Two opportunistic first half goals in the space of a couple of minutes saw St Eunan's create a lead over St Michael's that they held on to in a highly competitive game in Dunfanaghy.
St Michael's . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-14
St Eunan's . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-14
Darragh Mulgrew opened the scoring for the visitors after four minutes and Conall Dunne added a fisted goal after two bites at the target in the sixth minute.
Brian McLaughlin opened the St Michael's account in the ninth minute with a point from play.
A minute later a Peter Devine effort came rattling off the upright straight into the hands of an unmarked and grateful Conall Dunne to hit the net. Within a minute of his score Rory Kavanagh managed to intercept a short kick-out intended for Stephen Doak and charged down on goal to hit the net again.
Conor Morrison added another point to make to 0-1 to 3-2 at the 15 minute mark. Another point from Kavanagh and the visitors were firmly in the driving seat.
St Michael's fought back with an Andrew Kelly point and a Christy Toye goal followed by a Colm McFadden free. Gibbons and Toye then traded points. Niall O’Donnell had a shot well saved by McGinley in the St Michael's goal.
Gibbons was on mark; as was Colm McFadden with two frees to leave it 1-6 St Michael's to St Eunan's 3-5 at the break.
Conor Parke opened the St Eunan's second half account with a point in the first minute of the restart.
St Michael's worked a fine goal when Martin McElhinney hit the net after being supplied by Daniel McLaughlin to make it 2-6 to 3-6.
Gibbons was on target again but Michael McGinley hit back for the home side. Conor Morrison pointed for Eunan's before Colm McFadden was on target to leave it 2-8 St Michael's to St Eunan's 3-8.
Morrison pushed the visitors further ahead and moments later they had the chance for a fourth goal when they were awarded a penalty. Gibbons struck it well and appeared to have the ‘keeper going the wrong way only for the St Michael's man to to hook the ball with his foot to clear the danger.
McFadden hit another point and Niall O’Donnell did the same at the opposite end as the game wore on.
Colm McFadden hit back-to-back frees before Conall Dunne hit one from play to make St Michael's 2-10 to Eunan's 3-11 in the 56th minute.
Daniel McLaughlin and Michael Langan chipped two points from play to leave just two points in it but they needed a goal to have any real shout of winning. Gibbons put three between them again before Odhran McFadden fired over a point when there was a half chance of a goal opportunity for St Michael's.
Sub Cillian Morrison got his name on the scoresheet followed by the in form Gibbons to leave it 2-13 to 3-14 after 60 mins.
With the last kick of the game Colm McFadden’s point capped a fine personal performance but failed to reverse the tide as St Eunan's rode the wave of victory in Dunfanaghy.