ALL COUNTY LEAGUE DIVISION TWO

Impressive win for St. Naul's over weakened Bundoran

Seasiders without a number of key players for Mountcharles encounter

Gerry McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gerry McLaughlin

Email:

Sport@donegaldemocrat.com

St. Naul's v Bundoran

Peadar Mogan of St. Naul's, kicked a crucial score in Sunday's victory.

St. Naul's enjoyed an impressive two-points victory over Bundoran in Sunday's All County League Division Two meeting.

St Naul’s  . . . 1-7

Bundoran  . . . 0-8

This was a huge psychological victory for last year’s Division Three side against last year’s Division One side in a feisty battle in Mountcharles.  

The winners just about deserved their narrow victory with three late points from the combative Cathal Lowther, the clinical Stephen Griffin and the electrifying Peadar Mogan.

And, while thoroughly deserved, their victory has a significant context.

For, while the winners were minus the influential Barry Griffin, John and Barry Rose and Stuart Johnston, Bundoran were truly decimated.

County star Jamie Brennan watched on from the sideline and they were also missing his county colleague Paul Brennan, Ciaran McCaughey, Peter McGonigle, James Keaney, Christy Keaney, Alan Russell and Matthew Ward.

However, the table toppers will rue five first half wides when they had a considerable breeze, but credit to a much improved defensive display from the home side that forced their Seaside rivals into hurried shooting.

Bundoran had the breeze in the opening half and went into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead by the 14th minute thanks to points from Gary Clancy and the impressive Timmy Govorov.

But then Naul’s struck for the crucial score of the match a minute later as Mogan went on a spearing run through the centre of the Bundoran defence and found Stephen Griffin on the edge of the square.

And Griffin did what he has been doing for many years by cooly sliding the ball low to the net.

Shell-shocked Bundoran had scarcely time to breathe as Griffin arced over a point 25 seconds after finding the net, to put St Naul’s ahead by 1-1 to 0-3.

The sides swapped scores in the run up to half time and were tied at 1-3 to 0-6 as Bundoran upped the ante.

The second half was a dour affair studded with some heavy tackles and a few melees as both sides realized just what was at stake.

Both teams shared four points going into the final quarter and referee Kevin McGinley was forced to settle a few squabbles.

He handed yellow cards to Peadar Mogan and Conor McBrearty of Naul’s and Bundoran’s Michael McEniff.

Both sides had chances to break the deadlock before Griffin edged Naul’s into a 1-5 to 0-7 lead.

Play was frenetic and Bundoran had a few chances but missed from short distances.

Then a soaring left footed point from Cathal Lowther drew a huge cheer from the home crowd.

This was added to by the excellent Mogan to leave a goal between the sides deep into the five minutes added on.

Timmy Hourihane hit back with a point for the visitors but it was just too late.

And St Naul’s were celebrating a merited victory, but it is doubtful if they will face as weakened a Bundoran side in the return fixture.

St Naul’s: Gavin Mulreaney (0-2, 45s); Conor Gavigan, Lee McBrearty, Conor McBrearty; Dermot Gallagher, Edward Kane, Ryan Coyle; Brendan McCole, Daniel Meehan; Cathal Lowther (0-1), Peadar Mogan (0-1), Martin Breslin; Shane Conneely, Aidan Meehan, Stephen Griffin (1-3, 2f). Subs: James Flynn for Aidan Meehan (44)

Bundoran: Ashley Mulhern; Paul Murphy, Diarmuid McCaughey, Brian McHenry; Niall Carr, Niall Dunne; Johnny Boyle (0-1); Shane McGowan, Michael McEniff; Diarmuid Spratt, Sean Gilmartin, Timmy Govorov (0-1), Timmy Hourihane (0-3, 1f), Gary Clancy (0-3, f), Cian McEniff.

Referee: Kevin McGinley (Naomh Columba).