St Eunan’s overcame Dungloe in the Donegal Minor Hurling Championship final on Monday evening in Tir Chonaill Park, Donegal Town.
St. Eunan’s 3-17 Dungloe 1-12
On a perfect evening for hurling, the attendance was treated to one of the highest scoring underage finals of the highest quality.
St. Eunan’s started at a frantic pace. After two minutes Cormac Finn pointed a 65 before a minute later Shane O’Donnell accelerated from midfield to put another point on the scoreboard.
Thomas Hartnett settled things for Dungloe with a fine pointed free from 60m out. Two quick points by Finn were followed by a skilfully executed over the shoulder point by James Hartnett for Dungloe. However, increasing pressure on the Dungloe back line allowed Paul O’Donnell to finish a goal from close range in the 6th minute.
Another free for Dungloe brought them back into the game but a brace of points by Shane O’Donnell, followed by PJ McBrearty’s fine score from the wing and a Gavin Forde point put the Letterkenny team in a strong position.
Dungloe, appearing in their first minor hurling final, forced their way back in to the game when James Hartnett won the ball, accelerated away from his marker and blasted the ball to the net, closing the gap to five points.
The last six minutes of the half continued at the same pace with Finn scoring another three points and Jordan Barr getting his first point for St. Eunan’s, along with brothers Thomas and James Hartnett scoring for Dungloe, leaving the half time score at 1-12 to 1-05 for St. Eunan’s.
The second half of the game started with the same intensity, with dogged tackling by the Dungloe team. However, on 34 minutes, a long range Cormac Finn free dropped past an unsighted Dungloe keeper into the net.
Two minutes later Dungloe’s Thomas Hartnett pulled a point back. St. Eunan’s pulled further away with two more points and a well taken Jordan Barr goal.
The Letterkenny men were now in firm control. Defences dominated the later stages with respective centre backs Darragh Doherty and Lochlann O’Dea outstanding throughout. Shane O’Donnell and Thomas Hartnett traded late points as St. Eunan’s ran out 3-17 to 1-12 winners.
St. Eunan’s: Darragh McBride, James O Donnell, Keenan Barrett, Mark McGinley, Oisin Randles, Darragh Doherty, Dylan Duggan, James Kelly, Cormac Finn (1-7), PJ McBrearty (0-1), Jordan Barr (1-2), Shane O’Donnell (0-5), Paul O’Donnell (1-0), Patrick Tobin, Gavin Forde (0-1). Subs:Russel Forde, Thomas Crossan (0-1), Matthew Noonan, Mark Mulholland, Calvin Aldoo, Sean Ryan, Ronan Kelly, David Kilcullen, Alex McDermott, Iarlaith McGinley, Eoin Dowling, Rory Doherty, Brendan Horgan, Andrew O Connor.
Dungloe: Philip Rodgers, Sean O’Donnell, Joe Greene, Odhran Duffy, Nicholas Wherely, Lochlann O’Dea (0-1), Harry Noble, Thomas Hartnett (0-7), David Hanlon, Michael Greene, John Boyle, Brendan Boyle, Daithi Roberts, Odhran McGonagle, James Hartnett (1-4). Subs: Dara Sweeney, Joe Doyle, Conor Diver, Cian McKelvey, Cathal Rodgers.