Action from Naomh Brid v Killybegs in Ballybofey Picture Thomas
Killybegs are in pole position to claim promotion to Division Two after the first play-off match in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.
Naomh Brid 2-5
The final margin may be a little harsh on Naomh Brid as they went for goals in the final minutes before Killybegs broke for Paul Cunningham to score their third goal on the stroke of time. Naomh Brid centre half-back, Clint Walsh, did everything in his power for the losers and was probably the best player on the field.
But overall Killybegs were the better side with Hugh McFadden leading from the front and young U-21 players Ryan Cunningham and Michael Gallagher lively in attack.
Naomh Brid were not helped by finishing the game with 14 and they will have to play their final game against Buncrana without Tommy Gallagher. They were not happy, howeveer, that Jack McSharry was not punished for a pull while he was on a yellow card.
Naomh Brid had plenty of chances in the first half but hit some bad wides and also dropped a few short.
Ryan Cunningham had Killybegs on the board on 50 seconds and Michael Gallagher doubled the lead. Darragh Brogan hit a post before Callum Gallagher did the approach work for Clint Walsh to get Naomh Brid on the board.
Michael Gallagher, looking lively, won a free for Hugh McFadden to point. Ross Gallagher was wide at the other end from a good position before the big turning point of the half came on 20 minutes. Hugh McFadden made the break and he found Jack McSharry on the overlap. McSharry crossed for Paul Cunningham to palm home and a 1-3 to 0-1 lead.
It looked bleak for the Trummon residents, but they suddenly found their shooting boots. Gearoid Gallagher found the range and Darragh Brogan then clipped over a great point from a very awkward angle.
Jack McSharry responded with a run down the middle and good finish, but Naomh Brid were not finished. Callum Gallagher converted a free on 29 minutes and with over two minutes of added time played, Clint Walsh broke through on a great run. He showed great composure before firing for goal. His shot was stopped by Kevin Martin but Ross Gallagher followed up to sidefoot home and the sides were level at 1-4 each at the break.
Clint Walsh was clean through at the start of the second half and there was a hint of a pull as he fired wide acorss goal.
It was to be an expensive miss as Killybegs came forward on 32 minutes to get a second goal. John Ban Gallagher's effort for a point fell short and was only batted down. Daniel Breslin picked up the pieces to set up Christopher Mooner Murrin to slide home from close range.
Almost immediately Michael Gallagher won a free for Ryan Cunningham to stretch the lead to four.
Clint Walsh, outstanding for Naomh Brid, broke the Killybegs line again on nine minuts and set up Gary McCafferty. The corner-back went for goal but the ball cannoned off Ross Gallagher and wide.
Killyebgs really turned the screw with points from Mickey Gallagher and Ryan Cunningham by the 46th minute. Gallagher added another a minute later, his third of the game to open a seven point gap, 2-8 to 1-4.
To add to Naomh Brid woes, they had Tommy Gallagher red carded after an incident involving Jack McSharry and Hugh McFadden added a point from a '45'.
Naomh Brid had to wait until the 57th minute to get their first score of the half and again it wsa Clint Walsh punching a hole and being hauled down. This time the penalty was given and Callum Gallagher fired to the net. Immediately Darragh Brogan won a free but they elected to go short and look for the goal.
There was a repeat a minute later and again they went for goal. The ball rebounded to Ryan Brogan to point.
There was still time for Eoghan Ban Gallagher to run the length of the field and set up Paul Cunningham to fire home a goal to seal the win.
Killybegs will now play Buncrana next week and another win would seal promotion and the title. Naomh Brid will have to wait another week before they play their second game against Buncrana and will probably have to win that game if they are to be in the mix.
KILLYBEGS: Kevin Martin, Christopher Cunningham, Ciaran Conaghan, Jack Behan; David McGuinnes, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, John Bán Gallagher; Hugh McFadden (0-2,f,'45'), Jack McSharry (0-1); Ryan Carr, Daniel Breslin, Michael Gallagher (0-3); Christopher Murrin (1-1), Paul Cunningham (2-0), Ryan Cunningham (0-3,1f). Subs., Brendan McGuire for D Breslin 43; Shaun Gorrell for McSharry 55; Daniel O'Keeney for R Carr 63
NAOMH BRID: Pauric McDaid; Eoin McGarrigle, Ross Gallagher, Gary McCafferty; Jamie Timoney, Clint Walsh (0-1), Pauric Gormley; Tommy Gallagher, Callum Gallagher (1-1,f,pen); Liam Duffy, Darragh Brogan (0-1), Ryan Brogan (0-1); Gearoid Gallagher (0-1), Henry Duignan, Sean Gormley. Subs., Sam Burgess for P Gormley ht.
REFEREE: Connie Doherty (N Conaill)