St. Eunan's College, Letterkenny
St. Eunan’s College’s hopes of winning a first Loch an Iúir title in ten years came to a disappointing end when they narrowly lost Tuesday’s final in Garvaghey.
St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny 1-5
Patrician High School, Carrickmacross 0-12
There were four points in it at the finish of a closely fought contest, and in truth the Monaghan school just about deserved their win.
They nosed in front in the early stages of the second half and from there-on-in, always seemed to have the upperhand.
St. Eunan’s bravely tried to peg back the Carrickmacross lead but despite their best efforts, couldn’t find a second goal which they so badly needed.
It could have been all so different had the Carrickmacross keeper, Darragh Maher, not been equal to Shane Monaghan’s goalbound effort just seconds after the restart.
With the sides level at half time, St. Eunan’s 1-2, Patrician High School 0-5, the Letterkenny boys almost pounced for another goal when Monaghan's well struck effort was saved by Maher.
Jack Roarty knocked over a wonderful long-range point to put St. Eunan’s a point up, but that was the only time they would lead in the second half.
Two frees from Liam McDonald and a point from towering forward Daire Povall helped the Carrickmacross school into a two point lead by the 40th minute mark.
McDonald ended the game with six points, four from frees, and he was one of the stand-out players in a very well organised Carrickmacross team.
They obviously had their homework done on their opponents and from first whistle, the St. Eunan’s dangermen struggled to find space or possession.
The wet conditions and a strong breeze did little to encourage any free-flowing football, but the Patrician side seemed to settle best and were 0-3 to 0-2 up by 24 minutes. But Shane Monaghan, who had been well marshalled until then, latched onto a loose ball in front of goal and fired to the net to put his team two points in front.
At the other end, Killian Gribben produced a super save to deny Gerard Finnegan a certain goal.
McDonald however, kicked two crucial frees just before half time to ensure the sides went in level.
Twice Shane Monaghan went close to raising the green flag again during the second half. Noel O’Donnell, who had a fine game at midfield, kicked a great point and Calum Friel knocked over a free to bring St. Eunan’s to within two points of their opponents with three minutes to play, 0-10 to 1-5.
But despite some late pressure, the Carrickmacross team managed to hold out and kicked two late scores of their own to kill off the St. Eunan’s challenge.
ST. EUNAN’S COLLEGE: Killian Gribben; Sean Collum, Jack Gallagher, Oisin McDaid; Cian McMonagle, Oran Brogan, Conal McDermott; Noel O’Donnell (0-1), Kelan Collier; Shane Monaghan (1-0), Jack Roarty (0-1), Matthew Whoriskey; Callum Friel (0-3, 3f), Emmet O’Boyle, Jack Alcorn.
Subs; Seimi Breslin for O’Boyle (42), Ben Gallagher for Whoriskey (44).
PATRICIAN HIGH SCHOOL: Darragh Maher; Helvijs Daugulis, Darragh Flannagan, Harry Corscedden; Jack McMenamin (0-1), Nathan McCaul, Diarmuid Marren (0-1); Calum Quigley (0-1), Thomas Sheerin; Jack Slavin, Cormac Sheedy, Gareth Burns; Liam McDonald (0-6, 4f), Daire Povall (0-2), Gerard Finnegan (0-1).
Referee: Mickey McCarron (Tyrone).