St Eunan’s are Donegal Senior B champions following a six points win over Gaoth Dobhair, in the Senior B final in MacCumhaill Park.
St Eunan’s 1-10
Gaoth Dobhair 0-7
Played in sticky conditions St Eunan’s were deserving winners in the end against a determined Gaoth Dobhair, who were in the tie until Daniel Gillespie struck for the game’s only goal six minutes from the end.
The early exchanges were pretty even and the sides were level twice in the opening six minutes.
Mark Forde opened the scoring with St Eunan’s first inside a minute. But despite St Eunan’s applying all the early pressure it was Gaoth Dobhair who hit the next two scores.
Michael Roarty split the River Finn end posts after full-back Hugh Boyle joined in the attack to set up Roarty.
That was on five minutes and one minute later Gaoth Dobhair were in front after Eamonn Collum dispossessed his marker to knock over from close range for a 0-2 to 0-1 lead.
And Gaoth Dobhair still led by one, 0-3 to 0-2, by the 11 minute mark before St Eunan’s reeled off three points in the space of a nine minute good spell to move into a two point lead, 0-5 to 0-3, by the end of the first quarter.
Michael Miller, with a marvellous finish from way out on the right hand side; Donnacha Gallagher - from a 44m free, and Ronan Lennon scored the St Eunan’s points.
Gaoth Dobhair, who had defended in numbers, scored the only point of the final quarter. Micheál Roarty with a fine individual point reduced the margin to one. St Eunan’s led 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time.
Paul Mulligan, a half time replacement for Sean Doherty, made an instant impact with the first point of the second to tie up the game once more.
But the champions were back in front thanks to two quick points from Donnacha Gallagher (free) and Michael Miller which restored St Eunan’s two point advantage, 0-7 to 0-5, five minutes into the new half.
It was back to one three minutes later when Michael Roarty converted a close in free. Amazingly Roarty, who kicked three points, was substituted immediately afterwards.
St Eunan’s kept their noses in front and they were two up again when Gallagher converted from 50 metres - 0-8 to 0-6 - by the midway point in the second half.
And the champions were on their way on 54 minutes when Daniel Gillespie polished off a good move to score the game’s only goal, for a five point advantage, 1-8 to 0-6.
Brendan Maguire and Conor Boyle hit late points for the respective teams as both ended the game with 14 men.
St Eunan’s David Herlihy received his marching orders for a second yellow card offence in the middle of the second half. And Jamie Boyle received a straight red card in the closing minutes, for an off the ball challenge.
ST EUNAN’S: Blake Forkan; Ronan Lennon (0-1), Colin McIntyre, Dylan Sweeney; Daire McMonagle, Conor Moore, Mark Forde (0-1); Andrew Doherty, Daniel Gillespie (1-0); Michael Miller (0-2),Kieran Sharkey, Oisin Clarke; Brendan Maguire (0-2), Donnacha Gallagher (0-3,3f), David Herlihy. Subs: Brian McIntyre (0-1) for R Lennon, Oisin Toal for O Clarke both h/t; Sean McGettigan for A Doherty 48; Matthew McColgan for K Sharkey 52, inj; Oisin O’Boyle for M Miller 59; Gavin Maguire for D Sweeney 60.
GAOTH DOBHAIR: Charles John Doherty; Sean McGarvey, Hugh Boyle, James Boyle; Jamie Boyle, Christopher McFadden, Ryan Kelly; Dan McBride, Odhran Ferry McFadden; Micheál Roarty (0-3,1f), James Gallagher (0-1,f), Conor McCafferty; Conor Boyle (0-1), Sean Doherty, Eamonn Collum (0-1). Subs: Paul Mulligan (0-1) for S Doherty, h/t; Dylan O’ Donnell for M Roarty, 39; Shane Ferry for James Boyle 42; Neasan MacGiolla Bride 45; Colum Ferry for E Collum 57.
REFEREE: John Paul Doherty (Urris).