John Haran . . . got the St. Eunan's goal
St Eunan’s came from behind to claim the points against a young and game St Michael’s in a closely contested tie in O’Donnell Park.
ST EUNAN’S . . . . . . . . 1-11
ST MICHAEL’S . . . . . . . 1-10
It took three late points from Barry McGeehin, Cillian Morrison and Conor Gibbons to clinch the two league points for St Eunan’s.
The win moves the men in black and amber into second place on their own having started the day in third place behind St Michael’s.
This was a Star game and both teams were without their county men. St Eunan’s lined out without Caolan Ward and Eamon Doherty and St Michael’s were minus Mark Anthony McGinley, Martin McElhinney and Michael Langan.
The men from the Bridge were also without ex county men Colm McFadden and Christy Toye and of the two teams seemed to be hardest hit with absentees.
St Eunan’s led by two points at half-time thanks to a John Haran goal and points from Cillian Morrison (2) and one each from Conor Gibbons and Rory Kavanagh.
But if the did they had it far from their own way against the youthful St Michael’s who took the game to the locals from the off.
Brian McLaughlin kicked the game’s opening score on seven minutes and the impressive duo of Colin McFadden (from play), Lee McColgan (two close-in frees) and Andrew Kelly (from a placed ball) scored for St Michael’s.
Haran scored the St Eunan’s goal on nine minutes following good approach play from Conor Moore and Rory Kavanagh and it was St Eunan’s opening score.
Following the goal, the locals raced into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead by the 13 minute mark.
But two well struck McColgan frees pegged St Eunan’s back and the margin was down to two again, 1-2 to 0-3.
And the margin was still two at half-time after Conor Gibbons and Cillian Morrison scored for St Eunan’s and Colin McFadden and Andrew Kelly responded for St Michael’s.
The game once again seesawed in the early minutes of the second period. Conor Gibbons and Rory Kavanagh pointed for St Eunan’s only to see their efforts wiped out in an instant thanks to two quickfire St Michael’s points.
Conall Dunne, in his first game of the season after a lengthy though injury, made it a three point game once more with a well struck point for a 1-7 to 0-7 lead with 42 minutes on the clock.
But try as the might Dunne and company could not shake off St Michael’s.
McColgan converted two close in frees for a one point game once again at the end of the third quarter.
While Cillian Morrison edged the black and ambers
two up in the early seconds of the final quarter, the fat was in the fire again shortly after when Ciaran the Rock Gallagher got up to punch home a St Michael’s goal.
That was on 49 minutes and St Michael’s were ahead 1-9 to 1-8 and when Hugh O’Donnell followed up with a well struck point the visitors were two up.
With the upset on the cards, St Eunan’s dug deep and McGeehin, Morrison and Gibbons did the business with late points.
The closing minutes were marred with a nasty flare up involving a number of players from both teams.
Rory Carr also suffered an injury in the incident and went off holding his arm, something that will be a concern to the player and county manager Rory Gallagher as the St Eunan’s man is only back following surgery on a shoulder injury.
When order was restored referee Sean Paul Doherty showed St Michael’s Daniel McLaughlin a red card and St Eunan’s Rory Carr a black card.
ST EUNAN’S: Blake Forcan; Dylan Sweeney, Sean Hensey, Conor Parke; Darragh Mulgrew, Conor Morrison, Conor Moore; Conall Dunne (0-1), Rory Carr; Conor Gibbons (0-31f), John Haran (1-0), Barry McGeehin (0-1); Kieran Sharkey, Rory Kavanagh (0-2), Cillian Morrison (0-4). Subs: Lee McMonagle for D Sweeney 47; Darragh McWalters for K Sharkey 53; Daniel Gillespie for R Carr 30, black card.
ST MICHAEL’S: Dean McColgan; Chris McElhinney, Liam Kelly, Michael ‘Rock’ Gallagher; Ruairi Friel, Ciaran ‘Rock’ Gallagher (1-0), Oisin Langan; Michael Cannon, Liam Paul Ferry; Lee McColgan (0-4,3f), Daniel McLaughlin, Andrew Kelly (0-1,f); Hugh O’Donnell (0-1), Brian McLaughlin (0-2), Colin McFadden (0-2).
REFEREE: Sean Paul Doherty (Urris).