The stakes were high in an intriguing McLarnon Cup game played at Garvaghey on Tuesday afternoon for the first ever meeting of St Louis and Inis Eoghain. The Donegal newcomers had made a good start last week against St Pats of Keady, but knew they would have to be on their game if they hoped to topple the boys from Kilkeel.
St Louis Kilkeel 2.07
Colaisti Inis Eoghain 3.11
Playing with the wind, St Louis opened the scoring with a point after just thirty seconds, but within a minute they had a narrow escape when Darach O Connor saw his goal bound effort saved by the keeper. Inis Eoghain midfielder Caolan McGonagle who had an outstanding game, was unlucky as he watched his ’45 come back off the post on eight minutes, before Georgie Kelly settled the nerves for the boys in green with a point two minutes later. Caolan McGonagle added a second point for Inis Eoghain to take the lead on twelve minutes and then John Campbell was unlucky not to increase the lead a minute later when his effort rebounded off the post and back into play.
St Louis were still very much in the game and they drew level with a point on fourteen minutes, before Darach O Connor made the vital breakthrough for the Inis Eoghain boys when he drilled the ball to the net on sixteen minutes to stretch their lead to four points. The Kilkeel boys hit a purple patch five minutes later, adding a goal and a point within the space of two minutes to bring the sides level again.
Inis Eoghain responded well, when Ultan Doherty playing at corner forward found space when he cut in from the left and fired to the net to regain a lead which Sean Noonan’s side refused to let slip for the remainder of the game. Caolan McGonagle from a free and Darach O Connor both added points before the break, to leave the half time score St Louis 1.03 Colaisti Inis Eoghain 2.04.
Within ten minutes of the restart, Inis Eoghain playing with the wind looked set to seal the game, by hitting 1.03 without reply. First full forward Kevin McLaughlin added goal number three, while Fergal Doherty, Georgie Kelly and Darach O Connor chipped in with a point each to give them a ten-point lead. However St Louis were not finished, responding with 1.02 in a five minute spell to reduce the deficit again, but Kevin McLaughlin added another point for his side on fifty minutes. Both sides exchanged points on two different occasions during the last ten minutes, John Campbell getting both scores for Inis Eoghain, before Caolan McGonagle capped a fine individual performance with the final point for the Donegal boys.
In the end a good seven point victory for the Inishowen boys, with St Louis playing their part in a fine game of football. A strong midfield and the ability to take scores from a forward line who were on fire, helped to secure a result, which may well be enough to see the Inishowen side progress to the quarter finals but last year’s runners up St Louis are not out of it yet either and could still make the last eight also.
Colaisti Inis Eoghain: Jordan McLaughlin, Jack O Loughlin, Danny Monagle, Stephen O Donnell, Shane McLaughlin, Tony McCleneghan, Sam Doherty, Caolan McGonagle (0-3), Fergal Doherty (0-1), Sean McHugh, John Campbell (0-2), Georgie Kelly (0-2), Darach O Connor (1-2), Kevin McLaughlin (1-1), Ultan Doherty (1-0). Subs: James Jackson for Darach O Connor (45), Jamie McLaughlin for Ultan Doherty (53), Aaron McCarron, Christy McLaughlin, Tommy Byrne, Aedan Stokes, Jonathan McLaughlin, Tom Sullivan, Gary Doherty.
Referee Stephen McNamee (Tyrone)