ACFL Division 2
St Mary's Rasharkin 2-16 (22) St Ergnat's Moneyglass 3-11 (20)
A late Enda McFerran goal finally swung the pendulum back in the home side's favour as St Mary's Rasharkin claimed a fine home win over St Ergnat's Moneyglass in a classic encounter at a sun-soaked Dreen on Wednesday evening.
The home side began the brightest in the searing heat and signalled their intentions as Ryan Lynch had an effort parried out for a 45 before Shane Hasson sent a left-footed effort between the posts mid-fall to open the scoring.
Frees from Andrew Hasson and Enda McFerran saw the hosts racing into a three-point lead, only to see their hard work cancelled out by an incisive St Ergnat's move.
The Moneyglass men quickly shifted the ball through the hands, showing some of the ruthless streak that had them sitting at the table's summit before this game, eventually ending with Pádraig Mackle slipping in Conaill Prenter for the game's opening goal, which the visitors quickly followed with a Kevin Marron point.
Andrew Hasson pointed a free and Ryan Lynch fired over a beauty from the right flank to nose the hosts back in front and their reaction to going behind ended in a fine goal for Lynch.
Eamonn McNeill dispossessed Sean Kelly on the left touchline, showing him a clean pair of heels before slipping in Ryan Lynch to fire low past Mark Carey's dive.
In the aftermath, Moneyglass were dealt a blow as Carey received a black card before Liam Brady notched two in quick succession as the visitors responded.
St Mary's then clicked into gear, reeling off 0-04 in the remainder of the half, a Fearghal Kennedy finish the pick of them as the deep-lying corner forward latched on to a sumptuous crossfield ball from Ryan Lynch to swing it between the Moneyglass posts.
The St Ergnat's response in the second half came quickly. Pádraig Mackle again showing strongly as he burst through, shook off the close attentions of Daniel Doherty and rounded Ryan Doherty with a neat shimmy before rolling the ball home.
Liam Brady fired a point as the visitors seized the initiative and looked to have the home side rattled with their bright start to the second period.
A fine score from Eamonn McNeill settled the Rasharkin nerves and Enda McFerran landed a further free following the dismissal of Sean Kelly to give the hosts a four-point cushion before Moneyglass' direct play yielded another major.
Ryan Boyd, now operating at full-forward, fielded a high ball under pressure from the returning Conor Hasson and found Dermot McErlain on the run, the half-forward making no mistake and finishing to the roof of Ryan Doherty's net. Boyd followed up with another fine catch and finish to level the game.
Indiscipline was costing the visitors as they began to rack up the bookings and Andrew Hasson pointed a free that was moved forward for dissent to edge the St Mary's men back in front, only for Dermot McErlain to follow suit at the other end.
Rasharkin's Ryan Lynch was a constant outlet for the home side, and won yet another free out in front of his man for McFerran to calmly convert, only for Liam Brady to level again for the visitors.
With five minutes remaining, Kevin Marron looked to have given the away side the initiative with two scores sandwiching an Eamonn McNeill effort, before Enda McFerran struck the killer blow.
A rasping ball into the Rasharkin forwards found McNeill in space. The dual star rolled his man and set off for the edge of the square, drawing a man and slipping it to McFerran, who calmly slotted the ball into the away net to give the hosts a two-point lead going into the final stages.
Liam Brady looked to immediately respond but his hopeful effort sailed wide, only for Rasharkin to cough up possession from the resulting goal kick, allowing Brady to make amends and point the free to leave the minimum between them.
Moneyglass were looking for the score that would rescue a point, but it was the hosts who won the kick out and pushed forward, winning a free on the St Ergnat's 45. County goalkeeper Andrew Hasson dusted himself down and coolly slipped over the free to secure the points against the league leaders.
St Mary's Rasharkin: Ryan Doherty, Daniel Doherty, Conor Hasson, Pearce Kelly, Donagh Quigg (c), Thomas Doherty, James Scally, Shane Hasson, Thomas McMullan, Conor McKeever, Enda McFerran, Andrew Hasson, Fearghal Kennedy, Eamonn McNeill, Ryan Lynch.
St Ergnat's Moneyglass: Mark Carey, Miran Neeson, Sean Kelly, Sean McGlinchey, Patrick McCormick, Connor Boyd, Pádraig Mackle, Ryan Boyd, Liam Brady, Seanchann Duffin, Kevin Marron, Dermot McErlain, Gavin Murray, Conaill Prenter, Jack McCoy.
Referee: Mark O'Neill (Glen Rovers, Armoy)