A rousing second half resurgence, when they hit 2-5 without reply, saw the Malachis complete an 11 point turnaround on their way to securing a vital win which boosts their chances of avoiding the drop to Division 4.
Trailing 2-6 to 1-0 at the break, the hosts looked in disarray following a most lacklustre first half performance which saw them severely punished by the team propping up the table.
In spite of hitting the front in the very first minute with a goal from Noel Donaldson, that major was far from a sign of things to come.
Instead, it was the ‘Hill who lifted their performance levels, and they were quickly back on level terms when Peter Begley found the net 3 minutes in.
Points soon followed from veteran duo Gerry Mc Shane and Noel Finnegan, before Paul Gill found space to shoot home his sides second goal on 18 mins.
Matters got even worse for the home side in the run in to half time, when they coughed-up another 4 points without reply, leaving the ‘Hill deservedly ahead by 9 points at the break.
Half-Time: Naomh Malachi 1-0 Dowdallshill 2-6
Sensing the seriousness of the situation however, the Mals used the half time interval to regroup, and as it transpired, were a transformed team on the re-start, quickly setting about dismantling D’hills sizeable lead.
Donal Begley’s early three pointer set the tone, and when Pádraig Moley registered goal number 3 soon after, the hosts were suddenly within striking distance.
The contrast to D’hills performance in the first half was stark, and with the industrious Pearse Caherty catching all the long balls that fell his way around the middle, the Mals were firmly on the front foot as the half progressed.
Mark Meegan’s free gave them the lead for the first time since the opening minute, before former County star Ronan Greene was afforded far too much space to slot over his team’s 6th point, to make it a 2 point game with two minutes of normal time left.
Dowdallshill were short on ideas and struggled to get past the Mals’ 45 metre line throughout that second half, as their challenge clearly faded.
However, in a desperate attempt to rescue the game late on, they did produce two goal chances against the run of play, the best of which fell to Peter Begley, who just failed to direct his effort on target. And with those misses, came an end to the ‘Hills chances of taking something home, a match they look favourites to win at half time.
Full-Time: Naomh Malachi 3-5 Dowdallshill 2-6
Naomh Malachi: Ronan Lynch; David Begley, David Rogers, Conor Gonnelly; Sean Gogarty, Ronan Greene (0-1), Stephen Burns; Padraig Moley (1-0), Pierce Caherty (0-1); Noel Donaldson (1-0), Ronan McElroy, Donal Begley (1-1); Mark Meegan (0-1 1f), Shane Rogers (0-1), Jamie Kelly.
Dowdallshill: Noel Mohan; Luke O’Brien, Vincent Roe, Emmet O’Brien; Paul Flynn, Jack Mc Gailey, Ridwan Bodunrin (Dylan Mc Donnell 55 mins); Eamon Duffy, Peter Hughes; Noel Finnegan (0-3), Anthony Quinn, Conor Mc Gailey; Gerry Mc Shane (0-1), Peter Begley (1-0), Paul Gill (1-2).
Referee: John Murphy (Roche)