TWO GOALS IN the first three minutes paved St Eunan’s way to victory over Kilcar in Letterkenny this afternoon.
St Eunan’s 2-13 Kilcar 1-14
The side managed by Maxi Curran made a blistering start with Darragh Mulgrew racing deep into opposition territory right from referee Shaun McLaughlin’s throw-in and setting up Darragh Toal to blast past Eamonn McGinley in the Kilcar goal. Sixteen seconds had been played as the ball hit the net.
Then, two minutes later, Mulgrew was again the architect and his diagonal ball in from in front of the stand at O’Donnell Park was slapped home for a second St Eunan’s goal by Ross Wherity.
With both teams missing a stack of players ahead of Donegal seniors’ Ulster SFC fixture in Derry next Sunday and the Under-20’s clash with Cavan, it was Kilcar’s first loss of the campaign, although Barry Doherty wouldn’t have been too disappointed as his team showed well enough to keep in touch throughout.
That said, Kilcar took a little while to settle and by the 15th minute were 2-1 to 1-3 down with Mark Sweeney, Matthew McClean and Oran Doogan on target, while Mulgrew scored St Eunan’s first point of the day following his two goal assists.
The Kilcar gaol was well-taken by Gary Molloy, who turned inside of Sean Hensey to place the ball past Blake Forkan after Brian O’Donnell’s effort at a point had cannoned back down off the upright.
Conor Gibbons’ free on 20 minutes was followed up by a placed ball from Matthew McClean at the other end and when Andrew McClean was on the mark on 23 minutes, Kilcar were back to within a point and were soon level when Doogan was on target, 2-3 to 1-6.
Sean Halvey, who placed the ball into the side netting, missed a great goal chance late on in the half following a flowing move that involved Mulgrew and Wherity.
Then, two minutes before the break, Daniel Lyons punched towards goal only for Conor Parke to save on the St Eunan’s goal line. The hosts then edged in front with a long-ranger from Wherity and that lead was doubled with a crisp point from Gibbons.
St Eunan’s were 2-5 to 1-6 in front at the interval.
Gibbons opened the scoring in the second half, pointing twice, from play and then a free to double St Eunan’s advantage and Niall Hannigan and Brian McIntyre scored on 35 minutes to put his team 2-9 to 1-6 up.
Mark Sweeney got Kilcar’s first score of the second half in the 40th minute. But St Eunan’s were looking strong at after Gibbons popped over his fifth of the day, Sean Hensey came up from full-back to point.
Kilcar pulled back five scores in succession – two each from Aodhan McGinley and Matthew McClean and then one from Sweeney – meaning they tailed 2-11 to 1-12 with eight minutes left.
However, St Eunan’s substitute Jamie Doherty settled whatever nerves might’ve been accruing with a great score with his first touch. He repeated the trick then to give St Eunan’s a four-point lead.
Kilcar, though, refused to lie down and Matthew McClean’s two points meant they were just 2-13 to 1-14 down with a minute to go. St Eunan’s though, held on.
St Eunan’s: Blake Forkan; Conor Parke, Sean Hensey (0-1), Sean Halvey; Anthony Gallagher, Conor O’Donnell (0-1), Oisin Toal; Shaun McGettigan, Darragh Mulgrew (0-1); Niall Hannigan (0-1), Ross Wherity (1-1), Darragh Toal (1-0); Lee McMonagle, Rory Kavanagh, Conor Gibbons (0-5, 3f). Subs: Brian McIntyre (0-1) for McGettigan (half-time), Jamie Doherty (0-2) for Hannigan (52), Cormac Finn got D Toal (56)
Kilcar:Eamonn McGinley; Pauric Carr, Stephen Shovelin, Barry McGinley; Andrew McClean (0-1), Michael Hegarty, Daniel Lyons; Aodhan McGinley (0-2, 1f), Matthew McClean (0-6, 5f); Brian O’Donnell, Mark Sweeney (0-3), Conor Doherty; Ashley Carr, Gary Molloy (1-0), Oran Doogan (0-2).
Referee:Shaun McLaughlin (Malin).Tags: