Dermot Molloy scoring one of his two goals. Photo Geraldine Diver
Glenswilly staged a remarkable recovery as they came from seven points down to snatch a dramatic draw with Naomh Conaill in Pairc Naomh Columba.
Glenswilly . . . . . . . . . . 1-7
Naomh Conaill . . . . . . . 2-4
The wily Joe Gibbons kicked the equaliser on the stroke of time to earn the locals the draw and a share of the valuable league points.
The centre half-back popped up in the corner-forward position to take a diagonal inch perfect delivery from Caolan Kelly before stroking over the equaliser.
Minutes earlier his brother, Ciaran, also got up from wing-back and from almost the same position reduced the margin to a single score.
The big turning point in this highly tactical encounter, that had to an edge to it from the word go, was a 50th minute Cathal Gallagher goal somewhat against the run of play.
Glenswilly, without Michael Murphy, looked out of the tie and somehow had seemed to lose their way just before the goal.
Naomh Conaill led 2-4 to 0-4 at the time and were beginning to showboat a bit and play the possession game.
Naomh Conaill had led 2-3 to 0-2 at half-time with Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy hitting the two goals late in the half.
Molloy had also helped himself to two points and Darragh Gallagher had posted the other from a free.
Gary ‘Copper’ McFadden, from a free, and Caolan Kelly, one of Glenswilly’s better performers on the night, had kicked the other.
Gallagher’s fisted goal from a Kealan McFadden cross, after good approach play from Ciaran Bonner, reduced the gap to three points as Naomh Conaill led 2-4 to 1-4.
Gallagher had also scored a goal in the middle of the first half which was disallowed after Stephen McGrath fumbled a long high ball under his crossbar.
Referee Marc Brown strangely ruled the score out and called play back for a Glenswilly free.
But the second goal stood to set up a frenetic closing ten minutes.
And it was game on when Ciaran Bonner kicked a super point from long range for a two point game.
Naomh Conaill, who only scored one point in the second half and went the closing 20 minutes without raising a flag, paid the price for a number of bad wides in the closing exchanges.
Eunan Doherty and Darragh Gallagher both had chances to wrap up the points, but they fluffed their lines and left the door ajar.
And even at the death Dermot Molloy, who hit 2-3 of the 2-4, had a chance to snatch a dramatic winner.
But the ex county man opted to square the ball across the Glenswilly goalmouth when a fisted point looked a better option.
In the end Glenswilly’s dogged determination got them something out of a game the opposition should have wrapped up long before the finish.
It was a good league point for Glenswilly but a definite point dropped by Naomh Conaill.
GLENSWILLY: Philip O'Donnell; Ruairi Crawford, Eamonn Ward, Ryan Diver; Ciaran Gibbons (0-1), Joe Gibbons (0-1), Ryan Hunter; Caolan Kelly (0-2), Leon Kelly; Ciaran Bonner (0-1), Cathal Gallagher (1-0), Caoimhin Marley; Gary McFadden (0-2,1f), Oisin Crawford, Kealan McFadden.
NAOMH CONAill: Stephen McGrath; Stephen Molloy, Jason Campbell, A J Gallagher; Ultan Doherty, Kevin McGettigan, Aaron Thompson; Ethan O'Donnell, Johnny McLoone; Marty Boyle, Eunan Doherty, Eoin Waide; Dermot ‘Brick’ Molloy (2-3, 1f), Darragh Gallagher (0-1,f), Eoghan McGettigan. Subs: Anthony Thompson for K McGettigan 28 inj; Leon Thompson for U Doherty 49.
REFEREE: Marc Brown (Four Masters)