Niall O'Donnell, who scored 0-4 for St. Eunan's
St Eunan’s are Northern Regional minor champions following tonight’s five point victory over St Michael’s in Buncrana.
St Eunan’s 1-9
St Michael’s 0-7
Niall O’Donnell kicked four points and the elusive Oisin Purdy hit 1-1 for the winners, who had it far from all their own way against a determined St Michael’s.
Caolan Toye with three points and Colin McFadden with two, carried the main threat for the boys from the North West.
St Eunan’s, the favourites, took the fight to St Michael’s from the off and had a number of goal chances in the opening minutes as Niall Hannigan and Niall O’Donnell carved early openings.
And it took a brilliant save from Dean McColgan to deny O’Donnell from close range before Purdy pounced for the game’s only green flag after an Oisin Toal turnover and sublime pass from Hannigan.
O’Donnell followed up with a pointed free from 30 metres as he was dragged back as he bore down on McColgan’s posts.
But with St Eunan’s persisting with going for goals a combination of good defence from Jamie Hunter and Caolan Toye and over elaboration, they went over ten minutes without a score.
In between, Colin McFadden, who had a big game in the middle of the field for St Michael’s, drove over his side’s second point, on 13 minutes. He had also kicked the game’s opener inside 30 seconds.
O’Donnell, the go to man in the St Eunan’s attack, offloaded to set up Oisin O’Boyle for a 1-2 to 0-2 lead on 19 minutes.
And eight minutes later O’Donnell was fouled and O’Boyle pointed from the resultant close in free to make it 1-3 to 0-2 with the clock ticking on the half.
Two massive injury time points from Caolan Toye meant that the margin was down to two,1-3 to 0-4 at the interval.
And it was all square inside the opening four minutes of the second period courtesy of two super strikes from Toye from a 40 metres free and a long range strike from Ciaran McGinley.
The momentum was now very much with Mickey McFadden’s men but five St Michael’s wides in-a-row let St Eunan’s off the hook.
Purdy broke the deadlock to kick St Eunan’s back in front on 48 minutes and from then to the finish the boys in black and amber more or less dominated. And points from Niall O’ Donnell (3) Evan McGroary and Eóin McGeehin to one from Dean McColgan saw St Eunan’s run out winners.
St Michael’s finished with 14 in what was a feisty encounter throughout when Lee McColgan was shown a black card followed by a red in the closing minutes. McColgan had earlier picked up a yellow card.
St Eunan’s will now face Southern runners-up Aodh Ruadh and St Michael’s will face Southern winners Naomh Conaill in the county semi-finals.
ST EUNAN’S:Matthew Gallagher; Rory McCrossan, Darragh Toal, Sean Halvey; Brian McIntyre, Kevin Kealy, Michael McGroary; Oisin Toal, Sean McGettigan; Oisin O'Boyle (0-2,1,f), Niall O'Donnell (0-4,2f), Niall Hannigan; Oisin Purdy (1-1), Matthew McGovern, Evan McCroary(0-1). Subs: Dylan McCroary for M McGovern 34; Paddy McColgan for O O’Boyle, 46; Eóin McGeehin (0-1) for N Hannigan 55; Jerome Angel Attuahena for O Purdy 63.
ST MICHAEL’S: Dean McColgan; Liam Kelly, Jamie Hunter, Tony Toye; Hugh O'Donnell, Caolan Toye (0-3,2f), Ruairi Friel; Colin McFadden (0-2), Ciaran McGinley (0-1); James Sharkey, Lee McColgan (0-1), Eoghan Kelly; Shane Langan, Odhran McFadden, Dylan Doherty. Subs: Aaron Boyer for E Kelly 53, Aodhan McFadden for D Doherty 55.
REFEREE: Shaun McLaughlin (Malin)