Worth the wait as Mairtin's retain their Division 1 status
A LENGTHY lay-off had no adverse effect on Naomh Mairtin as they held onto their Division 1 status with an eight-point victory over St Mary's at Kilkerley on Wednesday night.
With St Mary's having to come through two games at the end of the League proper, the Jocks were kicking their heels a bit after being dragged into a play-off on the final day of the Division 1 season.
With so much at stake it was no surprise that the first quarter was a cagey affair, with the Mairtin's opening the scoring on 12 minutes through Francis McCullough.
A Nicky McDonnell (pictured right) goal on 20 minutes proved the difference between the sides at the interval as the Monatserboice men retired with a 1-3 to 0-4 lead.
Promotion started to slip from Mary's grasp immediately after the re-start when former Louth star McDonnell netted his second goal, fisting a JP Rooney free to the net.
Stephen Campbell added a point to extend the Mairtin's lead to six soon afterwards.
St Mary's didn't manage a second-half score until the 52nd minute as the Mairtin's kept a tight grip on proceedings, and Colm Nally's men ran out comfortable and deserving winners.
NAOMH MAIRTIN: Jamie Mulholland; Eoin Wright, David Delaney, Eamon McQuillian; Patrick Sullivan, Barry Sullivan, Benny Reilly; Gavin Mooney, Brian Howell; Stephen Campbell 0-01, Nicky McDonnell 2-1, Paul Berrill,; Brian McQuillian, JP Rooney 0-3 (0-1f), Francis McCullough 0-3 (0-2f).Subs: Thomas Sullivan for B Sullivan.
ST MARYS: Duane Crosbie; David Rooney, Brian Keenan, Wayne Matthews; Eamonn Callaghan, Niall Carroll, Dean Matthews 0-5; Robbie Keenan, Donal Matthews; Fergal Diamond, Robbie Leavy, Shane McCoy; Cian Moran, Ronan Carroll, Paudy Clarke. Subs: Mark Fay for W Matthews, Barney McCoy for F Diamond, Alan Kirk for C Moran.
Referee: Kevin Carroll.