ST EUNAN’S held off Kilcar to retain their Senior B Championship crown in Ballybofey this afternoon.
St Eunan’s 0-11 Kilcar 0-7
By Chris McNulty at Sean MacCumhaill Park. Pictures by Evan Logan
Michael McGroary and Conor O’Donnell hit the late points that took St Eunan’s far enough in front to dull notions of a comeback from Kilcar, who had hung in the tie until those moments.
St Eunan’s led 0-5 to 0-2 at half-time, but underdogs Kilcar fought back early in the second half.
St Eunan’s were never behind and the Cathedral Town side weren’t really troubled, although the deficit was down to two point on four separate occasions in the second half.
St Eunan’s had their wits about them when it was needed during those times when Kilcar crept back and Micheál Martin’s side had four points to spare at the end.
The Towney men upset the odds with a semi-final win over Naomh Conaill – last year’s beaten finalists – sealing a first Reserve final place since 2011.
Two majestic place kicks from goalkeeper Eoin O’Donnell were highlights of an otherwise tame first half.
O’Donnell sailed over a ’45 in the eights minute for Kilcar’s first score.
The Kilcar number 1 went somewhat better soon after when he cleared the blackspot with a delightful free, clipped over off the ground from 50 metres.
Lee McMonagle – who scored the winning goal in the 2012 Donegal SFC final against Naomh Conaill – got the scoring underway for St Eunan’s.
Captain Conor Harley and McMonagle again added to the St Eunan’s total, but O’Donnell’s kicks kept Kilcar within touching distance.
Kilcar senses a goal was on when a loose ball broke for Dylan O’Gara midway through the opening half but – with goalkeeper Eoin O’Boyle off his line – St Eunan’s managed to clear from O’Gara.
Anthony Gallagher and Oisin O’Boyle helped St Eunan’s to lead 0-5 to 0-2 at the break.
St Eunan’s, the holders, eased into the final with a 4-11 to 1-11 semi-final win over Glenfin powering them back towards the final.
St Eunan’s strolled to the Division 1 Reserve title and were firmly fancied against surprise finalists Kilcar.
Kenny Doogan lifted over the bar in the opening minute of the second half for the underdogs, just when a goal seemed on for the corner-back.
Cormac Cannon and Daniel Lyons landed scores as Kilcar stayed with St Eunan’s who saw Conor O’Donnell boom over to open a three-point lead at one stage.
When midfielder Pauric McGettigan drilled over to make it 0-8 to 0-5 at the mid-point of the second half, St Eunan’s were in a good command again.
The second half was tit-for-tat but, while a pair of neat Dara O’Donnell points had Kilcar in the hunt, St Eunan’s – who had Michael Miller sent off in added time – were able to keep them at arm’s length.
St Eunan’s: Eoin O’Boyle; Anthony Gallagher (0-1), Dara Toal, Thomas Grant; Kevin Kealy, Oisin Toal, Oisin O’Boyle (0-3f); Padraig McGettigan (0-1), Michael McGroary (0-1); Michael Miller, Conor O’Donnell (0-2), Conor Harley (0-1); Lee McMonagle (0-2, 1f), Ronan McGeehin, Jordan O’Dowd. Subs: Oran Winston for O’Dowd (39), Sean Breen for Harley (43), Eddie Blake for McGeehin (48), Jake Whelan Padraig McGettigan (black card, 62).
Kilcar: Eoin O’Donnell (0-2, 1f, 1 ’45); Patrick Gallagher, Cormac Ó Léime, Kenny Doogan (0-1); Ryan O’Donnell, Daniel Lyons (0-1), Dylan O’Gara; Jason Campbell, Cormac Cannon (0-1); Noel Hegarty, Dara O’Donnell (0-2), Eoin Cormack; Shane Gillespie, Glenn McBrearty, Gerard McBrearty. Subs: Pauric Sweeney for Gerard McBrearty (41), Seanie Boyle for Gillespie (50).
Referee: Pat Barrett (Milford).Tags: