When the home team kicked four points in quick succession after the visitors had spurned two excellent goal chances to lead by 0-12 to 0-5 in the 48th minute this game looked done and dusted for Maxi Curren’s men. However St. Michaels to their credit refused to accept that the game was gone fought back with six points in a row to leave the minimum between the teams and it took a last minute goal by sub Jamie Doherty after super play by Darragh Mulgrew to finally clinch this victory for the home team from a highly entertaining contest at O’Donnell Park. ST. EUNANS 1-12 V 0-11 ST. MICHAELS. Andrew Kelly gave the visitors the lead with a close-in free in the opening minute , and followed it up with another from a bit further out in the 4th minute. Colm Mc Fadden made it three from frees for St. Michaels in the 9th minute but Conor Gibbons kicked two excellent points from play in quick succession in the next two minutes to leave just one in it after eleven minutes . After a couple of missed chances at boyh ends Rory Kavanagh tied it up 0-03 apiece in the 17th minute and a minute later St. Eunans took the lead for the first time with a fine score from 25 yards by Darragh Mulgrew. In the 26th minute St. Michael’s got their first score from play and it was a classic from Colm Mc Fadden as the former Donegal star cleared the crossbar with a super shot with the outside of his left foot while running at full speed and under pressure to make it 0-04 apiece. Niall Hannigan restored Eunans lead it the 29th minute , their fifth point from play , Andrew Kelly hit the point from a free a minute later to allow St.Eunans to lead by a single point at the break 0-05 to 0-04. Charlie Collins was in O’Donnell Park. Rory Kavanagh and Lee McMonagle gave Eunans a fast start to the second-half with points from play in first ninety seconds to open a three point gap in the game for the first time. Colm Mc Fadden pulled one back with another fine score from play in the 34th minute but Conon Gibbons restored the three point gap from a free two minutes later. Two minutes after that St. Michaels had two chances with a goal opportunity, firstly Lee Mc Colgan beat his marker but crashed his shot off the crossbar and then Andrew Kelly saw his follow-up blocked on the line by a defender when he should have scored. Three minutes later he should have scored again , this time Christy Toye set him up but the usually deadly forward drove his shot into the side-netting and another great chance to level it up was gone. In the next ten minutes was game was also gone from St.Michaels as St.Eunans knocked over four points without reply , Conal Dunne , Conor Gibbons , and Sean Halvey from play and then Gibbons from a free to make it 0-12 to 0-05 , or so we thought ?. St. Michaels suddenly found their game and replied with six in a row to leave just a point in it , Mc Fadden and Toye got two apiece with Kelly and Ciaran Gallagher making it 0-12 to 0-11 and what had looked very unlikely fifteen minutes earlier St. Michaels in with a chance of getting something from the game. The next kick-out was vital and so it proved, Darragh Mulgrew won it and raced forward , Rory Kavanagh and Sub Ross Wherity got involved in exchanges of passes with him as he raced forward and Wherity’s pass to another sub Jamie Doherty allowed him to slot home from close range to secure what was in the end a hard earned victory, their fifth in seven league games to date on a final scoreline of 1-12 to 0-11 and the visitors surely reflecting on those missed goal chances they failed to take midway through the second-half. ST. EUNANS ; Blake Forkan , Conor Moore , Conor Parke , Sean Halvey ( 0-1 ), Sean Hensey , Conor O Donnell, Oisín Toal, Sean Mc Gettigan, Darragh Mulgrew ( 0 – 1) , Conor ‘Duck ‘ O Donnell, Lee Mc Monagle ( 0-1 ), Niall Hannigan. ( 0 – 1 ), Conor Gibbons ( 0 – 5 2f ) , Rory Kavanagh ( 0 – 2 ) , Conal Dunne ( 0-1 ). Subs ; Ross Wherity for Toal ( 51mins ) , Michael Miller and Jamie Doherty ( 1-0 ) , for Moore and Mc Monagle ( 54mins ). ST. MICHAELS ; Dean Mc Colgan , Jamie Hunter , Stephen Doak , Michael Gallagher , Ruairi Friel , Ciaran Gallagher ( 0-1 ), Oisin Langan , Ciaran Kelly ,Michael Cannon , Hugh O Donnell, Colm Mc Fadden ( 0 – 5 1f ) , Lee Mc Colgan , Eoghan Kelly , Christy Toye ( 0-2 ) , Andrew Kelly ( 0 – 3f ). Subs ; Michael Mc Fadden for Eoghan Kelly ( 50mins ) , Lorcan Mc Daid for Andrew Kelly ( 57mins ). REFEREE : Michael Mc Shane.
St.Eunan’s just hold off St.Michael’s fight-back.
Author of 'Boxing In Donegal: A History (2021)' - the definitive history of the sport in County Donegal - and 'Relentless: A Race Through Time', the 2019 memoir of former Irish Athletics Team Manager Patsy McGonagle. From St Johnston and now based in Letterkenny, Chris was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.