Naomh Columba kept their Division 2 hopes alive as they snatched their first win of the season with a one-point win over Four Masters in Tir Conaill Park.
Four Masters 2-13 Naomh Columba 3-11
The Donegal Town men were left scratching their heads, wondering how they let that game slip after going in at half time comfortably with a three-point lead.
The match began at full flight with Four Masters full forward Thomas McGowan and half forward Jamie Crawford putting their team on the scoreboard in the opening five minutes.
It would take Naomh Columba 14 minutes to get their first score with midfielder Fionn Gallagher breaking through the Four Masters defence to fire one over the bar.
This was repeated a minute later by Fionn’s partner at midfield Paddy Byrne who kicked a fine point to keep Naomh Columba in touching distance of Four Masters.
However, Four Masters seemed the much stronger team in the opening 30 minutes both defensively and offensively. A darting run off the shoulder from team captain Kevin McBrearty resulted in a superb point.
This was followed up by a second score from McGowan, a point from Conor McMonagle and three fine scores off the left foot from Dublin born David Quinn to complete the half for Masters.
A total of eight wides in the first half alone and a goal threat from Matthew McKenna could have seen the Donegal Town men go to the dressing rooms at half time with a much greater lead.
Naomh Columba found it difficult to break through the Four Masters defence and could only manage three more scores before the break which were pointed by Kevin McNern and two from a dead ball from full forward Ryan Gillespie to send Naomh Columba to the dressing at half time trailing by three points.
The second half began with the Glen men hitting form from the off.
Slack in the Four Masters defence allowed Glen to capitalise with a long ball sent into space to Ryan Gillespie who punched it over the head of goalkeeper Martin Cassidy who was left isolated.
Four Masters kept driving into the lead with McGowan adding a third point to his name. He followed this up with a penalty driven into the top left corner of the net after a foul committed on Oisin Reid inside the box.
Naomh Columba never gave in however and once again exploited the open space evident in the Four Masters backline.
This allowed half forward Gavin McGinley to drive home a goal of his own 20 meters out straight after the Four Masters penalty.
Even when hitting their purple patch and dominating kickouts and possession, Naomh Columba could never seem to take the lead.
Three points from Ryan Gillespie resulted in 2 points from Conor McDaid to the game level.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Naomh Columba once again found gaps in the Four Masters defence which led to a second Ryan Gillespie goal driven past Martin Cassidy to give Naomh Columba the lead for the first time in the game.
With time running Four Masters needed a goal which nearly came from a long ball into Oisin Reid which was fisted just inches over the bar.
Deep into injury time Four Masters went all out attack which ended with substitute Patrick Reid being brought down in the box for a second Four Masters penalty.
Once again McGowan found the net which brought the game level.
With one final attack from the kick-out, Naomh Columba’s cornerback Phillip McNern was the hero to fire home the final score of the game to give the Glen men a one-point win and their first win of the season under manager Pauric O’Donnell.
Four Masters Scorers:
- Thomas McGowan 2:03
- David Quinn 0:04
- Conor McDaid 0:02
- Jamie Crawford 0:01
- Oisin Reid 0:01
- Kevin McBrearty 0:01
Naomh Columba Scorers:
- Ryan Gillespie 2:05
- Kevin McNern 1:01
- Lanty Molloy 0:01
- Paddy Byrne 0:02
- Phillip McNern 0:01
- Fionn Gallagher 0:01