When Stephen Griffin blasted a penalty wide of the River End goal in added time at the end of extra time, Naomh Muire thought they had a lifeline – but Mark Dorrian shrilled his final whistle and their chance had gone.
St Naul’s 0-12 Naomh Muire 0-11
By Chris McNulty at Sean MacCumhaill Park
There had been some time left to play when Lee Boyle, the Naomh Muire goalkeeper, took Stuart Johnson down, but Griffin’s kick would be the last of an eventful game.
Jack O’Donnell and Harry Harden inched Naomh Muire back into it in the second period of extra time, but when sub Daniel Sharkey spilled possession and Johnson scampered clear, the game was up. Johnson put the ball past ‘keeper Boyle, who took him down to concede the penalty.
Griffin fired off target, when he might have been expected to take his point.
Naomh Muire left incensed that they didn’t get another play in the game – and the clock would certainly have concurred with their grievances.
Harden’s super 50-metre free, in the third minute of stoppage time, earned Naomh Muire extra time.
Griffin’s free had just put St Naul’s ahead, after they went some 24 minutes without troubling the scoreboard operator. Indeed, Naomh Muire had a barren 17-minute spell of their own in a low-scoring second half.
Naomh Muire had a goal chance that would’ve been a real shot in the arm, Paddy McCafferty denied at close range by St Naul’s ‘keeper Gavin Mulreaney.
Peadar Mogan, John Rose and Daniel Meehan struck in the first half of extra time to put St Naul’s – who lost to Milford in last year’s Intermediate final – in control of the tie.
Naomh Muire won for the first time in 22 matches last weekend when they overcame Gaeil Fhánada to advance from their group.
That 2-10 to 2-7 win at The Banks prevented Naomh Muire from being involved in a relegation play-off as they edged their way into a quarter-final tie against last year’s beaten finalists, St Naul’s.
The return of a number of their more stellar names and the addition of Johnny McGinley to their management has begun to show some dividends.
Naomh Muire – who were without the suspended Jack O’Brien following his red card against Gaeil Fhánada – were defensive for long spells, but they had two big goal chances in the opening half.
First, Tom McHugh had a sight of the St Naul’s net, but a brave block by Edward Kane curtailed the advances. Daniel Gallagher burst through in the 21st minute, but skewed his shot to the right of the target.
That arrived after three quick-fire points from Stephen Griffin, John Rose and Lee McBrearty had St Naul’s three points to the good.
The opening quarter had been a cagey affair.
Peadar Wogan’s point after 12 seconds got St Naul’s off to a rapid start, but Shaun ‘Yank’ Boyle’s brace had Naomh Muire 0-3 to 0-2 in front.
With Naomh Muire throwing a blanket around their ’45, St Naul’s had to improvise and Cathal Lowther landed two long-range monsters for the Mountcharles side.
Frees by Harden and Boyle brought Naomh Muire to within a point, 0-7 to 0-6, at the break.
Griffin looked to have won it for St Naul’s but, after Boyle shot off a post, Harden nailed a long-range free to put it to extra time.
Naomh Muire: Lee Boyle; Patrick Rodgers, Cian Boyle, Daniel Ward; Daniel Gallagher (0-1), Hugh Martin, Jack O’Donnell (0-1f); Adam O’Brien, Brian Gillespie; James Ferry, Harry Harden (0-3f), Adi O’Gara; Tom McHugh, Shaun Boyle (0-6, 3f, 1 ’45), Paddy McCafferty. Subs: Daniel Devlin for Ferry (45), Thomas O’Donnell for McCafferty (black card, 50), Darren Gallagher for C.Boyle (70), Daniel Sharkey for O’Gara (76).
St Naul’s: Gavin Mulreaney; John Relihan, Edward Kane, Conor McBrearty; Stuart Johnson, Brendan McCole, Diarmuid Gallagher; Lee McBrearty (0-1), Barry Griffin; John Rose (0-2), Stephen Griffin (0-3f), Peadar Mogan (0-2, 1f); Shane Conneely, Cathal Lowther (0-2), Martin Breslin. Subs: James Flynn for Conneely (39), Daniel Gallagher for Diarmuid Gallagher (39), Daniel Meehan (0-1f) for Breslin (54), Shane Conneely for McBrearty (black card 80).
Referee: Mark Dorrian (Gaeil Fhánada).Tags: