St Eunan’s grabbed a series of late scores to edge past St Michael’s in a close fought encounter in Dunfanaghy.
St Michael’s 0-10
St Eunan’s 1-10
Played under perfect conditions, both new managers, Tony Wilkinson from St Michael’s and Maxi Curran for St Eunan’s, were hoping to get their campaigns off to a winning start.
Things stared brightly for the home side when Lee Martin Carr opened the scoring with a fine turn and shot from play in the first minute. This was followed up by Colm McFadden from play after latching on to pass from Martin McElhinney in the second minute. McFadden added a free in the eighth minute making it 0-3 to no score. McFadden added another free in the 16th after Lee Carr was fouled.
St Eunan’s opened their account with a goal from Lee McMonagle from the penalty spot after Conall Dunne was brought down in the 20th minute.
Donnacha Gallagher levelled the tie four minutes later before St Michael’s began to regain their lead through a Christy Toye free after Andrew Kelly was sent crashing. Gallagher pointed a free to square the game but missed a close range free kick to put them ahead as half-time loomed.
McFadden made a rapid fire start with a point from play with seconds of the restart. This was cancelled out by McMonagle almost immediately.
St Eunan’s went ahead for the first time when he pointed again form play to make it 0-6 to 1-4. Michael Cannon struck a sweet point for the home side and a McFadden free saw they retake the lead in the 10th minute of the half. Conor Gibbons’ free looked to have fallen into an empty space as St Eunan’s pressed forward, but one clean bounce saw it go back into orbit and cross the bar for an unsual score to level it once more.
In a sweeping attack back up the field, a quick pass through the middle was gathered by Antoin McFadden who looked goalward but he had to settle for a point. Michael McGinley added another when he fired over the score of the game to put St Micheals two up with 52 minutes played. Gibbons responded again for Eunan’s from play to keep them in touch and DGallagher added another from play to level this thrilling tie once again.
As the clock ticked down Gallagher added another point from play in the 26th minute.
In the last minute of normal time Kevin Rafferty blasted home a great long range score to put the visitors two up. St Michael’s rallied hard but their efforts could not close the gap.
Gallagher topped a fine personal performance when he pointed again from play in the 32 minute just before the final whistle went and a maiden victory for the Maxi Curran led side was secured.
St Michael’s: C Gallagher, B Rodden, S Black, J Alcorn, A Kelly, M McGinley (0-1), R Langan, M McElhinney, K Gallagher, A McFadden (0-1), M Cannon (0-1), D McLaughlin, C McFadden (0-5,3f), L Carr (0-1), C Toye (0-1, f). Subs: M Breslin for Gallagher 9, O Langan of Carr 46, L Ferry on for Langan, L McDaid for Cannon both 58.
St Eunan’s: JP Clarke, D McClafferty, C Ward, J McBride, P Devine, E Doherty, D Mulgrew, M Martin, K Rafferty (0-1), O Carr, C Dunne, R Kavanagh, C Gibbons (0-2, 1f), D Gallagher (0-5, 1f), L McMonagle (1-2). Subs: Conor Morrisson for McClafferty 15, J Haran for Carr 42, M Miller for Gibbons 58.