Eany Celtic U14s added the South Donegal Schoolboys Cup to their league title at Letterbarrow on Saturday last.
Eany Celtic . . . . . . . . . . . 2
Donegal Town . . . . . . . . 1
The game was a tense affair with both sides enjoying periods of dominance.
Eany came out of the blocks the stronger and looked the likelier of the two sides to find an early breakthrough with Jack Byrne and Jacob Napierski testing Donegal keeper Jack Lennox.
It was the eighth minute before Eany would break the deadlock after a sustained period of pressure resulted in a corner. Thomas White dropped the ball menacingly beside the near post and the resulting goalmouth scramble saw the ball end up in the Donegal net.
Eany continued to press but as the half wore on the Donegal midfield began to dominate. With Richard O’Rourke pulling all the strings in the centre of midfield Eany were pinned in their own half and O’Rourke, Shay Travers and Joe Campbell all came close to levelling with shots from distance. Eany will have been relieved to go in at the break with their lead still intact.
The second half began much as the first had left off with Donegal pressing for the equalizer but failing to create any real openings.
In the 50th minute Donegal’s efforts finally bore fruit when Ultan O’Grady threaded a ball neatly into the Eany box and Alex McCalmont’s pinpoint finish left Eany keeper Shane Meehan stranded.
It looked like Eany’s number might be up as Donegal turned the screw but the Leagues meanest defence had no intention of giving up any more goals and with the introduction of Kyle Campbell into the centre of midfield and Odhran Meehan on the left Eany began to take control of proceedings.
With ten minutes left on the clock Conor Campbell placed a beautifully weighted ball into the path of Eany frontman Jack Byrne. Byrne’s lightening pace left the defence for dead and despite the best efforts of the Donegal keeper Byrne netted his 37th goal of the season and restored Eany’s lead.
With only minutes to go Eany nearly bagged a third when Nathan Maxwell’s free kick from 25 yards struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced onto the line. Kyle Campbell followed up but was adjudged to have fouled the keeper and Donegal were still in it.
League chairman Ian Curristan thanked supporters for turning out in such large numbers and thanked Letterbarrow for the use of their facilities. He complimented both sets of players on what was a very competitive game before presenting them with their silverware.