John Fullerton’s 45th minute goal and a top-class display from Matthew Crossan teed up a historic win for Naomh Colmcille in the Ulster Junior Club Championship tonight.
Naomh Colmcille 1-8 Ballymachugh 0-7
Ryan McKinley’s men came from behind to defeat the 14-man Ballymachugh, who had Anthony Baxter sent off in the first half.
They got the goal midway through the second half. Crossan – who scored four points and was on fire for the men in red and white – saw a free drop in around the danger zone.
Ryan McErlean leapt to get a helping hand on it and Fullerton steered home.
The goal had Naomh Colmcille in front for the first time and they never looked back.
Michael Lynch steered over a glorious 45-metre free and Daniel Clarke converted from a shorter range to put them out of sight.
They managed to keep Ballymachugh scoreless for most of the second half, with Barry Kiernan’s free in added time the sum total of their endeavours
Kiernan had posted the game’s opening score via a fourth-minute free but Daniel Clarke, who had been suffering from a bout of flu’ in the run-in to the game, drew Naomh Colmcille level with a splendid point from out on the left.
And just when Naomh Colmcille seemed to be losing their way a bit, they were brought back when Matthew Crossan nailed a sweetly-struck effort from the stand side. Michael Lynch’s probing pass down the left channel and Crossan arrowed over a majestic point.
Alan Donohoe clipped on two fine points for the Cavan man, either side of a Barry Kiernan free, to put them in command.
Ballymachugh were rocked when full-forward James Kiernan was black-carded by referee Sean Laverty after just 41 seconds. Kiernan could have little in the way of complaints; once he scythed down William Lynch, the sanction was inevitable.
Finbarr Sheridan and Anthony Baxter saw their names enter the notepad, also inside the opening ten minutes, but they were undeterred with Donohoe and Kiernan putting them into the driving seat.
Ballymachugh were reduced to 14 men in the 24th minute as Baxter paid the price for his earlier error, a foul on Michael Lynch earning him a second yellow and ending his participation.
Crossan kept Naomh Colmcille in touch with a quickfire brace, but Kiernan’s free, his fourth of the evening, had Ballymachugh 0-6 to 0-4 in front with the final kick of the first period.
Four minutes into the second half, Crossan hoofed over after a neat move involving Michael Lynch and Clarke.
It seemed for a time that Naomh Colmcille were going to kick the game away – they hit ten wides over the hour – but Fullerton’s goal lit the fuse.
Naomh Colmcille: John Roulstone; Ricky Hegarty, Alex Devenney, Paul Friel; Gerard Curran, Ciaran Devine, Kevin Gallagher; Michael Lynch (0-1, 1f), Daniel Clarke (0-2, 1f); John Fullerton (1-0), Ryan McErlean (0-1), Oran Hilley; Matthew Crossan (0-4), Willie Gillespie, William Lynch. Subs: Michael Friel for Devine (30), Don Hegarty for R.Hegarty (half-time), Conor Grant for Gillespie (42), Hugh O’Donnell for Curran (50), Eddie Gillespie for Crossan (60).
Ballymachugh: Darragh Goldrick; Garry Kelly, Darragh Kiernan, Jamie Coyle; Christopher Rooney, Anthony Baxter, Dillon Kiernan; Liam Buchannon, James Smith; James Henry Fitzsimons, Barry Kiernan (0-5, 5f), Alan Donohoe (0-2); Finbarr Smith, James Kiernan, Padraig Galligan.
Subs: Sean Galligan for J.Kiernan (1, black card), Diarmaid O’Reilly for Smith (23), Ciaran Goldrick for Fitzsimons (47). Brendan McLarney for Galligan (59).
Referee: Sean Laverty (Antrim).Tags: