EÓIN MCGEEHIN’S hat-trick paved the way for St Eunan’s to sweep past Gaoth Dobhair at drizzling O’Donnell Park this afternoon.
St Eunan’s 3-14 Gaoth Dobhair 2-9
By Chris McNulty at O’Donnell Park
The 19-year-old palmed in a pair of goals after bagging the game’s first goal to set St Eunan’s on their way.
Richard Thornton’s St Eunan’s – a much-changed unit in recent years – were full value for the win on a day when all bar one of their scores came from play.
The coup de grâce arrived when McGeehin secured the match ball when he palmed in after a quick-fire exchange with Rory Carr on the edge of the square eight minutes into the second half.
Gaoth Dobhair won last week’s meeting of the teams in Magheragallon by 1-13 to 1-9, but St Eunan’s turned the tables on their old foes here to go joint third with the defending champions.
McGeehin found himself in a little pocket of space in the 13th minute and the corner-forward made no mistake.
With little to aim at, McGeehin managed to find the bottom corner, between ‘keeper Christopher Sweeney and the post.
St Eunan’s had an 11-point lead by the 17th minute as McGeehin struck again.
A tidy move by the hosts concluded with Carr offloading for McGeehin, who kept his cool to tuck home goal number two.
McGeehin’s three-pointer had put St Eunan’s six in front after a whirlwind start by the hosts that drew points from the boots of Rory Carr, Conor O’Donnell and Jamie Doherty.
Former Donegal star Eamon McGee almost pulled a goal back for Gaoth Dobhair. McGee surged from deep and saw a delicious effort fly past home ‘keeper Conor Harley, but crashed back from the post.
Both sides were shorn their county senior players with St Eunan’s down Shaun Patton, Eamonn Doherty, Niall O’Donnell and Caolan Ward. Gaoth Dobhair were without the services of Neil McGee, Daire Ó Baoill, Micheál Carroll, Odhrán McFadden-Ferry.
Between the 10th and 22nd minutes, St Eunan’s posted 2-7, with Conor Gibbons, Sean McGettigan and a classy James Kelly point opening up a 14-point margin.
Gaoth Dobhair were stung into life and managed to half the deficit by the time Mark Dorrian called for the ball at half-time.
Eamonn Collum drilled to the top corner for a 26th minute goal, but when McGeehin palmed in for his third it was curtains.
Dan McBride took receipt of a quick free to slam in a second Gaoth Dobhair goal 13 minutes from the end, but the damage had already been inflicted.
St Eunan’s finished with 14 men after Conor Gibbons was given a second booking in added time.
St Eunan’s: Conor Harley; Sean Halvey, Conor Morrison, Conor Moore; Brian McIntyre (0-3), Rory Kavanagh, Darragh Mulgrew; Conor O’Donnell (0-3), Sean McGettigan (0-1); Jordan O’Dowd, James Kelly (0-2), Conor Gibbons (0-1); Jamie Doherty (0-1), Rory Carr (0-3, 1f), Eóin McGeehin (3-0). Subs: Oran Winston for Carr (52), Michael Miller for Kavanagh (53), Dylan Doogan for Miller (59).
Gaoth Dobhair: Christopher Sweeney; James Ó Baoill, Christopher McFadden, Seaghan Ferry; Niall Friel (0-1), Eamon McGee, Conor McCafferty; Odhrán Mac Niallais (0-1f), Dan McBride (1-0); Naoise Ó Baoill, Ethan Harkin (0-1), Cian Mulligan; Gavin McBride (0-4, 3f), Kevin Cassidy (0-1), Eamonn Collum (1-1). Subs: Conor Boyle and Ryan Kelly for McCafferty and for G.McBride (half-time), Shaun Doherty for D.McBride (53)
Referee: Mark Dorrian (Gaeil Fhánada),Tags: