NaomhColumba pictured in a huddle before the game against Naomh Brid
Games can be won and lost in an instant and this game was turned on its head in the minute before the half-time whistle when Naomh Columba got the only goal of the game and Naomh Brid lost their best player to a black card.
Naomh Columba 1-8
Naomh Brid 0-7
With the score at 0-4 to 0-2 in favour of Naomh Columba, it looked as if they hadn't made enough use of the strong breeze.
Then Naomh Brid lost Callum Gallagher, their most influential player to that point, to a black card. And almost immediately, with Naomh Brid on the attack and looking like scoring, Naomh Columba intercepted and Pauric Cunningham took off from his own 21m line. As he reached the half-way line, the evergreen Michael Maguire loomed up alongside and by the time they reached the Naomh Brid 21m line, Maguire was a couple of yards ahead to take the pass and fire to the net.
From the kick-out Liam McConigley sounded the half-time whistle. Naomh Brid were stunned. Apart from conceding the goal, they were not happy with Gallagher's black card, and they had a case, as moments earlier Ryan McNern was shown yellow for a similar type tackle.
But you had to admire the support play of Michael Maguire, and his willingness to make the effort to get up and be in the place to score the goal. Last weekend he got the goal that gave Naomh Columba a draw against MacCumhaill's, which was hotly contested, but there was no argument about this three pointer.
Pauric Cunningham had the opening two points from frees, while Paul McGrory got Naomh Brid on the board on 12 minutes. Two Ryan Gillespie frees had a stuttering Naomh Columba three ahead on 21 minutes, but Callum Gallagher replied from a free, before the controversial finish in the fourth minute of added time at the end of the opening half.
Gearoid Gallagher had a Naomh Brid point just ten seconds into the new half, but Pauric Cunningham cancelled. Paul McGrory found the target from distance but Ryan Gillespie replied from a free.
Dermot Langan and Philip McNern traded points while Pauric O'Donnell almost fumbled a long delivery from Dermot Langan, but did well to recover. Pauric Cunningham had Naomh Columba's final point in the 55th minute, but not before there was a long stoppage for an injury to Eoin McGarrigle, who was stretchered off, but was sitting up afterwards.
Gearoid Gallagher had two late frees for Naomh Brid, but they never looked like bridging the gap.
But they will talk about what might have been at the end of the first half. Apart from Callum Gallagher, Eoin McGarrigle and Paul McGrory impressed.
Naomh Colulmba have plenty of room for improvement with six of their tally coming from frees. The evergreen Michael Maguire was superb while Kieran McBrearty, Pauric Cunningham and Ryan Gillespie also played their part.
NAOMH COLUMBA: Pauric O'Donnell; Conor Carr, Michael Maguire (1-0), Kieran McBrearty; Philip Doherty, Barry Carr, Pauric Ward; Paddy Byrne, Stephen Jones; Martin Cunningham, Ryan Gillespie (0-3,3f), Ryan McNern; Pauric O'Neill, Pauric Cunningham (0-4,3f), Gavin McGinley. Subs., Christopher Byrne for G McGinley; Philip McNern (0-1) for R McNern, both ht; Kevin McNern for Jones 55; Ryan McNern for B Carr 66.
NAOMH BRID: Stephen Doherty; Michael Gallagher, Jamie Timoney, Maurice Quinn; Eoin McGarrigle, Sean Gormley, Alan Quinn; Pauric Gormley, Paul McGrory (0-2), Gearoid Gallagher (0-3,2f), Callum Gallagher (0-1,f), Eoghan Quinn; Declan McCafferty, Dermot Langan (0-1), Clint Walsh. Subs., Gerard Martin for C Gallagher 33 (bcard); Owen Harron for M Quinn 41; Matthew McClay for A Quinn 52; Alan Quinn for E McGarrigle 55.
REFEREE: Liam McConigley (Downings).