NAOMH COLMCILLE are into the quarter-finals of the of the Intermediate Championship after making hard work of a derby win over Burt in Newtown.
Naomh Colmcille 0-9 Burt 0-6
By Chris McNulty at Pairc Colmcille
Naomh Colmcille made themselves earn their corn as they couldn’t put the issue to bed, but a second Championship win in two – following an away win over Gaeil Fhánada last Saturday – sends Joe Donaghy’s men into the last eight.
After a troubled start to the year, when they were forced to play away from home for three months, the last two weeks have considerably lifted the fortunes of the 2017 Ulster JFC winners.
It was far from straightforward.
Three minutes into the second half, a potential game-changer arrived when Burt were awarded a penalty.
Home goalkeeper John Roulstone was black carded after a foul on Calvin Gallagher, who chased onto Mark McElhinney’s pass. The sanction for Roulstone might have been harsh, but Michael Lynch (pictured) beat away the penalty by Gallagher.
Lynch operates at midfield for Naomh Colmcille, but was Declan Bonner’s third-choice goalkeeper in 2019 with the Donegal seniors and can expect to get some game time in the early passages once the calendar turns.
Lynch might have had a goal in the same net himself on the other side of the interval. Having fetched a diagonal ball from older brother William, he saw his effort saved by Kieran Brady. Lynch converted a point from the rebound to put Naomh Colmcille 0-5 to 0-1 ahead at the interval.
Jack O’Brien’s free after 16 minutes was the sum total for Burt, who had their only point from play via Dara Grant in the 54th minute.
Daniel Clarke delightfully opened the scoring with a superb point from the right flank after only 45 seconds.
A fine free from Lynch and another two from Clarke inched Naomh Colmcille further ahead and Willie Gillespie’s fisted effort opened up a five-point lead in the first minute of the second half.
The League fortunes of these teams could hardly have been more contrasting. Only score difference prevented Naomh Colmcille from being dropped to Division 4. Burt had the Division 3 title in their grasp, but their form has not so much dipped as nosedived in recent weeks; this defeat represents a sixth-in-a-row for the Hibernian Park men.
Burt were, at times, the architects of their own downfall with a series of handling errors and over-ponderous dead-ball situations not aiding their cause. Nor, though, did the absences of the likes of Sean McHugh and Oisin Kelly, who did appear as a substitute in the second half.
Gary McDaid, who replaced Roulstone between the sticks to allow Lynch return to the engine room, saved well from Christy McDermott and Naomh Colmcille withstood the visitors’ advances.
For all of that, Naomh Colmcille couldn’t move far enough in front with O’Brien’s frees keeping Burt in touch.
Grant and Mark McElhinney, from a free, closed the gap in the dying moments, but Naomh Colmcille were streetwise enough not to let their advantage slip.
Naomh Colmcille: John Roulstone; Jason Fitzpatrick, Alex Devenney, Mark Friel; Eddie Gillespie, Ciaran Devine, Paul Friel; Michael Lynch (0-2, 1f), Daniel Clarke (0-3, 1f); PJ McBrearty, Keenan Diver, Oran Hilley (0-1); Matthew Crossan, Willie Gillespie (0-2), William Lynch. Subs: Gary McDaid for Roulstone (black card, 33), Hugh O’Donnell for Diver (38), Michael Friel (0-1) for E.Gillespie (38), Brendan O’Donnell for Michael Friel (black card, 61).
Burt: Kieran Brady; Seamus O’Donnell, Tom Doherty, Jack O’Brien (0-4f); Dara Grant (0-1), Stephen O’Donnell, Michael Doherty; Ronan McDermott, Denver Kelly; Mark McElhinney (0-1), Darren Gallagher, Calvin Gallagher; Christy McDermott, Matthew Doherty, Ciaran Bradley. Subs: Oisin Kelly for Matthew Doherty (46), Callum Port for Seamus O’Donnell (46).
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).Tags: