett Patterson; Paddy Dolan (1-6,4f), Lawerence McMullan, (0-1), Anthony Browne (0-2,2f); Gavin Sweeney (0-1), Paul O’Leary, Aaron McCready.
Subs: John Toye for P O’Leary, black card, 15.
REFEREE: Liam McConigley (Downings).