GOALS from Andrew Kelly and Martin Breslin were crucial as St Michael’s held on for dear life to defeat Glenswilly at Pairc Naomh Columba and move to the top of Division 1.
Glenswilly 0-9 St Michael’s 2-4
After surving a late Glenswilly onslaught that yielded five points in the final seven minutes, St Michael’s preserved their lead for a win that moves them ahead of St Eunan’s on points difference – with the Creeslough/Dunfanaghy representatives having two games in hand.
They looked to have the win sealed when Breslin netted their second goal in the 43rd minute.
That put them six ahead, but they wouldn’t score thereafter with Glenswilly marching right back into it.
Ryan Diver landed a massive 53rd minute point from distance that kick-started the comeback.
Darren McGinley hit three lovely points and when Paul O’Brien soared over from a near-impossible angle, Glenswilly tails were up and they could have snatched a draw, but goalkeeper Philip O’Donnell pulled a long-range free wide of the mark in added time.
Picture caption: Glenswilly’s Darren McGinley gets the ball away during the All-County League game at Pairc Naomh Columba. Picture courtesy of Geraldine Diver.
Minds were clearly trained on the next weekend’s RTE Raidio na Gaeltahcta Senior Championship matches given the absentees on both selections.
Michael Murphy, Neil Gallagher and Joe Gibbons weren’t togged for the home side with Martin McElhinney and Daniel McLaughlin having watching briefs for St Michael’s.
Eddie Harkin’s men roared from the traps and were 1-1 to no score up by the time the stopwatch ticked into the fourth minute.
Kelly popped over an early free and bettered it with a goal in the third minute. Liam Paul Ferry intercepted a pass from Cathal Gallagher and sent Christy Toye scampering into Glenswilly territory. Toye off-loaded to Kelly, who did the rest, beating O’Donnell with a neat finish.
O’Donnell came forward to post Glenswilly’s first point and, after a low-scoring opening stanza, it was Eddie Harkin’s team who had Kelly’s goal to spare with the visitors 1-3 to 0-3 in front.
Colm McFadden kicked two frees for St Michael’s with McGinley and Brian Farrelly on the mark for Glenswilly.
By the time the busy and under-fire Ryan Walsh called time, Glenswilly minds were racing back to that moment, three minutes into the second half, when they felt they had a perfectly legitimate goal disallowed.
Mark Anthony McGinley fisted away Kealan McFadden’s effort which dropped short. Brian Farrelly swung it back into the crowded goalmouth, where Darren McGinley hacked a shot goalward and appeared to cross the line.
However, after a lengthy discussion with his umpires, Walsh gave a free out for a square ball infringement.
St Michael’s goalkeeper McGinley scored a long-range free to move his side four up with a point that was sealed by a kiss blown in Glenswilly’s direction before Breslin netted the killer second goal.
Michael Langan found Michael Cannon with a pass that Glenswilly ought to have cut out, but Cannon fed Breslin who finished low beyond O’Donnell’s reach.
Despite not scoring in the final 17 minutes, St Michael’s managed to cling on by their fingertips.
Glenswilly: Philip O’Donnell (0-1, 1f); Cormac Callaghan, Eamonn Ward, Ruairi Crawford; Oisin Crawford, Aidan McDevitt, Cathal Gallagher; Ciaran Bonner, Ryan Diver (0-1); Caolan Kelly, Gary McFadden (0-1, 1f), Brian Farrelly (0-1); Darren McGinley (0-4), Kealan McFadden, Christopher McMonagle. Subs: Paul O’Brien (0-1) for Kelly (44), Ethan Sweeney for K.McFadden (50).
St Michael’s: Mark Anthony McGinley (0-1, 1f); Michael McGinley, Stephen Doak, Christopher McElhinney; Liam Paul Ferry, Peter Witherow, Michael Gallagher; Ciaran Gallagher, Christy Toye; Michael Langan, Michael Cannon, Martin Breslin (1-0); Colm McFadden (0-2, 2f), Ryan Langan, Andrew Kelly (1-1, 1f). Subs: Brendan Rodden for M.Gallagher (34), Lee Martin Carr for R.Langan (34), Brian McLaughlin for M.Langan (44), James Henry Alcorn for McElhinney (55), Michael Gallagher for Michael McGinley (60).
Referee: Ryan Walsh (Bundoran).Tags: