Red Hugh's Damien Browne gives a pass as Thomas Gallagher tries to block
There was some controversy at the end of this Division Three tie in Munday's Field, Ballyshannon as the referee declared Naomh Brid one point winners.
Naomh Brid 1-17
Red Hugh's 4-7
As far as this reporter is concerned, Naomh Brid had 1-16, which would have made this game a draw.
After a very close and exciting game, a draw would have been a fair result. Red Hugh's blazed ahead early on, hitting two goals inside five minutes, but by the break, there was just a point between them - Red Hugh's 3-2, Naomh Brid 1-7.
Then in the second half, Naomh Brid got their act together with Daragh Brogan, Callum Gallagher and Clint Walsh especially to the fore as they led by three points on two occasions.
They were still two points ahead with three minutes of normal time left when Red Hugh's struck for a fourth goal to go one ahead, 4-6 to 1-14
My notes say that Daragh Brogan levelled after Declan McCafferty was hauled down by Colm Melaugh (who was black carded). On 62 minutes Damien Browne landed his fifth free of the half (four of them from close to the sideline on the wrong side, one better than the other) to push Red Hugh's ahead again before veteran Pauric McDaid (just on as a sub), had the bottle to match Browne (again from his wrong side) to level matters in my notes.
But after the final whistle was sounded by Declan Callaghan, there was confusion as he had Naomh Brid with 1-17 and winners by a point.
The controversy overshadowed some great scores and a very close contest. Red Hugh's had to start without county U-21 Stephen McMenamin, who was feeling unwell after the warm-up. He did come in for the last ten minutes and made a big contribution.
Damien Browne and Colm Melaugh had the Naomh Brid net rattled inside five minutes before Daragh Brogan had a point for Naomh Brid on five minutes.
It looked bleak for Naomh Brid when James Carlin rattled home a third goal on 15 minutes, but points from the hard-working Callum Gallagher and a goal from veteran Dermot Langan got them back in the contest.
Damien Browne, from a free, had Red Hugh's first point on 19 minutes before Callum Gallagher and Daragh Brogan (2) cut the deficit to two points.
Damien Browne added another point before Naomh Brid were denied a goal with Brendan O'Meara denying Sean Gormley with a great save (although Gormley seemed to be fouled in the act of shooting).
Points from Langan and Callum Gallagher left it 1-7 to 3-2 at the break.
Daragh Brogan and Clint Walsh were to the fore at the start of the second half as Naomh Brid hit the front. Brogan had two frees before O'Meara denied Clint Walsh with a wonder save at the expense of a point. Walsh followed up with another point and Naomh Brid were three clear.
Damien Browne kept Red Hugh's in the game with some wonderful frees, while Brogan , Pauric Brennan and Declan McCafferty edged Naomh Brid three clear again with seven minutes left.
Browne again landed a free before winning a kick-out to take a mark, and then release Johnny Carlin, who fired to the net and put Red Hugh's a point up (or so we thought).
The finish, as described above, left it all square but for the extra point that this reporter had not recorded.
NAOMH BRID: Stephen Doherty; Conal Rooney, Jamie Timoney, Michael Gallagher; Sean Gormley, Clint Walsh (0-2), Pauric Rooney; Pauric Gormley, Thomas Gallagher; Gearoid Gallagher, Callum Gallagher (0-3), Pauric Brennan (0-1); Dermot Langan (1-1), Daragh Brogan (0-7,4f), Declan McCafferty (0-1). Subs., Owen Quinn for P Rooney 18; Owen Harron for G Gallagher 45; Ross Gallagher for T Gallagher 48; Pauric McDaid (0-1,f) for Brennan 51.
RED HUGH'S: Brendan O'Meara; Cathal Doherty, Shane McGlinchey, Michael Devine; Peadar McGlinchey, Eugene Browne, James Dullaghan; Oran Doherty, Damien Browne (1-7,7f); James Carlin (1-0), Ricky Gallen, Johnny Carlin (1-0); Cory Gallagher, Ronan Gallen, Colm Melaugh. Subs., Stephen McMenamin for C Gallagher 47; Thomas Doherty for C Melaugh bcard 61.
REFEREE: Declan Callaghan.