In a very entertaining encounter, Killybegs just about edged this game in Pairc Naomh Brid, Trummon on Sunday, thanks to their greater accuracy in front of goal.
Naomh Brid 0-9
David Walsh had the opportunity to level matters deep in injury time, but his effort was held up in the wind and one felt the game would have ended if it had gone over. As it was, Killybegs broke upfield for Conal Molloy to hit the insurance point.
With a very strong wind causing problems, it took both sides quite a while to adjust with Naomh Brid suffering most, especially in the opening stages when they had the benefit of the wind.
It proved to be a very low scoring opening half with Naomh Brid finally edging it 0-4 to 0-2 after the first four points were shared. It took Naomh Brid 12 minutes to open their account with Sean Gormley making the opening and David Walsh finished well.
Brendan Maguire levelled on 18 minutes before Darragh Brogan restored the Naomh Brid advantage.
Matthew Smyth, who was a tower of strength at midfield, levelled again on 22 minutes before Shane Walsh found his shooting boots and Gary McCafferty made a great break to finish the half well for the home side.
The second half was a much better spectacle and Naomh Brid will rue the fact that they didn’t take the many chances they created. By the final whistle they had added four more wides to the seven they chalked up in the first half and they also had a couple of goal chances which they messed up.
On the other hand Killybegs were more clinical with Conal Molloy and especially Brendan Maguire punishing at nearly every opportunity. Conal Molloy cut the deficit early on but Pauric McDaid cancelled that with a good free.
However by the 42nd minute Conal Molloy and Brendan Maguire had Killybegs level, but Shane Walsh responded to push Naomh Brid back in front midway through the half.
A feature of the Killybegs points was the number hit by right footed playes with their left. Brendan Maguire and Brendan Maguire hit left footed points (Molloy had achieved the feat earlier) to push Killybegs two clear and when Maguire fisted another and Conal Molloy pointed a free with seven minutes left, it seemed that the game was decided.
But Naomh Brid had other ideas and some great driving by Dermot Langan and Gary McCafferty saw them level matters by the 28th minute. Shane Walsh started the recovery and Darragh Brogan had a great run along the end line which ended with a fisted point before Walsh had the equaliser.
Brendan Boyle (with his left) pushed Killybegs in front again with a minute of normal time left, but Naomh Brid still pushed forward and probably deserved an equaliser. It looked as if they had done enough when they worked David Walsh into position, but his effort was held up in the wind and Killybegs took advantage to push forward for Molloy to seal the win.
The win keeps Killybegs top of the table, but Naomh Brid can be very happy with their battling display. Clint Walsh, Gary McCafferty, Dermot Langan, Sean Gormley, Darragh Brogan and Shane Walsh (despite missing a few) performed very well, while for Killybegs, David Conwell, Jason Noctor, Matthew Smyth, Brendan Boyle, Conal Molloy and especially Brendan Maguire were excellent. Shane Boyle and David Walsh seemed to nullify each other over the 60 minutes.
Naomh Brid: S Doherty; J Timoney, C Walsh, G McCafferty (0-1); R Gallagher, D Langan, S Gormley; T Gallagher, A McGirr; C Gallagher, D Walsh (0-1), D Brogan (0-2); S Walsh (0-4), D McCafferty, P McDaid (0-1,f). Sub., S Quinn for T Gallagher (inj. 19);
Killybegs: A O’Hara; J Noctor, K Fallon, C Conaghan; R Boyle, S Boyle, D Conwell; M Smyth (0-1), B Boyle (0-2); M Boyle, C Tully, D Breslin; B Maguire (0-4), B Cannon, C Molloy (0-4,2f). Subs., C Murrin for Tully 47; V Smyth for M Boyle 54; E Murphy for Cannon 57; R Dunne for Fallon 58.
Referee: M Mulhern (S Eunan’s)