St Eunan’s manager Neil Gordon believes his side were deserving of a place in the All-Ireland Post Primary Schools semi-final following their 1-11 to 0-7 win over Coláiste na Carriage on Saturday.
The Leteterkenny side scored a 28th minute goal from Junior Cert student Niall O’Donnell and maintained their grip on the match in the second half with the wind.
Gordon’s team now have a meeting with Scoil Aodháin from Glasnevin in the All-Ireland semi-final, while Mountbellew (Galway) face Ballincollig (Cork) face one in the other last four tie.
“These boys have been in all winter at 7:30am on a Friday coming from places like Dunfanaghy and Termon so that shows they have determination,” he said.
“We do the same work every year with all the teams and these guys deserve what they won today, which is a place in the All-Ireland semi-final.”
Gordon was praiseworthy of Coláiste na Carriage for a sporting contest that proved of interest for the football fraternity in Donegal as it was the first time the MacLarnon Cup champions were paired with the Markey Cup winners on the national stage.
“It was an unusual match-up and a good pairing,” he added. “There was nothing on the pitch and not a dirty stroke from either team.
“They certainly gave us their full of it and I was very fearful coming down here because we could’ve tripped up on it.”
Despite facing into a huge breeze in the first half, St Eunan’s went in at half-time 1-4 to 0-5 in front.
“We’d everything to do and the marker I gave them was to go score from score to maintain the status quo,” Gordon said of his half-time team talk.
“It’s hard, though, to run the ball out of defence as we found out in the first half. We forced Carrick to run from deep at us in the second half. That can be draining on the legs.
“In the MacLarnon we only conceded two points from play and it was the same with Carrick today.”