Down Memory Lane: St Eunan’s aim to improve on poor Ulster club championship record

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Down Memory Lane: St Eunan’s aim to improve on poor Ulster club championship record
St Eunan’s might not have won eight Donegal SFC’s since the initiation of the Ulster club championship but only once have they ever played a fixture in the provincial competition in the county.

St Eunan’s might not have won eight Donegal SFC’s since the initiation of the Ulster club championship but only once have they ever played a fixture in the provincial competition in the county.

That was in 1972 when the Letterkenny side faced All-Ireland champions Wolfe Tone’s from Bellaghy at O’Donnell Park.

The match ended in a draw, 0-10 to 0-10 each, before the Derry side won the replay 3-13 to 1-10 in Magherafelt with Mick Sweeney the St Eunan’s goalscorer.

Since then, St Eunan’s record has been a poor one, winning just once in Ulster. Their 1983 campaign ended in Cavan after a 1-9 to 0-8 loss to Laragh United.

In 1999, in Ballinascreen, Bellaghy had far too much for St Eunan’s and ran out winners on a 2-14 to 1-8 scoreline.

The 2001 escapade was a brief one as St Eunan’s lost 0-9 to 0-8 against Cavan Gaels at Breffni Park.

Six years later, in 2007, despite racing into an early lead and having a goal disallowed by John Haran, Brendan Kilcoyne’s side went down 0-8 to 0-7 - again against Cavan Gaels.

A year later, now with Eamon O’Boyle in charge, David McGinley’s goal and Kieran Sharkey’s penalty helped St Eunan’s to a first ever win in Ulster, 2-10 to 1-8, against Clonoe O’Rahilly’s at Coalisland.

In the semi-final at Brewster Park, St Eunan’s put in a scintillating first half, where at one stage they led by four points against Crossmaglen Rangers.

However, the Armagh champions used their experience to wrestle out an 0-11 to 0-8 victory.

Performing well, albeit in defeat, meant St Eunan’s entered the 2009 series with confidence after completing a three-in-a-row domestically. Kilcoo, the Down champions for the first time since 1937, were the opponents. St Eunan’s performed poorly in Pairc Esler and went down 0-13 to 0-9.

In 2012, there was another early exit as seven days after defeating Naomh Conaill in the local showpiece, Crossmaglen won 3-11 to 1-9 in Armagh against a jaded St Eunan’s team under the control of Michael McGeehin, Brendan Devenney and O’Boyle.