NAOMH ULTAN BEGAN life in the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Intermediate Championship with a deserved five-point win over Naomh Colmcille this evening.
Naomh Colmcille 0-11 Naomh Ultan 1-13
The Dunkineely men, last year’s winners of the Junior Championship, were full value for the win over depleted Naomh Colmcille.
Last year, the Pairc Colmcille residents lit up the Intermediate race when they marched all the way to the final – their first ever at this grade – before succumbing to Bundoran in the decider.
Alan Lyons’ goal from a penalty in the 50th minute was this game’s big score, as it came at a time when Naomh Colmcille were sneaking their back into a match that looked gone from them,
The departure of Willie Gillespie, their talisman, to America on Monday leaves them significantly weaker while the absence here of the injured Daniel Clarke and Ciaran Devine, as well as the suspended Joe Donaghy added to the woe.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 37)
The addition of Lee Toland, a former Newcastle United youth player who has had spells on the books of Finn Harps and Derry City, is a useful one by Francie Martin, but already Naomh Colcmille’s hopes of repeating their 2015 trick seem distant at best.
It’s four years now since they recorded a Championship win in Newtowncunningham and Naomh Ultan took full advantage here.
Naomh Ultan led 0-8 to 0-4 at the break and had pushed their advantage out to six at one stage in the second half.
Naomh Colmcille did summons a response with Conor Grant, Mark Dowds, Oran Hilley and Stephen Gallagher landing points.
But, ten minutes from the end, Dermot Gallier surged right at Naomh Colmcille’s main artery and, just as he lined up for a shot, was felled, leaving referee Shaun McLaughlin with little option but to award the penalty.
Midfielder Michael Lynch, who plays as a goalkeeper with Institute FC, motioned to go into goals to face the penalty, but Gary McDaid stayed in. Lyons’ penalty gave the ‘keeper no chance and his emphatic finish put Naomh Ultan out of reach.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 54)
Toland converted two frees and Eddie Gillespie tacked on a score, but Naomh Colmcille ran out of time.
Lynch converted a free in the sixth minute for the game’s opening point and a gorgeous curling effort by Michael Friel was one of the home side’s highlights early on.
Cian Kennedy with three and Lyons put Naomh Ultan ahead by the 20th minute and they wouldn’t look back.
Naomh Colmcille squandered a couple of good scoring chances and were guilty, too, of coughing up some cheap possession.
Kennedy tapped over a free as Naomh Ultan set about punishing their off-colour hosts.Error, group does not exist! Check your syntax! (ID: 38)
Gallier sailed over a free and with Peter Alvey and Kennedy on the mark the lead went out to five before Toland responded for his team’s first score in 12 minutes.
With Cloughaneely and Aodh Ruadh still to play, Naomh Colmcille’s task just got rather more difficult, but Naomh Ultan will surely take a good deal of energy from this voyage.
Naomh Colmcille: Gary McDaid; Ricky Hegarty, Alex Devenney, Paul Friel; Eddie Gillespie (0-1), Gerard Curran, John Fullerton; Ryan McErlean, Michael Lynch (0-2, 2f); Mark Dowds (0-1, 1f), Oran Hilley (0-1), Michael Friel (0-1); Lee Toland (0-3, 3f), Stephen Gallagher (0-1), Conor Grant (0-1).
Naomh Ultan: Donal Murrin; Michael McGlynn, Jonathan Cassidy, Paul Gallier; Conor Shovlin, Dermot Gallier (0-2, 2f), Andrew Blaine; Declan Murrin (0-1), Aiden Duddy (0-1); Joe Alvey, Cian Kennedy (0-6, 4f), Daniel Gallagher (0-1); James Byrne, Alan Lyons (1-1, 1-0pen), Peter Alvey (0-1). Sub: Damien Quigley for J.Alvey (half-time).
Referee: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin).Tags: