Jamie Brennan. . . red card
A strange game this one at Gaelic Park in Bundoran where a late, late red card for Bundoran’s county star Jamie Brennan dominated after match discussion from a game where the home side were always on top.
Realt na Mara . . . 2-19
Sean MacCumhaills . . . 1-8
Brennan got his straight red card for a 59th minute strike on an opponent after Brennan went through to score a late point. At that stage the game was well and truly won and while most didn’t see the incident, the referee obviously did and when asked said he issued the red for “a strike” by Brennan.
It is a big blow to the Bundoran outfit and a real pity for Brennan who exuded class and confidence all through.
Realt were in the driving seat for most of the game, early exchanges were close, the sides were 0-3 each after 12 minutes but a poor MacCumhaill’s clearance on 13 minutes put Brennan in with a chance to hit the net and he duly obliged.
The next ten minutes saw MacCumhaills battle back to parity, half forward Gary Wilson with three points, one a free, levelling the sides.
On 23 minutes the visitors were cut wide open by a lovely Realt move, the lively Cian McEniff, Alan Russell with a brilliant diagonal ball to Tommy Hourihane whose piledriver hit the underside of the crossbar before hitting the net.
Realt finished strongly to lead 2-7 to 0-7 at half time.
MacCumhaills made three changes at half time, and several positional moves, the most notable change the introduction of county star Marty O’Reilly who didn’t start because of a dead leg. He and veteran James Keaney had a great battle in the second half.
Realt responded to MacCumhaill’s scores and were unphased by a fine Stephen Mulligan goal on 48 minutes which left the visitors still trailing 1-8 to 2-11. But that was to be their final score and Realt na Mara finished strongly, Michael McEniff, Paul Murphy (two) and Peter McGonigle hitting some fine scores.
The winners were strong from defence to attack, Tommy Hourihane with 1-6 exceptional, Alan Russell hit some inch perfect passes for scores while Cian McEniff looks like one to watch while Ciaran McCaughey, Michael McEniff and Paul Murphy all impressed. For the visitors Stephen Mulligan and Gary Wilson were impressive on an evening where their side struggled to find any momentum.
REALT NA MARA: Ashley Mulhern; Peter McGonigle 0-1, James Keaney, Diarmaid McCaughey; Paul Murphy 0-2, Shane McGowan 0-1, Paul Brennan; Ciaran McCaughey, Michael McEniff 0-3; Alan Russell, Tommy Hourihane 1-6, 5 fs, Gary Clancy 0-2, 1 f; Christy Keaney, Jamie Brennan 1-2, Cian McEniff 0-2. Subs: Niall Dunne for Shane McGowan (black card); Timmy Govorov for C Keaney; Sean Gilmartin for Cian McEniff; Niall Carr for A Russell.
SEAN MACCUMHAILL'S: Christopher Patton; Adam Lynch, Ronan McMenamin, Mark Connolly; Pauric Patton, Nathan Gavigan, Darren McGowan; Aaron Kelly, Stephen O’Reilly; Gary Wilson 0-4, 1 f, Rory Dunleavy 0-1, Gavin Gallagher 0-1; Stephen Mulligan 1-2, 1 f, Joe Dunnion, Brian Barney Lafferty. Subs: John Lynch for Patton (injd); Marty Reilly for J Dunnion; Benny McLaughlin for A Kelly; Gary Dunnion for Darren McGowan; Brian patton for S Mulligan.
REFEREE: Connie Doherty (N. Conaill).