St. Eunan’s cruised into the Division One minor league final with an easy victory over Ardara in a largely one sided semi-final in Dungloe on Friday night.
St. Eunan’s 3-16
Conor O’Donnell, Rory Carr and Jordan O’Dowd scored the goals for the winners, who except for the opening seven minutes or so, bossed the contest all over the field against an Ardara outfit that were off colour and really failed to fire.
Ardara, through Tomas Boyle, who did the bulk of the scoring for the vanquished, led 0-2 to 0-1 after seven minutes. But from the moment Conor O’Donnell powered his way through the Ardara rearguard to blast past David Sweeney from ten metres for the first St. Eunan’s goal, there was only going to be one winner.
O’Donnell had the net bulging on nine minutes and by the time Rory Carr, struck for the second Eunan’s goal 16 minutes later, O’Donnell, David Tyrell and Michael Millar all had raised flags to stretch the O’Donnell Park boys’ lead out to eight points, 2-5 to 0-3. Carr, who proved a great target man, drilled to the net after being sent clear by Barry McGeehin.
Thanks to further points from Oisin Carr and John Russell, St. Eunan’s went in ten in front, 2-7 to 0-3, at half -time having played into the bitingly cold wind that blew up Rosses Park.
Tomas Boyle scored all of Ardara’s first half points, all from frees.
St.Eunan’s resumed where they left off at the end of the first half and courtesy of Tyrell, Russell and Donnell they added three points to Ardara’s one in the opening 12 minutes of the second period. Sean McLaughlin with a well struck point from the left wing was Ardara’s response.
Indeed but for a brilliant save by David Sweeney from Michael Millar on 41 minutes, they could and possibly should have been further than 2-11 to 0-4, ahead as the game entered the third quarter. Oisin Carr, with a well worked point that was moved all the way up the field, kicked his second point on the three quarter mark.
St. Eunan’s continued to pile on the pressure in the closing 15 minutes and despite manager Eunan McIntyre ringing the changes and emptying his bench, the scores still flowed. St. Eunan’s introduced seven subs in the game.
Man of the match Conor O’Donnell, Rory Carr and David Millar all split the posts before substitute Jordan O’Dowd sunk the dagger with Eunan’s third goal five minutes from time before Millar( who gave Conor O’Donnell a run for man of the match) brought down the curtain on the scoring.
Tomas Boyle and Cillian Boyle, up from centre-half back, kicked Ardara’s two points in the closing quarter with Cillian Boyle’s their last ten minutes from the end.
This was a good all round team performance from the winners, who were on top in most sectors with Conor O’Donnell and Conor Morrison giving them a solid platform in midfield.
Barry McGeehin lead the attack well while Michael Millar, David Tyrell and Rory Carr were the other standout St. Eunan’s forwards.
Jordan McBride was solid at centreback in a defence that was not overally pressed, while Cillian Boyle, Sean McLaughlin, Tomas Boyle, and Eunan Spence were Ardara’s best performers on the night.
St. Eunan’s: Sean Defan; Brian Hannigan, Darragh McWalters, Ronan Dorrian; Conal O’Boyle, Jordan McBride, Peter O’Malley; Conor O’Donnell (1-3), Conor Morrison; Oisin Carr (0-2), Barry McGeehin, Michael Millar (0-4,1f); David Tyrell (0-3), Rory Carr (1-1), Jack Brennan. Subs: John Russell for J. Brennan (18 ); Jordan O’Dowd (1-1) for M. Millar (43); Aaron O’Connell for B. Hannigan (45); Emmett Lynch for B. McGeehin (47); Christopher O’Donnell for C. O’Boyle ( 49); Oisin Clarke for C. Morrision (53); Peadar Cunningham for O. Carr (57).
Ardara: Daniel Sweeney; Colm Sweeney, David Breslin, Liam Sweeney; Kyle Gallagher, Cillian Boyle (0-1), Sean McLaughlin (0-1); Conal Gallagher, Shane O’Donnell; Kevin Whyte, Odhran Boyle, Eunan Spence; Cian Brennan, Tomas Boyle (0-4,3f), Martin O’ Donnell. Subs: Keith Shovlin for C. Sweeney (14); Jarlath McHugh for C. Brennan (44); Cian Brennan for T. Boyle (52).
Referee; Damien Craig (Naomh Conaill).