Oh what a difference there is between missed goals, and clinically converted ones.
St Eunan’s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-9
Sean MacCumhaill’s . . . . . . 0-13
And while this was not the main reason why an excellent and very well balanced St Eunan’s prevailed, there were two major turning points that losers Sean MacCumhaill’s will wish to forget.
There was no doubting the winners’ supremacy, with some great displays from the O’Donnells, the jinking two-footed bag of tricks Conor, who has real magic in his boots and 15 year-old Shane O’Donnell, who moves like a Mercedes.
And full-forward Pauric McGettigan also more than played his part by nailing a hat-trick but Sean MacCumhaill’s keeper Ciaran Foy could possibly have done a little better for two of those scores.
For MacCumhaill’s, towering full-forward Oisin Gallen was their Michael Murphy and finished up with 0-7 but he lacked consistent support.
But the losers did have at least two very good goaling chances in either half, which could have made a real impression.
They missed both, and to add to their agony a razor sharp St Eunan’s hit back immediately to strike for those timely killer goals.
Full-forward McGettigan seemed to beat MacCumhaills keeper Foy to the punch for the winners’ first goal from a long probing ball from Cormac Finn to put them ahead by 1-2 to 0-3, after early well struck points from Gallen and Luke Gavigan had pushed MacCumhaills into a 0-3 to 0-0 lead after nine minutes.
But Eunan’s were well settled with scores from Finn and Conor O’Donnell, hit a superb left footed point in the 11thminute.
However MacCumhaill’s centre forward Jamie Keegan had a great chance of a goal in the 27th minute when a ball over the top saw him unmarked deep inside the Letterkenny defence.
The MacCumhaill’s lad tried to take the ball around the keeper instead of picking his spot, and Eoin O’Boyle smothered the danger.
25 seconds later, Eunan’s wing forward Michael Gallagher pounced on a loose ball, calmly rounded a defender before finishing soccer style with a well struck left footed goal.
That was a six- point turnaround and pushed the winners to a 2-4 to 0-5 half-time lead.
Gallagher added another point for the winners on the resumption when we had another seminal moment.
Luke Gavigan found Gallen free deep inside the Eunan’s defence with a probing ball.
The big full forward seemed to be thinking about exactly where he was going to place the ball when he inexplicably lost control of the ball and the danger we averted.
But to MacCumhaills continued chagrin, Eunan’s struck like a rattlesnake on the immediate counter attack less than two minutes later.
Jamie Keegan and the excellent Conor O’Donnell swapped points before a long ball from Shane O’Donnell was palmed away by MacCumhaill’s keeper Foy and Darragh Ellison cooly lobbed the keeper to put the winners ahead by 3-6 to 0-7 in the 38th minute.
And this affair looked already settled even though MacCumhaill’s and Gallen tried very hard to get back on terms.
McGettigan flicked home a carbon copy of his first half goal in the 41st minute and he stayed ice cool before stroking the ball past keeper Foy for his side’s fifth and final goal in the 50th minute.
To their eternal credit, a gallant MacCumhaill’s side did not die and hit back with points from Gallen, Chad McSorley and Alex McGeehan.
But there was never any doubt about who was going to take the title.
These sides certainly know each other very well this season and this is St Eunan’s fifth victory over the Twin Towns lads.
They are a very impressive looking outfit and many of them are products of an all-conquering U-14 team in recent years.
Eunan’s have now contested underage finals at U-13, U-14, U-16 and U-18 finals and were victorious at U-14 and U-16 and they also have a very good U-21 side.
But credit to a gritty MacCumhaills side that made this a pretty good contest for considerable.
However, the harsh lesson they will have learned is that you just can’t miss any goal chances against a quality side like St Eunan’s.