What a difference a half-time break makes. Naomh Conaill looked all set for the final of Comortas Peil na Gaeltachta in Downings on Sunday but they were caught at the death by An Ceathru Rua
Naomh Conaill 1-11
An Ceathru Rua 2-9
The loss of Dermot Molloy at the break to injury was the big turning point and the Galway side, despite being reduced to 14 men early in the second half, took their chances to eke out a victory with the final two points in added time.
Naomh Conaill were completely on top in the opening half with Dermot Molloy to the fore up front, while Eoin Waide and Eunan Doherty kept driving them forward.
Dermot Molloy had them on the scoreboard on five minutes with a good point from play and John O'Malley doubled the lead two minutes later from a free.
An Ceathru Rua were back in the game on nine minutes when a long delivery was fumbled by Stephen McGrath and full-forward Matthew O Donaill was in to flick to the net.
But the lead was shortlived as Naomh Conaill went straight down the field and within 12 seconds Dermot Molloy fired low to the net of the Galway side.
From there Naomh Conaill took complete control and by half-time they were 1-7 to 1-1 in front.
The points flowed from Eunan Doherty, Dermot Molloy, John O'Malley (free after Dermot Molloy was fouled).
Seamus Ellis and Donal Gallagher also got their names on the Naomh Conaill scoresheet before the break and 'keeper Stephen McGrath made full amends for his earlier error with a point blank save to deny the Connemara Gaeltacht side a second goal.
But it was a different story in the second half as Naomh Conaill could add just four points. They actually got the opening point of the new half from a John O'Malley free, but the Galway boys hit four in-a-row to reduce the leeway to three.
AJ Gallagher came forward to add a point but two more points had the margin down to the minimum.
Eoghan McGettigan came in and hit a point with his first touch, but it was then An Ceathru Rua hit their second goal to level matters.
Aaron Thompson came forward to edge Naomh Conaill back in front, but the momentum was with the Galway side. Naomh Conaill had a number of bad wides and they were punished with points from Cillian de Paor and Matthew O Donaill in added time to deprive them of a place in the final.
NAOMH CONAILL: Stephen McGrath; Aaron Thompson (0-1), Jason Campbell, AJ Gallagher (0-1); Marty Boyle, Seamus Ellis (0-1), Ultan Doherty; Ethan O'Donnell, James McGuinness; Eunan Doherty (0-1), Eoin Waide, Donal Gallagher (0-1); John O'Malley (0-3,3f), Dermot Molloy (1-2). Subs., Jeaic Mac Ceallabhui, Seamus Corcoran, Eoghan McGettigan (0-1).