NIALL O’DONNELL kicked ten points as St Eunan’s all but condemned 14-man Sean MacCumhaills to a swift return to Division Two.
Sean MacCumhaills 0-2 St Eunan’s 0-19
By Chris McNulty at Sean MacCumhaill Park
O’Donnell was on song on his return to club action as St Eunan’s soared to a comfortable win.
There were eight between them at half-time and it got no better for MacCumhaills in the second half, when they were outscored 0-10 to 0-1.
A point in either half by Steven O’Reilly and Oisin Gallen was the sum total of the MacCumhaills endeavours on an afternoon where they were architects of their own downfall.
The sending off of Gavin Gallagher in the closing stages of the first half hardly helped a cause that was already beginning to feel lost for the Twin Towns side.
It was an abject and listless display from MacCumhaills, who now need something of a miracle if they are to avoid relegation.
As the game ran away from them in the second half, the home heads dropped and the fight left their boots entirely for the second half.
O’Donnell – in his first game back in the black and amber since Donegal’s exit from the All-Ireland race – kicked six points in the first half as St Eunan’s moved 0-9 to 0-1 in front by the changeover.
MacCumhaills captain Steven O’Reilly was on the mark within a ninth-minute score that was the sole occasion in the first half for the home side to trouble the scoreboard operator.
Early points from Michael Miller and Conall Dunne had Eunan’s in front by then, while Dunne took receipt of a pass from Chris Gallen, side-stepped ‘keeper Eoin Gallen and fired into the side-netting.
Darren O’Leary was unfortunate with one long-range free from distance in the opening half, but St Eunan’s were soon taking a firm grip of proceedings.
Two majestic points by O’Donnell, one from deep on the right-hand side, put five between them before MacCumhaills midfielder Gallagher was sent off. With the participants waiting on a kick-out from Gallen, referee Andrew Mullin flashed the red, indicating that the MacCumhaills man dropped a knee into the back of Caolan Ward.
O’Donnell was purring and he slotted over a free from the stand side to stretch the lead.
Veteran Rory Kavanagh, who dictated much of the St Eunan’s play along with Dunne, won a kick-out in added time, helping the ball on for James Kelly to tee up O’Donnell, who put eight points between the teams with the final kick of part one.
O’Donnell (2), Peter McEniff and Brian MacIntyre turned the screw for St Eunan’s and O’Donnell continued to keep the scoreboard ticking.
It might have been worse but for a save from Gallen to deny St Eunan’s sub Rory Carr.
MacCumhaills welcomed Martin O’Reilly back to action in the second half following a spell in Boston, but it was a day to forget for the Finnsiders.
Sean MacCumhaills: Eoin Gallen; Aaron Gillooley, Martin Gallagher, Conor Griffin; Luke Gavigan, Andrew McCloskey, Gary Dunnion; Padhraic Patton, Gavin Gallagher; Gary Wilson, Oisin Gallen (0-1), Chris Gallen; Steven O’Reilly (0-1), Darren O’Leary, Nathan Gavigan. Subs: Martin O’Reilly for N.Gavigan (34), Ronan McMenamin for Griffin (35), Stephen Mulligan for C.Gallen (43), Rory Dunleavy for O’Reilly (43), Rory Mulligan for Dunleavy (black card, 56).
St Eunan’s: Shaun Patton (0-1f); Conor Moore, Conor Morrison, Conor Parke; Darragh Mulgrew, Rory Kavanagh (0-1), Michael Miller (0-1); Caolan Ward (0-1), Sean McGettigan; Peter McEniff (0-1), James Kelly, Brian MacIntyre (0-3); Sean Ryan, Niall O’Donnell (0-10, 6f), Conall Dunne (0-1). Subs: Eamonn Doherty for Kavanagh (42), Conor O’Donnell for McGettigan (42), Rory Carr for Dunne (46), Kevin Kealy for Miller (50), Jordan O’Dowd for McEniff (59).
Referee: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs).Tags: