SECOND-HALF SCORES from Joe Boyle and Sean McHugh helped Burt to a come from behind victory over Naomh Muire in the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Donegal SFC in Mullaghaduff this evening.
Naomh Muire 1-6 Burt 0-11
Last year’s Intermediate champions may have made the long journey from east to west but had the wherewithal to keep themselves in the contest when facing the wind before taking the victory with it at their backs in this Group 2 fixture.
Their win – added to an opening round draw against Killybegs – puts the side from Hibernian Park in a promising position with Termon to visit next week, while Naomh Muire were narrowly beaten for the second time in two outings and cannot now avoid the relegation play-off.
Even though only lead for five minutes in all – one of those in the first half after Paul McHugh’s opening score and then the final four minutes when Joe Boyle and Sean McHugh finally sealed the win – Burt were in front when it mattered most.
Naomh Muire were 1-5 to 0-3 in front at half-time and although on the face of it, that was a useful advantage, it proved out not to be as Boyle and Sean McHugh scored two points within 90 seconds of the restart to halve the visitors’ arrears.
From there, Mark Coyle and Stephen Gillespie joined Boyle on the scoreboard, with, as said, McHugh posting what proved to be the insurance point. Naomh Muire, for their part only managed a Sean Yank Boyle score in the second half.
However, with a two-point deficit in the third minute of injury time, Hugh Martin caught a dropping ball in the Burt square but was quickly smothered and eventually penalised by match referee Connie Doherty for over-carrying.
With Padraig McCafferty having walked the aisle this week, Naomh Muire were without their half-forward, as well as a handful of regulars, while Hugh Yank Boyle and Jack O’Brien are in the States for the summer. Burt, for their part, were not at full strength with, most notably, Ciaran Dowds only able for a substitute appearance.
In the first half, after Paul McHugh’s early point for Burt, Naomh Muire’s first score was a goal on five minutes to set their wheels in motion. Adam O’Brien got a fist onto Tommy McHugh’s raking ball from the right-half back berth.
Tommy McHugh then added a point from play and two Paul Yank Boyle scores meant the hosts were 1-4 to 0-2 ahead. But Burt held on in there and have taken a huge step to qualification for the last eight.
Naomh Muire: Lee Boyle; Patrick Rodgers, Brian Gillespie, Robbie O’Donnell; Cian Boyle, Adi O’Gara, Dan Gallagher; Paul Yank Boyle (0-2,1f), Adam O’Brien (1-0); Hugh Martin, Tommy McHugh (0-1), Darren Gallagher; Daniel Devlin, Sean Yank Boyle (0-3,2f), Sean Burns.
Burt: Kevin McDermott; Darren Gallagher, Stephen O’Donnell, Rory Grant; Mark Coyle (0-1), Paul McHugh (0-2), Mickey McCann; Enda McDermott, Stephen Gillespie (0-1); Darragh Grant, Christopher McDermott, Conor Harkin (0-1); Ronan McDermott, Joe Boyle (0-4, 2f), Sean McHugh (0-2). Subs: Ciaran Dowds for R McDermott (48); Georgie Kelly for E McDermott (53).
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill)