Drumkeen celebrate Youth League title

Donegal Youth League special

Drumkeen celebrate Youth League title

Drumkeen United clinched the Donegal Youth League title on Saturday, and then set their sights on adding a few more trophies in the cup competitions.

Drumkeen United 3

Gweedore United 0

Their victory over Gweedore United at St. Patrick's Park, made it seven wins from seven games.

And it means they can no longer be caught by their two closest rivals for the title, Gweedore Celtic and Letterkenny Rovers.

They only needed a point against Gweedore United - in the end, they collected all three.

That said, they didn't have it all their own way against a determined Gweedore side who were well in this match up until the final period when Drumkeen scored twice to seal the win.

Substitute Conor Patton headed in a corner from Keenan Gibson with 13 minutes to go to make it 2-0.

And then right at the death, another substitute, Michael Guthrie, was played into the area by Patton and he finished low to the net.

The final scoreline was tough on Gweedore who might not have had much to play for, but did well over the 90 minutes.

They refused to buckle after Drumkeen's industrious midfielder, Eoghan Kennedy, fired them in front on 13 minutes.

A goal down for much of the contest, Gweedore had an ideal chance to draw level in the second half when Denis Coll ran on to a long clearance from his keeper, James Hunter, only to see his shot saved by the Drumkeen stopper, Eamonn Connolly.

A goal for Gweedore at that stage would have put the cat among the pigeons. But credit to Drumkeen, they stayed patient and got the late goals they needed.

The changes that Drumkeen made during the game certainly paid dividends with their two late goals both coming from two of their replacements.

Eoghan Kennedy had a fine game at centre midfield while in Padhraic Patton, Paddy Dolan and Jerome Duffy, they had some fine performers.

Gweedore though, had their moments too. Denis Coll was a contant menace in attack and was denied a goal by a smart same from Connolly after he was set up by Ultan Boyle's neat ball.

Gweedore were also well served by Aaron Bowyer and Reece McBride in defence while goalkeeper, Jamie Hunter was outstanding.

Hunter, however, might have done better when beaten by Kennedy's opening goal on 13 minutes.

The Drumkeen captain took a quick free kick and after a clever one-two with his cousin, Lee Kennedy, the midfielder shot past Hunter.

The goal set Drumkeen on their way to what in the end was a comfortable win. They've been hugely impressive this season and have led the way for almost the entire campaign. Speaking after the game, manager, Sean Gallagher, was delighted to have finally clinched the trophy.

“It's good to get over the line,” he said.

“We would have taken it to next weekend if we had to. But it's good to get it wrapped up today.

“We had a couple of hairy moments along the way, especially down in Gweedore against Gweedore Celtic and at home to Letterkenny; and Keadue was another game where we just managed to get through unscathed.

“But we'll be looking to make it eight wins out of eight now against Bonagee. Then there are three other trophies to go for.”

The league title is Drumkeen's first at this level since 2002 and Gallagher said the secret for their success this season was a strong squad of players.

He said the club has also been helped by the excellent facilities at St. Patrick's Park which includes an astro-turf area which serves as an ideal training venue across all age-groups.

“The training facilities are there now for the young players and I suppose that's testament to the late Tom Bonner who saw the need for that,” he said.

“I played here myself and you don't appreciate what goes on behind the scenes. It's only when you get involved in management and you're attending committee meetings that you see the work that goes on.”

Drumkeen Utd: Eamonn Connolly, Fergal O'Callaghan, Johnny Black, Paddy Dolan (Ryan Dullaghan 75), Padhraic Patton, Eoghan Kennedy, Lee Kennedy, Jerome Duffy, Sean Peoples (Keenan Gibson 61), Dylan McNamee (Conor Patton 61) , Darren Bonner (Michael Guthrie 31).

Gweedore Utd.: Jamie Hunter, Reece McBride (Ethan Greene 40), Conor McMahon, Aaron Bowyer, Conor McFadden, Noel Sweeney, Ultan Boyle (Ciaran Griffin 83), Jamie McGee, Shaun McFadden (Seaghan McNelis 24), Denis Coll, John Browne (James McGlinchey 68).

Referee: Liam McLaughlin.