The Dr.Maguire Cup holders St.Eunans got the defence of their title off to a winning start against an understrength St.Nauls at O Donnell Park.
St.Eunans 1-14 v 0-07 St. Nauls
By Charlie Collins
The visitors , who reached the last eight last year , fielded without Brendan McCole and Stephen Griffen , so were facing an uphill battle to take anything from this first round game.
On the other hand St.Eunans were at full strength , the depth of their panel evident buy the talent available from the bench.
St.Nauls , who had competed well against them in last year’s quarter-final despite been reduced to fourteen men in the first few minutes, found it tough going but we’re in touch at half-time , only 0-08 to 0-04 behind , but couldn’t sustain it in the second-half as St.Eunans ran out comfortable winners.
Eunans kicked four rapid fired points from play in the opening eight minutes , Shane O Donnell , Conor Donnell Jnr, Niall O Donnell and Aaron Deeney all from play.
Peadar Mogan’s free got Nauls going in the tenth minute , Niall O Donnell replied with a mark , then Mogan pointed from play to leave it 0-05 to 0-02 after fifteen minutes.
Niall O Donnell converted a free , quickly followed by one from play but fine scores from play by both Stuart Johnston and Michael Coughlan kept St.Nauls well in touch at 0-07 to 0-04.
They could have been level in the 28th minute , Ian Campbell’s free dropped shot but was grabbed by John Rose who turned well and only a Brillant block by Conor O Donnell denied him a possible goal chance.
St.Eunans ended the half with a well worked point from Caolan Ward to lead 0-08 to 0-04 at the break.
Ciaran Moore added another point for the home team two minutes into the second-half , quickly followed by points from Kevin Kealy and Niall O Donnell’s fifth point which made it 0-11 to 0-04.
We had a long time to wait for another score , fifteen minutes in fact , a good Eunans build up was finished by Shane 0 Donnell who hammered the ball to the net from close range.
Peadar Mogan added three late for St.Nauls to bring his total to five , Ronan McGeehin , Peter McEniff and Shane ODonnell all scores St.Eunans points as it ended 1-14 to 0-06 to the home team.
They travel to meet Bundoran next week while St.Nauls host Glenswilly.
St Eunan’s: Shaun Patton, Caolan Parke, Caolan Ward (0-01), Aaron Deeney (0-01), Peter McEniff (0-01), Conor O’Donnell Snr, Darragh Mulgrew; Jordan O’Dowd, Kevin Kealy (0-01), Ciaran Moore (0-01), Shane O’Donnell (1-02), , Brian MacIntyre; Conor O’Donnell Jnr ( 0-01), Niall O’Donnell ( 0-05 ), Eoin McGeehin.
Subs: Sean McVeigh , Anthony Gallagher and Oran Winstone for Conor O Donnell Jnr , Brian McIntyre and Conor Parke ( all 44mins), Ronan McGeehin 0-01 for Niall O Donnell ( 48mins), Sean McGettigan for O Dowd ( 58mins).
St Naul’s: Cathal Charlton; Conor McBrearty, Barry Griffin, Caolan Gaffney; Diarmuid Gallagher, Ian Campbell, Cathal Lowther; Peadar Mogan (0-05/1f ), Stuart Johnston (0-01),Martin Breslin, Shane Connelly, Michael Coughlan (0-01), Kyle Campbell, Declan Dignam, John Rose.
Subs: Barry Burke for Johnstone ( 44mins) , Johnstone for Dignam ( 56mins).