Tiernan Brown scored a penalty in added time as St. Eunan’s won the FAIS Dr. Tony O’Neill National Senior Cup final in Athlone.
St. Eunan’s 3-2 De La Salle
Michael Kelly’s side took the lead after a quick counter attack found Noah Barrett but De La Salle turned it around with goals either side of half-time.
Nathan Plumb levelled and with the game looking like going to extra time, Plumb was fouled in the box and Brown stepped up to slot away the penalty to win the game.
St. Eunan’s have enjoyed success in the Dr. Tony O’Neill Cup, winning it back-t-o-back in 1978 and 1979, in 1985 and 1986, in 2004 and 2005. They also were declared joint champions in 2020 Douglas Community School of Cork, with the final never played due to the the pandemic.
The two sides faced off 18 years ago in the finally as St. Eunan’s came out 3-0 winners and history was to repeat itself today.
After 20 minutes, De La Salle thought they had taken the lead through Jack Twomey after a free-kick was played into the box but there was judged to have been a foul on St. Eunan’s goalkeeper Fintan Doherty.
Doherty smartly took a quick free-kick and worked it up to Noah Barrett in three passes and the striker held off the defender and blast the ball over the onrushing Dara Kavanagh.
St. Eunan’s travelled in numbers and the roar of the crowd when the opening goal went in showed the great support for their school.
The Waterford side did get back on level terms after a corner was headed home by Matas Grinius in the 37th minute and it was 1-1 at half-time.
Another De La Salle set piece got them ahead as the free-kick smashed the crossbar from a header but it only fell as far as Shane O’Brien who volleyed into the corner of the net.
Kavanagh was keeping his side ahead as on the 65th minute he made a great save from Nathan Plumb after Eunan’s pressed to rob the ball back in a dangerous position.
Minutes later, another impressive save by Kavanagh prevented Dylan McAteer from scoring after great play from the Donegal side on the left.
It was third time lucky for Eunan’s when ‘keeper Doherty launched a monstrous free kick from inside his own box forward to Plumb who raced on to the bouncing ball, aided by the pitch, and shrugged off the defender before a first time left footed finish over Kavanagh.
The lively Plumb was then deemed to have been fouled in the box by Kavanagh despite a defender covering and the referee awarded a penalty to Eunan’s in the 91st minute.
Brown stepped up, kept his cool and hammered the ball down the middle into the net, to the roar of the travelling St. Eunan’s supporters.
As news of the win reached today’s Donegal County Council meeting, all elected members applauded to the success of the team and agreed to write a letter of congratulations.