Conall Dunne’s dramatic point in the sixth minute of stoppage time was enough for St Eunan’s to grab the draw they required to progress to the quarter-finals of the Raidio na Gaeltachta SFC and set up an intriguing date with neighbours Glenswilly.
St Eunan’s 0-11
With time thin and things trickling toward a third game, Dungloe led by a point. And a bit like Owen Mulligan and Peter Canavan in the 2005 All-Ireland semi-final against Armagh at Croke Park, the apprentice had left it to the master when Hanlon tossed a free to Adrian Sweeney and the 2003 All-Star’s free curled in to perfection to put the away team two up.
However, after Conor Gibbons pulled one back, Sweeney turned from hero to villain. With his team in its shell to hold what it had, he gave possession right to Dunne and was forced to foul the St Eunan’s full-forward on the 45m line and pick up a yellow for his trouble. Kevin Rafferty took responsibility – or so it seemed – but instead played a give-and-go with substitute Ciaran Greene, which forced a scramble in the Dungloe defence before a dazed Dunne found space to pop the equaliser.
It was a contest of many turns. A long time beforehand, Adrian Hanlon’s turn on a sixpence left Damien McClafferty in his slipstream on 23 minutes from Brendan McGarvey’s ball in and before drilling underneath the dive of John Paul Clarke in the St Eunan’s goal.
Three times in the opening half Dungloe took the lead but on each occasion they were pegged back by St Eunan’s. Hanlon profited from a cough-up by McClafferty to score the first score of the evening before Conal McGinley levelled. Hanlon then scored again, only for Austin Marron to make it two apiece and Noel McBride’s score was cancelled out by Kieran Sharkey.
Only when Gibbons pointed a free on 21 minutes, which was the first placed ball after a half-a-dozen points from play, did St Eunan’s hit the front at 0-4 to 03 up. However, when Hanlon, who was the apex of Dungloe’s attack, scored that 23rd minute goal, it appeared as though those who made the journey from the west would have an interval lead to sink their teeth into only for Dunne and Rafferty tied things up at the break – St Eunan’s 0-6 to Dungloe’s 1-3.
Perhaps the biggest talking point before throw-in was Rory Kavanagh’s absence, with the county centre-fielder taking his place among the substitutes with an ankle knock. Kavanagh was summoned from the bench with 20 minutes remaining after an uneasy opening to the second half for the hosts.
Having come back out level, two points from 17-year-old Owen Redmond and one from Hanlon had Dungloe in a promising position – 1-6 to 0-7 in front. Marrron had just trimmed St Eunan’s arrears from three to two, but within five minutes, the team managed by Jonathan Scanlon were level, with Gibbons and John Haran on target. But with Hanlon ticking like a bomb that couldn’t be left unattended, he edged his side in front with a late free before Sweeney put Dungloe two up.
It was just a minute or two after Clarke had denied Sweeney in a one-on-one after the experieced forward out-foxed young Caolan Ward. But Gibbons, with a third free, and Dunne late in day made sure St Eunan’s won’t go away.
St Eunan’s: John Paul Clarke; Damien McClafferty, Caolan Ward, Eddie Brennan; Kieran Sharkey (0-1); Adrian McClafferty, Michéal Martin; Kevin Rafferty (0-1), John Haran (0-1); Dara Mulgrew, Conal McGinley (0-1), Austin Marron (0-2); Sean McVeigh, Conall Dunne (0-2), Conor Gibbons (0-3, 3f). Subs: John McHale for Marron (38), Rory Kavanagh for McVeigh (40), Ciaran Greene for Martin (47), Eugene Sullivan for McGinley (53),
Dungloe: Ciaran Sharkey; Doalty Boyle, Jamie Sweeney, Gavin Ward; Corey Gallagsher, Raymond Sweeney, Mark Sweeney; Noel McBride (0-1), Paul McGarvey; Shaun Sharkey, Adrian Sweeney (0-1, 1f), Gerard Walsh; Adrian Hanlon (1-4, 2f), Jamie Boyle, Brendan McGarvey. Subs: Owen Redmond (02) for J Boyle (21), Conor Greene for J Sweeney (47), Alan Boyle for S Sharkey (55).
Referee: Jimmy White