Shane O’Donnell took over the scoring mantra for his brother Niall as St Eunan’s overcame the loss of Conor Morrison through injury to win at Fintra against Killybegs.
Killybegs 0-6 St Eunan’s 3-13
The side managed by Richard Thornton were without Niall O’Donnell after his sending off in the 1-9 to 1-9 draw with Kilcar last Friday week.
However, his younger brother Shane, who is 19, stood up to the mark in his first season playing senior championship football. He scored 1-4 in the first half.
It took the Letterkenny team a while to get going but by half-time they looked to have weathered the storm against a Killybegs team who had Hugh McFadden inside after his recent hamstring travails. Seamus Og Byrne was not back in.
Further goals from Eoin McGeehin and Padraig McGettigan scored second half goals Michael Mullin mightn’t want to see back.
Morrison went down on 24 minutes before being stretchered off in discomfort with the speculated prognosis being a cruciate injury. There was something of a hush in Fintra afterwards.
St Eunan’s went about their business and managed to score the opening goal on 28 minutes when Shane O’Donnell smashed past Michael Mullin following good approach play by Peter Devine initially and then Dara Mulgrew.
Brian McIntyre was impressive off the bench against Kilcar and he kicked two first half points and Rory Kavanagh was in for the first time this season.
The closest Killybegs got to a goal was when Shaun Gorrell drove a goal chance over Shaun Patton’s crossbar.
Nine minutes in the second half, Mullin was caught trying to get off a kick-out and Eoin McGeehin nipped in to steal the ball and stick it in the Killybegs net for a 2-12 to 0-4 advantage and curtains.
Mullin flapped at a ball in late on and Padraig McGettigan scored St Eunan’s third goal.
Peter McEniff was another who was on the move and popped over his third point as the second half took a pedestrian feel. Caolan Ward scored his second early in part two.
After winning in Bundoran in their opening match, St Eunan’s will have a home quarter-final in a bid for a top four spot and home advantage.
The draw hasn’t been kind to Killybegs thus far with a home loss to Glenfin and a hammering in Gaoth Dobhair, so they need to win next week and see if that can take them out of the relegation places.
Killybegs: Michael Mullin; Cillian Gildea, Ciaran Conaghan, Michael Callaghan; Michael Statham, Jon ‘Ban’ Gallagher, Ryan Carr; Hugh McFadden (0-4, 3f, 45), Eoghan ‘Ban; Gallagher; Shaun Gorrell (0-1), Jack McSharry, Christopher Murrin; Donal McGuire, Evan Broderick (0-1), Dan Breslin. Subs: Brendan McGuire for Gorrell (41), Shaun Kelly and Niall Campbell for Broderick and Murrin (55)
St Eunan’s: Shaun Patton; Peter Devine, Conor Morrison, Conor Parke; Caolan Ward (0-2), Eamonn Doherty, Peter McEniff (0-3); Dara Mulgrew, Sean McGettigan; Rory Kavanagh, Shane O’Donnell (1-4, 2f), James Kelly; Brian McIntyre (0-2), Padraig McGettigan (1-1), Eoin McGeehin (0-1). Subs: Darragh Toal for Morrison (24), Rory Carr for Mulgrew (43), Conor Ciaran O’Donnell for Kelly (47), Sean McVeigh for Kavanagh (52), Niall Hannigan for McIntyre (55).
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).