St Mary’s, Convoy and Na Rossa began the day level on points at the top of the Division Four League table and they finished the day level on the top of the table.
ST MARY’S, CONVOY 1-7
NA ROSSA 0-10
In the end, they were both happy enough with the share of the points, but of the two, deep down, Convoy must be the most disappointed especially when they reflect on their 13 wides.
The locals also had a couple of goal chances shaving the Na Rossa upright and also Na Rossa keeper Paddy Joe Hanlon pulled off a late point blank save to deny Darren Bonner from five metres.
It may have been low scoring encounter but nonetheless it was laced with passages of good football and a number of brilliant individual performances.
Raymond McNamee made a number of brilliant fetches in the middle of the park and had a fine game for St Mary’s. And the big midfielder also made a number of bursting runs and he also scored the game’s first point after 11 minutes.
He was also the linkman that led to Convoy’s goal which ended with Caolan Gillen squaring an inch perfect pass for wing back Liam Prunty to race in behind the Na Rossa cover to slam past Paddy Joe Hianlon.
That was on 14 minutes and gave the locals a 1-1 to 0-1 lead. Amazingly the woefully wasteful Convoy did not score again for the remainder of the half and courtesy of two Odhran Molloy fres, Na Rossa found themselves just one adrift at half-time.
Molloy, who ended the game with 0-8, all from frees, had also kicked Na Rossa’s opener after 12 minutes
Molloy, John McDyre at centre back, Conor McCahill in the middle of the field were the big men for Na Rossa, who once again fielded without the injured Christian Bonner.
John Paul McCready and Caolan Devenney hit two quick fire points on the resumption as Na Rossa took the fight to the locals.
Devenney’s strike on 35 minutes edged Na Rossa ahead, 0-5 to 1-1 for the first time in the game. And with McCahill running at the Convoy defence at every opportunity Molloy raised another flag from a close in free for a 0-6 to 1-1 lead with a little over 37 minutes on the clock.
Full-forward Paul O’Leary, who had a great duel with Daniel Martin Melly, got Convoy up and running with a well taken point.
Na Rossa were still ahead by one 0-6 to 1-2, but the introduction of county minor Paddy Dolan turned the tide for Convoy.
Dolan’s first action was to have a sizzler turned out for a 45 which he duly stepped up and converted to tie up the game, 0-6 to 1-3.
And while sharpshooter Molloy split the posts at the other end Dolan had Convoy level once again with a well struck point with a little over 12 minutes of normal time remaining.
There was a little more urgency about Convoy and they were back in front again 1-5 to 0-7 thanks to Anthony Browne.
And when Dolan sidestepped a number of defenders to kick his third the locals were two up, 1-6 to 0-7.
And they were still two up after Molloy and Gavin Sweeney traded points.
But the men from the Rosses refused to buckle and Molloy landed two late points to level it at 1-7 to 0-10.
Dolan had a chance for the winner but was desperately unlucky when his injury time 45 came back off the post.
ST MARY’S (CONVOY): Sean Patton; Brian McNamee, Johnny Key, Sean Browne; Liam Prunty (1-0), Emmett Patterson, Caolan Gillen; Raymond McNamee, Jack Key; Conor Patton, Anthony Browne (0-1), Michael Ayton; Darren Bonner (0-1), Paul O’Leary (0-1), Ryan Carlin. Subs: Paddy Dolan (0-3, 1’45’) for M Ayton, Conor Rodgers for C Patton, both h/t; Gavin Sweeney (0-1) for R Carlin 50, Lawrence McMullan for P O’Leary 51.
NA ROSSA: Paddy Joe Hanlon; Peter Gallagher, Daniel M Melly, Shane McGeehan; Jamie McCready, John McDyre, Gerard Breslin; Denis O’Donnell, Conor McCahill; Caolan Bonner, Odhran Molloy (0-8,8f), Caolan Devenney (0-1); Adam McHugh, John Paul Breslin, John Paul McCready (0-1). Sub: Ryan McGonagle for G Breslin 49.
REFEREE: Liam McConigley (Downings)