DONEGAL GAA - DIVISION TWO

St Nauls do enough to overcome Naomh Columba in good contest in Mountcharles

Peter Campbell

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Peter Campbell

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sport@donegaldemocrat.com

St Nauls do enough to overcome Naomh Columba in good contest in Mountcharles

Shane Conneely and Michael Coughlin take control against Philip McNern of Naomh Columba

St Nauls got their second win of the league with a hard-earned victory over Naomh Columba in Mountcharles.

St Nauls 2-10
Naomh Columba 0-13

This was close to championship level as both sides wanted to get the win for obvious reasons. Naomh Columba, after three games, are still seeking that elusive win.
Apart from a strong crossfield wind, conditions were perfect. Brendan McCole was back for St Nauls after they had conceded three goals on Friday night and his presence made a big difference at the back.
Naomh Columba had the aid of the mostly crossfield breeze in the opening half which was very evenly contested and open.
Referee Enda McFeely blew for just nine frees, the last of them a penalty for St Nauls in the 32nd minute. It should have been a turning point, but Stephen Griffin blazed wide. It's not often that Griffin is held scoreless in any half.
Naomh Columba had seven different scorers of their seven points. Lanty Molloy and Ryan McNern had points inside three minutes before St Nauls hit back with a goal. Daniel Brennan found Stuart Johnston, playing in a new role at full-forward. Johnston released Cathal Lowther to fire to the net.
Stephen Griffin almost had a second goal, his effort saved at the expense of a '45' which Gavin Mulreaney converted.
Naomh Columba hit back with points from Kieran McBrearty, Aaron Doherty (free) and Ronan Gillespie to edge back in front.
Daniel Brennan and Ian Campbell had the home side back in front and they almost had another goal when a Stuart Johnston effort was touched by Michael Coughlin but Paddy Byrne was alert.
Fionn Gallagher and Stuart Johnston traded points before Naomh Columba created a goal chance. Michael Maguire, not for the first time, drove through the middle and found Philip Doherty, but his effort was deflected over by Mulreaney.
Then in added time a long ball from Barry Griffin found the Naomh Columba tormenter Stuart Johnston and he cut inside but was pulled back by Barry Carr for a penalty. However, Stephen Griffin went for power and his effort blazed wide.
Half-time: St Nauls 1-4, Naomh Columba 0-7
The second half was just a minute old when Stephen Griffin got his name on the board with a free. Ronan Gillespie replied as the game's tempo went up a few notches. Griffin and Aaron Doherty traded frees to leave it still all square at 1-7 to 0-10 after 47 minutes.
The big turning point came two minutes later as young Michael Coughlin made a great break through the middle and he found Cathal Lowther to power home a second goal.
Kevin McNern and Ronan Gillespie cut the margin to one before Griffin and Doherty traded further points.
In added time Martin Breslin got on the end of a good move to fist a point for the home side and in the 33rd minute the Griffins combined to set up Daniel Meehan for the final score.
Barry Griffin and Stuart Johnston were outstanding for the winners, while

ST NAULS: Gavin Mulreaney (0-1,'45'); Dermot Gallagher, Brendan McCole, Conor McBrearty; Ian Campbell (0-1), John Relihan, Michael Coughlin; Lee McBrearty, Barry Griffin; Daniel Gallagher, Cathal Lowther (2-0), Daniel Brennan (0-1); Shane Conneely, Stuart Johnston (0-1), Stephen Griffin (0-4,3f). Subs: Martin Breslin (0-1) for McCole 46; Daniel Meehan (0-1) for Brennan 61.

NAOMH COLUMBA: Paddy Byrne; Kieran McBrearty (0-1), Barry Carr, Philip McNern; Martin Cunningham, Michael Maguire, Aaron Doherty (0-4,4f); Kevin McNern (0-1), Fionn Gallagher (0-1); Ryan McNern (0-1), Philip Doherty (0-1), Stephen Jones; Ronan Gillespie (0-3), Lanty Molloy (0-1), Pauric O'Neill. Subs: Liam Boyle for O'Neill 53; Gavin McGinley for Jones 57

REFEREE: Enda McFeely (Convoy)