High fielding in Trummon between Naomh Brid and Killybegs. Photo Thomas Gallagher
Decimated Killybegs deservedly took this top of the table affair in a real battle in Trummon.
Naomh Brid 2-7
At times this rumbuctious affair resembled a match from a bygone era when discipline was not as good as today, with the pitch being invaded far too often by sections of two very excitable benches.
Replacement referee Eugene McHale handed out four black cards, three to Naomh Brid as Gary McCafferty, Eoin McGarrigle and substitute Cian Gallagher walked along with Killybegs player Michael Stathham.
McHale, who is the most senior referee in the county, had come direct from Donegal Town after refereeing a Division Two Senior after the appointed referee Niall McCready was not available for the game in Trummon.
But Donegal county star and man of the match Hugh McFadden was lucky he did not get a black card instead of a yellow after he hauled down Naomh Brid’s lively Ryan Brogan five minutes from time.
Indeed much of the second half was held up by a series of petty melees that made for a poor spectacle for the large crowd.
But Killybegs will be happy to come away with two priceless away points as they lined out without county star Eoghan Ban Gallagher who was with the squad, Daniel Breslin, Christopher Murrin, Evan Broderick, Brendan McGuire, Shane Molloy and John Ban Gallagher (US).
Naomh Brid played very well against the strong breeze in the opening half and it looked good for them as the tied matters at 2-3 to 0-9 at the interval.
There were a number of stoppages in this half and the Killybegs bench was a bit incensed with referee McHale as he played only a minute over time.
McFadden hit some superb long range frees for Killybegs to keep them in touch in this half along with the promising Ryan Cunningham who was also on the scoreboard.
But it was two lightning moves from a lively Naomh Brid forwards that provided the real first half highlights.
The first came in the 12th minute when Ryan Brogan made a great run and opened up the Killybegs defence and the ball was centred to team captain Declan McCafferty, who rifled the ball to the roof of the net.
McCafferty’s clinical strike put the home side into a 1-3 to 0-3 lead.
And he struck again in the 20th minute when he finished a lightning Brogan and Callum Gallagher move to the Killybegs net.
McFadden and Cunningham kept their side in touch as the sides were level at 2-3 to 0-9 at the interval.
But it was Killybegs that struck for the crucial goal early in the second half from Cunningham.
The 18-year-old full-forward had ice in the veins as he calmly finished a fine move involving the impressive Jack McSharry and McFadden to the Naomh Brid net.
That was the killer as Killybegs kept possession in a game that inexorably deteriorated into a series of petulant outbursts that reflected little credit on either side.
NAOMH BRID: Stephen Doherty; Eoin McGarrigle, Ross Gallagher, Ryan Brogan; Liam Duffy, Clint Walsh, Gary McCafferty; Sean Gormley, Callum Gallagher (0-1); Gearoid Gallagher, Dara Brogan (0-3), Declan McCafferty (2-0); Shane Walsh (0-3,1f), Paul McGroary, Jamie Timoney.
Subs: Cian Gallagher for Clint Walsh (40), Tommy Gallagher for Gary McCafferty (b card 45) Ryan O’Leary for Eoin McGarrigle (b card 52)
KILLYBEGS: Anthony O’Hara; Eoin Gallagher, Ciaran Conaghan, David McClean; Jack Behan, David McGuinness, Daniel O’Keeney; Hugh McFadden (0-8,7f), Jack McSharry; Mark Finnerty, Michael Gallagher (0-1), Michael Statham; Shaun Gorrell, Ryan Cunningham (1-65f), Liam Doherty.
Sub: Kevin Martin for Michael Statham (b card 53)
REFEREE: Eugene McHale (Bundoran)