Burt, last year’s Intermediate champions, remain unbeaten in the Donegal senior football championship following a two point win over Naomh Muire at the Banks.
NAOMH MUIRE 1-6
Ronan McLaughlin’s men drew with Killybegs in a thrilling first round tie back in May in Hibernian Park,
And they travelled into the West and produced a gallant second half performance after trailing by four points at half-time.
Naomh Muire played with strong wind and led 1-5 to 0-4 at the break, having led by five points at one stage late in the opening half, only for Paul McHugh to get a late point for the visitors.
Burt had played well in the first half and enjoyed a good amount of possession with Paul McHugh and Mark Coyle raiding from the half-back line and Darragh Grant foraging well in the half-forward line.
But they found a well marshalled and packed local rearguard difficult to break down. Paul McHugh, with a well struck shot off the outside of his right boot into the wind, kicked the game’s opening score.
However, the visitors were reeling on six minutes when Adam O’Brien drifted into the goalmouth to flick a long high ball into the Burt goal from Tom McHugh past Kevin McDermott.
Two minutes later Tom McHugh was rewarded with a brilliant point to extend the home team’s advantage,
Conor Harkin did pull one back with a well struck point under pressure. But Naomh Muire on the break hit three points without reply, from Sean and Paul Yank, to open up a 1-4 to 0-2 lead by the 23 minute mark.
Joe Boyle, who top scored for Burt on the night with 0-4, converted from 35 metres for Burt after Enda McDermott was fouled.This was Burt’s first point on 18 minutes and reduced the margin to four.
Sean the Yank, who was wide from a 45, made amends when he converted from a tight angle before Paul McHugh landed his second and Burt’s fourth to keep the door ajar as the teams trooped off at half-time.
Paul McHugh may have been the man of the first half for Burt, but it was his brother, Sean, in a roving role from corner forward, that took on that mantle in the second period.
He kicked the second of two quickfire points, inside a minute and a half to cut the Naomh Muire lead to two, 1-5 to 0-6.
Joe Boyle landed the other from a free after the jinking Mark Coyle was fouled.
Sean the Yank restored the locals’ lead back to three on 36 minutes. But amazingly that was Naomh Muire’s only score of the half.
They did have a couple other chances but they were few and far between as the McHughs, Mark Coyle and Conor Harkin took a grip.
Coyle, Joe Boyle and Stephen Gillespie all pointed for a rampant Burt. Gillespie’s strike from out on left hand side tied up the game with eight minutes remaining.
And Burt were on their way shortly after when Sean McHugh set up Joe Boyle on the right hand side for the lead point.
Burt, now sensing a famous victory, played the possession and patient game before Sean McHugh edged them two ahead with two minutes remaining.
Naomh Muire did press in the closing minutes and they had a chance of a late goal when O’Brien collected a long range pass on the edge of the Burt goal area.
But Burt held their discipline and O’Brien was crowded out and possession was turned over and the chance was gone.
The win puts Burt on three points along with Killybegs with Burt to play Termon in Hibernian Park in the final group game next weekend, while Naomh Muire travel to Killybegs already out of the championship.
NAOMH MUIRE: Lee Boyle; Patrick Rodgers, Brian Gillespie, Robbie O'Donnell; Cian Boyle, Aidy O'Gara, Dan Gallagher; Paul Yank (0-2,1f), Adam O'Brien (1-0); Hugh Martin, Tom McHugh (0-1), Darren Gallagher; Daniel Devlin, Sean Yank Boyle (0-3,2f), Sean Burns.
BURT: Kevin McDermott; Darren Gallagher,Stephen O'Donnell, Rory Grant; Mark Coyle(0-1), Paul McHugh (0-2),Mickey McCann; Enda McDermott, Stephen Gillespie (0-1); Darragh Grant, Christopher McDermott, Conor Harkin (0-1); Ronan McDermott, Joe Boyle (0-4,2f), Sean McHugh (0-2). Subs: Ciaran Dowds for R McDermott 49; Georgie Kelly for E McDermott 52.
REFEREE: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill)