A LIGHTENING START enabled Carndonagh to lay the most solid of foundations against Naomh Ultan and go on and win the County Division Two U-13 Championship final.
Naomh Ultan 4-10
Five goals inside the first 10 minutes meant Michael McLaughlin’s team had nine fingers on the cup long before the presentation, although Naomh Ultan did put in a spirited performance from start to finish.
They were a humungous 17 points down at one stage and after an incredible rally were only four in arrears then at a point early in the second half.
However, Carndonagh steadied the ship with Sean O’Donnell grabbing a hat-trick of goals and got their shooting boots on again by the conclusion.
The first goal arrived after only 75 seconds when Jamie Doherty broke through a challenge before shooting home.
A second goal then, in the fourth minute, came from the lightening O’Donnell, who cut inside and shot into the corner to give the side from Inishowen a 2-2 to 0-0 lead.
And then, within a minute, there was a third and this time O’Donnell was the provider as he squared to Cian Doherty to tap home from lose range.
Kyle McGeoghan of Naomh Ultan got his team on the scoreboard for the first time on six minutes, although their deficit was still a considerable one at 3-2 to 0-1 down.
It would get worse before it would get better for the Dunkineely team, with O’Donnell rammed home a fourth Carndonagh goal at the near post on eight minutes and then, on 10, Jamie Doherty shot high for a fifth goal for a 5-4 to 0-2 lead.
Naomh Ultan, though, did tighten up at the back and began to give themselves hope with Kyle McGeoghan and Luke Gallagher, in particular, impressing.
Gallagher managed to drive through and grab a goal for Naomh Ultan just before half-time but despite that they still trailed 5-4 to 1-5 at the break.
They needed a flying start to the second half to have any hope of making the impossible seem possible. Jack Hegarty scored the first of his two second half goals on 27 minutes and this was instantly added to when a long ball in from Gallagher found the net.
Naomh Ultan were now 5-4 to 3-6, just four points down, as Carndonagh had only scored one point in 25 minutes. But Caoimhin O’Neill, the Naomh Ultan goalkeeper, was unfortunate to pick up a black card as he stretched to tackle and full-back Daragh Gallagher had to take up position in goal.
O’Donnell for Carndonagh had been a constant threat and when he grabbed his third goal of the day, with a fine finish on 38 minutes, it tipped the balance of power back in favour of his team.
Substitute Brendan O’Carroll pierced home Carndonagh’s seventh goal on 41 minutes to establish a 7-5 to 3-8 lead and although Hegarty tapped in a goal from close range and Naomh Ultan continued their fight till the bitter end, it was the start that Carnadonagh made that ultimately proved the difference between the team.
Carndonagh: Odhran O’Donnell; Ben Clarke, Conor McLaughlin, Danny Diver; Davin McLaughlin (0-1), Cian Doherty (0-3, 1f, 1 ‘25’), Ronan Browne (0-3,2f); Kryan Cantwell (0-1), Conor Lafferty; Jamie Doherty (2-0), Michael Noone,Eoin Fowley (1-0); Sean O’Donnell (3-1). Subs: Jack Moore Brendan O’Carroll (1-0), Ronan Porter, Ben McDaid.
Naomh Ultan: Caoimhin O’Neill; Jamie Cunningham, Daragh Gallagher, Brian McHugh; Shay Byrne, Aaron O’Shea (0-2), Thomas O’Buachalla (0-1); Luke Gallagher (2-1), Daniel Carey (0-1,1f); Kyle McGeoghan (0-3,1f), Barry Murray (0-1) Jack Hegarty (2-1), Matthew Huntly. Subs: Pauric Cunningham, Jamie Lowther, Shay McNulty, Tiaran Boyle.
Referee: Martin McKinley (Naomh Colmcille)Tags: