SETANTA retained the Donegal SHC crown with ease this afternoon at O’Donnell Park against St Eunan’s.
Setanta 2-19 St Eunan’s 2-13
The team from the Cross had only six points to spare over the side from the Cathedral town, who have now lost to the same team at the final stage for three years out of four.
The goals came from Marc Devine and Josh McGee, while Davin Flynn and Gerard Gilmore put in fantastic personal performances. Goalkeeper Ciaran Bellew saved a penalty from Sean McVeigh with five to play.
Two late goals from St Eunan’s Kevin Kealy did take a bit of the gloss off the scoreline for Setanta.
St Eunan’s are capable of more than they showed today, but even if they had hit their max it’s unlikely they’d have ended up with anything such was Setanta’s dominance.
Marc Devine was on hand to puck home the opening goal of the match in only the second minute, when he swept past Cian Hennessy following a ball in from Niall Cleary.
Josh McGee almost added a second goal on six minutes, only for Hennessy to save well down low. A free and one from play from Declan Coulter, as well as one from Gerard Gilmore, meant Setanta were 1-4 to 0-2 up on the 15-minute mark.
Setanta were defensively sound, conceding just two Conor O’Grady frees before St Eunan’s first from play from Ryan Hilferty on 26 minutes, but a bit wasteful up front, where they hit six wides and one off the upright.
Gilmore continued to impress, with two more late in the half to bring his interval total to four from play. Richard Kee and Danny Cullen added scored to give Setanta a comfortable 1-13 to 0-5 lead at the break.
Photos by Geraldine Diver
Davin Flynn opened the second half as he did with first, with an exceptional point on the turn to put his team 12 in front.
St Eunan’s managed to post four successive points, with Kevin Kealy and Hilferty joining O’Grady on the scoreboard. But, typical of Setanta, they responded with 1-1 in a matter of seconds to restore their cushion.
The goal, on 37 minutes, came through McGee, when he latched onto a pass from Devine to rattle the net. Moments later, Flynn added another well-taken score and then two more before the water-break. By then Setanta were 2-17 to 0-10 in front and the fizz from the contest was long gone.
St Eunan’s did manage to bundle a goal on 47 minutes when Kevin Kealy bundled home at the second attempt. The same player skimmed the crossbar on 53 minutes with a piercing effort from an acute angle.
With his team 2-18 to 1-12 down, Kealy won a penalty on 55 minutes but Bellew spread himself to save well from McVeigh.
In injury time, Kealy grabbed a second goal when a ball in from Brian McIntyre came his way.
Setanta: Ciaran Bellew; Brendan Tourish, Martin Bonner, Mark Callaghan; Denim Rowan, Niall Cleary, Danny Cullen (0-1), Richie Kee (0-1), Michael Donoghue; Gerard Gilmore (0-4), Declan Coulter (0-5, 3fs, 1 ’65’), Bernard Lafferty (0-1); Marc Devine (1-0), Josh McGee (1-0), Davin Flynn (0-7, 1f). . Subs: Ruairi Campbell for Devine (48), Conor McGettigan and Kevin Campbell for Coulter and Tourish (51), Simon McMenamin for Cleary (58), Dean Harvey for McGee (60)
St Eunan’s:Cian Hennessy; Brian McIntyre, Adie Gaffney, Brendan Horgan; Colm Flood, Conor Parke, Steven Doherty; Cormac Finn (0-1), Sean Halvey; Sean McVeigh, Kevin Kealy (2-1), Ryan Hilferty (0-2); Conor Kelly, Conor O’Grady (0-9, 8fs), Matt Ahern. Subs: Eugene Organ for Kelly (half-time), Conor McVeigh for Ahern (40)
Referee: Trevor Maloney (Buncrana).Tags: