Donegal minor Paddy Dolan lit the touchpaper as St Mary’s, Convoy moved above derby rivals Naomh Colmcille at the top of Group B in the Junior A Championship.
Naomh Colmcille 1-11 St Mary’s, Convoy 3-13
Dolan hit 1-7 for Convoy as they scored an eight-point win over a below-par Naomh Colmcille.
Dolan’s goal, Convoy’s second, in the 30th minute, was a huge moment in a game fraught with niggle.
Naomh Colmcille would end the afternoon with 12 men.
Ciaran Devine was dismissed for an over-the-top red card in the 43rd minute; Daniel Clarke was shown a second yellow card in the last minute, when no-one in the crowd appeared to have a record of the Donegal U21 being booked before then; while Michael Friel was black carded with no-one to replace him deep in added time.
Dolan gave St Mary’s a massive lift when he scored 1-2 in the closing moments of the first half, while Anthony Browne and Keelan Gillen were the others to raise green flags for Convoy.
Naomh Colmcille, back in the Junior grade this year for the first time since 2010, had looked on course as they led 0-6 to 0-2 by the 23rd minute, with Clarke helping himself to three of those.
Stephen Gallagher checked onto his right foot to steer over and Ryan McErlean landed another to open up the four-point lead.
Dolan converted a free and St Mary’s got their first goal of the day in the 26th minute when a shot from Raymond McNamee – highly influential over the hour – dropped short, ‘keeper Gary McDaid punched clear and Browne was on it in a flash to fire home.
Naomh Colmcille shook their heads clear and Eddie Gillespie drew them level when he seized on Sean Patton’s failure to cling onto a McErlean shot. Gillespie pounced to hit the net.
But within 30 seconds, McNamee won the kick-out and Dolan lashed past McDaid to ignite the Convoy men.
They went for the interval 2-5 to 1-6 in front.
Six minutes into the second half, William Lynch’s afternoon ended as he was black carded for a hit on McNamee, but it got worse for Naomh Colmcille when referee Liam McConigley opted to show a red to Devine for a high challenge on Emmet Patterson.
It certainly appeared harsh on the Naomh Colmcille midfielder and the afternoon was unravelling for Ryan McKinley’s men at the speed of knots.
Gavin Sweeney, Browne and Dolan (2) hit four-in-a-row for Laurence McMullan’s side and the goose was cooked when, after Clarke swung over to reduce the arrears to three, Gillen somehow managed to get in on the endline and fire past McDaid.
McConigley was at centre stage when showing Clarke a yellow, followed by a red, the official claiming he had booked the Naomh Colmcille man for an off-the-ball infringement in the first period. If he had, it was unknown to the attendance, but by then the damage had been done for Naomh Colmcille, who will look to welcome back Matthew Crossan, Oran Hilley and John Fullerton as a matter of urgency.
Naomh Colmcille: Gary McDaid; Ricky Hegarty, Alec Devenney, Paul Friel; Conor Matthewson, William Lynch, Gerard Curran; Daniel Clarke (0-5, 3f), Ciaran Devine; Michael Friel, Conor Grant (0-1, 1f), Hugh O’Donnell; Stephen Gallagher (0-1), Eddie Gillespie (1-1), Ryan McErlean (0-1). Subs: Willie Gillespie (0-2, 1f) for O’Donnell (half-time), Hugh O’Donnell for Lynch (black card, 36), Shane McAteer for McErlean (43).
St Mary’s, Convoy: Sean Patton; Keelan Gillen (1-0), John A Kee, Liam Prunty; Benny Bonner (0-1), Bryan McNamee, Conor Rodgers; Raymond McNamee, Emmett Patterson; Patrick Dolan (1-7, 5f), Laurence McMullan (0-1), Anthony Browne (1-2, 2f); Gavin Sweeney (0-2), Paul O’Leary, Aaron McCready. Sub: John Toye for O’Leary (black card, 14).
Referee: Liam McConigley (Downings).Tags: