Barry Griffin St Nauls in possession against Gaeil Fhánada during the Intermediate Championship semi-final in O'Donnell Park on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD 250917 Fanad v St Naul's TG1
St Naul's and Gaeil Fhánada are going to have to do it all over again after their semi-final clash in O’Donnell Park ended in a draw on Sunday afternoon.
ST NAUL’S . . . 0-12
GAEIL FHANADA . . . 0-12
Edward Kane was the St Naul’s saviour after his last gasp point earned his side a deserved draw.
In the proverbial game of two halves, Gaeil Fhánada were the better team in the first half and with Brian McVeigh in good scoring form, they led 0-8 to 0-2.
McVeigh and Michael Sweeney did the bulk of the scoring with McVeigh ending the half with four points to his name.
Sweeney, who was lucky to be still on the field at the break, posted three points. The big midfielder, after picking up a yellow card for a late slap on Stuart Johnston, also caught Barry Griffin late.
However, referee James Connors opted for a stern warning instead of a second yellow.
Gaeil Fhánada hit the game’s first four points McVeigh (2), Sweeney and Jimmy Coyle raised the flags, all in the opening ten minutes. It was all Gaeil Fhánada at this stage with St Nauls confined to sporadic raids in Gaeil Fhánada territory.
And they had to wait until the 12th minute for their first score; a pointed free from Stephen Griffin.
It was from another Griffin free that they scored their next point one minute from the end of normal time.
In between, Aidan McAteer’s charges continued to carve openings and McVeigh and Sweeney kicked a number of fine individual scores.
They reeled off four on the spin to lead 0-8 to 0-1 after 25 minutes with strikes from Sweeney and McVeigh the pick of them
Sweeney, in one of his mazy runs up along the right wing, ended with a superb point, and not to be outdone McVeigh blazed a trail up the left wing.
And he finished off the move with a check back inside and a tap-over point.
Cathal Lowther and Barry Rose replaced Aidan Meehan and Daniel Friel at half-time and St Naul’s were a transformed side.
Stephen Griffin and Peadar Mogan converted early frees.
Michael Sweeney did respond for Gaeil Fhánada but the momentum was with St Naul’s. And with Griffin and Mogan continuing to find the range the margin was down to two, 0-10 to 0-8 by the end of the third quarter.
Sweeney and Brian McVeigh kicked points to keep Gaeil Fhánada at arm’s length.
They still led by two with a little over 10 minutes remaining. But St Naul’s refused to buckle and Mogan tied up the game on 55 minutes.
But Gaeil Fhánada were back in front courtesy of Eoghan Carr, to lead 0-12 to 0-11 as the clocked ticked towards the hour mark.
And they looked to be about to hold on until Barry Griffin set up Edward Kane who knocked over the equaliser in the fourth minute of injury time.
GAEIL FHÁNADA: Brendan Friel; Kevin McGonigle, James Gallagher, Odrhán Shiels; Conor McGonigle, Patrick Heraghty, Eoghan Carr (0-1); Michael Sweeney (0-4), Jimmy Coyle (0-1); Johnny Friel, Mark Friel, Brian McVeigh (0-6, 3f); Niall Carr, Seamus Friel, Oisin Shiels. Subs: Shaun McElwaine for N Carr (45), Davitt Walsh for J.Friel (56), Frank Sweeney for C.McGonigle (58), Alan McAteer for S.Friel (65).
ST NAUL’S: Patrick Burke; Conor Gavigan, Brendan McCole, Conor McBrearty; Stuart Johnston, Peadar Mogan (0-4, 3f), Martin Breslin; Lee McBrearty, Daniel Friel; John Rose, Aidan Meehan, Shane Conneely; Edward Kane (0-1), Barry Griffin (0-1), Stephen Griffin (0-6, 3f). Subs: Barry Rose for Friel (half-time), Cathal Lowther for Meehan (half-time), James Flynn for Conneely (59).
Referee: James Connors (St Eunan’s).