Killybegs took a massive step towards promotion to Division Two as they saw off Naomh Brid in the first play-off at MacCumhaill Park.
Killybegs 3-10 Naomh Brid 2-5
Photos by North West Newspix
Ryan Cunningham got Killybegs off to a fantastic start, in fact, it only took them 50 seconds to score their first score, while Michael Gallagher doubled the lead a few moments later.
Naomh Brid did well to respond, Clint Walsh getting a point following some excellent integrate play by Callum Gallagher.
Hugh McFadden added a well-placed free-kick for Killybegs mid-way through the first half, but it was after 20 minutes that the South Donegal took real charge.
McFadden, who looked lively all afternoon, took the ball on the ascendancy before finding Jack McSharry on the overlap.
As McSharry carried the ball down the flank he found Paul Cunningham, who palmed the ball home to give Killybegs their first goal.
It was already an uphill battle for Naomh Brid but they refused to give in, adding important scores through Gearoid Gallagher and Darragh Brogan.
Momentarily, Killybegs turned on the pressure again, McSharry adding another point for good measure.
However, it was Noamh Brid who had the impetus, Callum Gallagher converting a free-kick after 29 minutes and with the interval quickly approaching, Clint Walsh negotiated his way through the Killybegs defence before firing on goal.
Killybegs goalkeeper Kevin Martin did superbly to deny Walsh initially, but he couldn’t prevent the follow up by Ross Gallagher – making it 1-04 to 1-04 at the break.
The Trummon side didn’t waste any time in the second half as they broke through the Killybegs ranks on goal but as Clint Walsh pulled the trigger, Naomh Brid protested in what appeared to be a suggestion of a pullback.
It proved high-priced as Christopher Mooner Murrin made Naomh Brid pay for their profligacy.
John Ban Gallagher’s inaccurate effort for a score was well short, but Daniel Breslin salvaged the attack before Murrin fired home for a goal.
A minute later, Ryan Cunningham extended Killybegs lead by four points from a well-placed free-kick.
Entering the last phase of play, Killybegs took real charge as Mickey Gallagher and Ryan Cunningham scored a further three points between them – leaving the game at 2-8 to 1-4 entering the final 10 minutes.
If Naomh Brid were to have any chance of closing this seven-point game, they needed to try and replicate the form they produced at the end of the first half.
However, the chances of a repeat were scuppered by the dismissal of Tommy Gallagher after an occurrence involving Jack McSharry.
Huge McFadden added more hurt for Naomh Brid when he managed to score from the 45-yard-line.
Three minutes from time, Naomh Brid got themselves their first score of the half from the penalty spot.
Clint Walsh was upended inside the area and Callum Gallagher made no mistake for Naomh Brid.
With nothing to lose, Naomh needed a goal and they tried every avenue to get one, but after overextending themselves Killybegs sealed the game through Callum Gallagher – who hurled home after some fantastic work by Eoghan Ban Gallagher.
Killybegs will now look forward to Buncrana next week where a victory would seal them promotion.
Killybegs: Kevin Martin, Christopher Cunningham, Ciaran Conaghan, Jack Behan, David McGuinness, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, John Bán Gallagher, Hugh McFadden, Jack McSharry, Ryan Carr, Daniel Breslin, Michael Gallagher, Christopher Murrin, Paul Cunningham, Ryan Cunningham.
Subs: Brendan McGuire, Shaun Gorrell, Daniel O’Keeney
Naomh Brid: Pauric McDaid, Eoin McGarrigle, Ross Gallagher, Gary McCafferty, Jamie Timoney, Clint Walsh, Pauric Gormley, Tommy Gallagher, Callum Gallagher, Liam Duffy, Darragh Brogan, Ryan Brogan, Gearoid Gallagher, Henry Duignan, Sean Gormley.
Subs: Sam Burgess
Referee: Connie Doherty (N Conaill)Tags: