St. Eunan's minor panel
Tom Comack firstname.lastname@example.org @dgldemocrat
Kilcar and St Eunan’s minors have risen to the top once again and will go head to head this Saturday in the Donegal Minor Championship final in Convoy.
They last met in a final in 2012 with Kilcar taking the spoils on that occasion to land the club’s minor championship crown number five.
St Eunan’s, beaten finalists last year, are back again this year are appearing in the club’s eighth final in ten seasons.
Of the seven final appearances in recent times, they have won three and lost four and Paul McGovern, the St Eunan’s manager, is going all out to finally bring what may be the last minor championship title back to O’Donnell Park.
“We’ve a good squad of players and by and large the same squad of players won the U-16 championship two years ago,” said the St Eunan’s manager, who has been with this group of players since they were under six.
“We are looking forward to the final. The minor final is seen as the big championship in underage football and when we started all those years ago when they were U-6 the ambition was to build a team capable of winning a minor championship.”
“They lost a Division Two final at U-13 to St Naul’s and won the county Óg Sport and U-16 championships. They defeated Sean MacCumhaills in the U-16 final.”
St Eunan’s emerged from their group with three straight wins over Malin, Ardara and Four Masters.
They defeated St Naul’s in the quarter-final and they proved way too strong for Ardara in the semi-final last Friday.
Louis Hasson scored two goals and Oisin Purdy one while Conor O’Donnell hit six points in their 3-10 to 0-5 win over Ardara.
Kilcar lost to Naomh Conaill in the group stages but had good wins over Aodh Ruadh and Dungloe to qualify from the group as runners-up.
The overcame a strong Sean MacCumhaill’s in the quarter-final and the highly fancied Naomh Columba, the minor league champions, in the semi-final.
Full-forward Shane Gillespie top scored for Kilcar with four points in the semi-final win over the neighbours Naomh Columba.
Kilcar had eight different scorers in that game with senior player and captain, Brian O’Donnell, turning in a man of the match performance in the middle of the park.
MOLLOY IN CHARGE
Michael Molloy is back managing this group of players having first coached them at U-10.
“We’ve improved as the season progressed. We lost in the group to Naomh Conaill on a night we just didn’t perform and in fairness to the lads the two teams had qualified at that stage,” said the Kilcar boss.
“We put in our best performance of the season against Naomh Columba in the semi-final and we had to because Naomh Columba are a very good side.
“That game could have gone either way but we never gave up and that is what saw us through.
“St Eunan’s are very strong and will be favourites but if we can stick with them and still be in the game going into the last few minutes we will feel we will have a chance.”
Brian O’Donnell and Gary Molloy are the county minors in the Kilcar lineup.
They both line out in central position, O’Donnell wears the number nine shirt and Molloy leads the attack at centre half-forward.
O’Donnell is also a member of the club’s senior team and scored a point from wing-back in Kilcar’s quarter-final championship win over Bundoran on Sunday last in Ballybofey.
Molloy, a county minor for the last two years, was hampered by injury early in the season and is only getting back to full fitness.
Shane Gillespie at full-forward has carrie the big threat up front right through both the league and championship campaigns.
Cormac O Leime at full-back and Gavin Moran at centre half-back along with Paddy McShane in midfield complete a strong spine to Kilcar.
St Eunan’s are also backboned by county minors with Aaron Deeney, who was also a member of last year’s Ulster Minor Championship winning Donegal team, in the middle of the field; Michael McGroary at centre half-back and Niall Hannigan at centre half-forward.
Corner forward Oisin Purdy was also a member of this year’s minor panel and will take watching and the pace of Conor O’Donnell has also troubled defences all summer.
O’Donnell, a member of this season’s Donegal U-17 squad, is also the team free taker and has chalked up big scores all the way through the campaign.
It promises to be an intriguing final with St Eunan’s power and pace up against Kilcar’s football craft and guile. It should be interesting.
Verdict: St Eunan’s.
Ronan McGeehin, Eoin O'Boyle, Jerome Angel Atuahene, Ciaran McCloskey, Conor McWalters,
James Kelly, Anthony Gallagher, Michael McGroary, Sean Ryan, Aaron Deeney, Patrick McColgan, Louis Hasson, Éoin McGeehin, Matthew McGovern, Conor O'Donnell, Oisin Purdy, Niall Hannigan, Peter McEniff, Ryan Hilferty, Darragh Morrison, Cormac Finn, Oisin McGarvey, Shane Maguire, Ciaran Daffan, Sean Breen, Patrick Tobin, Cormac O'Kane, Brendan Horgan.
Colm Garvey, Dylan O'Gara, Cormac O Leime, Kenny Doogan, Ryan O'Donnell, Gavin Moran, Odhran Doogan,Paddy McShane, Brian O'Donnell; Aaron McShane, Gary Molloy, Caolan Curran, Eoin Cormack, Shane Gillespie, Ciaran Gillespie, David Love, Johnny Byrne, Cillian O’Malley, Seanie Boyle, Pauric Love, Liam Gavigan, Dara Rowan, Matthew Reilly, Ryan McShane.