Naomh Brid will start their season in as little as three weeks in the second flight having come through their 2011 Division Three play-off against Aodh Ruadh on Friday night at a rain-sodden Ballbofey.
Naomh Brid 0-16
Aodh Ruadh 0-9
It might’ve been an awkward night for football but there were some splendid points kicked, especially so by the Ballintra side, who maintained an early advantage and kept it intact from there till the end, which, because of a 9pm throw-in to enable the students to get home, was about 10:20pm.
Still, since both teams were waiting till early March to round off their 2011 seasons - as a consequence of Burt’s run in both the hurling and football championships last yeear - that extra hour or two were hardly important.
David Walsh warmed up for Killarney with the opening points of the night and although Diarmaid McInerney levelled for the Ballyshannon side with a free, the next six scores all came from St Naul’s boots, to leave them 0-7 to 0-1 up - Shane Walsh’s pair and his brother David’s couple were added to by Dermot Langan and Paul McGroary to ensure the cushion.
McInerney pulled one back, again from the placed ball, before Michael Ward and Ronan McGurrin brought the visitors’ total to four points. However, it was Naomh Brid who finished the half strongly, with frees from Shane Walsh and Pauric McDaid making it 0-9 to 0-4.
After the break, when it was anticipated that Aodh Ruadh would press, it was in fact Shane Walsh of Naomh Brid who got in behind, only to miss the target by inches when shooting for goal. Ward added another point for Aodh Ruadh but they couldn’t get inside the five-point barrier.
Again, Shane and David Walsh were pivotal to that, popping over two apiece as Ward and Anthony Boyle replied in between. And although McInerney and Ward scored late, it was only fitting Naomh Brid concluded it, as Langan, McGroary and Sean Gormley did to send their supporters off happy into the night.
Naomh Brid: Stephen Doherty; Jamie Timoney, Clint Walsh, Maurice Quinn; Ross Gallagher, Gary McCafferty, Sean Gormley (0-1); Thomas Gallagher, Dermot Langan (0-2); Stephen Quinn, David Walsh (0-4), Darragh Brogan; Shane Walsh (0-5, 4f), Paul McGroary (0-2), Pauric McDaid (0-1, 1f). Subs: Calum Gallagher for McDaid (45)
Aodh Ruadh: Paul Kane; David Finnerty, Ciron Whoriskey, Michael Dolan; Ronan McGurrin (0-1), Ronan Drummond, PJ McGee; Kerry Ryan, James O’Donnell; David Dolan, Peter Boyle, Donagh McIntyre; Diarmaid McInerney (0-3, 3f), Michael ‘Sticky’ Ward (0-4), Anthony Boyle (0-1). Subs: Jimmy Gallagher for Dolan (21), Ryan Granaghan for P Boyle (24), Pauric Loughlin for Ryan (50) Johnny Gethins for McIntyre (51).
Referee: Kieran McShea (Sean MacCumhaill’s).