Lee McMonagle rounds Stephen McGrath to score St Eunan's second goal
Six goals, five red cards, a number of dust-ups were the main talking points from the meeting of St Eunan’s and Naomh Conaill in the Division One league clash in O’Donnell Park.
St Eunan’s . . . . . . 3-14
Naomh Conaill . . . . . 3-8
Ross Wherity hit one goal and Lee McMonagle two for St Eunan’s in a game that was marred by a number of isolated second half scuffles involving up to a half a dozen players from the two teams.
Ciaran McCloskey and Ross Wherity, St Eunan’s, and Ultan Doherty, Marty Boyle and Kevin McGettigan were the men sent for early showers by referee, Jimmy White.
The scuffles were isolated incidents in an otherwise sporting and fast flowing game.
St Eunan’s dictated the pace and dominated the first half and deservedly led by seven points, 2-6 to 0-5 at half-time.
Wherity and Lee McMonagle hit the goals with Aaron Deeney, Niall Hannigan, Sean Hensey, Conor O’Donnell, Conor Parke and McMonagle posting the points.
The locals had six different scorers in the opening half hour.
Naomh Conaill relied on John O’Malley to keep the scoreboard ticking over. O’Malley kicked Naomh Conaill’s first four points, two of them from frees, while Seamus Corcoran posted their other point.
St Eunan’s also enjoyed most of the play in the second half and extended their lead out to ten points early in the half thanks to points from Conor Gibbons, Niall Hannigan and Peter McEniff to one in response from Kieran Gallagher.
Ciaran McCloskey and Ultan Doherty picked up the first of the red cards on 38 minutes as the two teams were reduced to 14.
And veteran Marty Boyle saw red for a second flare up shortly after while St Eunan’s Conor Morrison picked up a yellow card for his involement in the same outbreak.
St Eunan’s led 2-10 to 0-6 at the time. But a Logan Quinn point followed by the first of the Naomh Conaill's goals from the boot of an O’Malley free set it up for a late Naomh Conaill rally.
And two more goals from substitute Jamie McHugh and Kieran Gallagher made for frantic closing exchanges. Gallagher’s palmed goal from a Kevin McGettigan cross on 57 minutes reduced the gap to one point.
But St Eunan’s regrouped and the experienced Conor Gibbons stood up and kicked two crucial points and Niall Hannigan also added one as the locals held on for two precious league points.
The win moves Maxi Curran’s men to second place on their own at the top of the Division One table. They are one point behind leaders Gaoth Dobhair and one ahead of Naomh Conaill.
Ross Wherity and Kevin McGettigan received their marching orders on the hour mark
ST. EUNAN'S: Eoin O’Boyle; Anthony Gallagher, Ciaran McCloskey, Conor Parke (0-1); Oisin Toal, Conor Morrison, Aaron Deeney (0-1); Ross Wherity (1-0), Sean Hensey (0-1); Conor O’Donnell (0-1), Conor Gibbons (0-3, 2f), Sean McVeigh (0-1); Rory Carr, Niall Hannigan (0-4), Michael Miller. Subs: Lee McMonagle (2-1) for R Carr 16, Peter McEniff (0-1) form M Miller 25, Brian McIntyre for A Deeney 30, Conor 'Duck' O'Donnell for O Toal 51.
NAOMH CONAILL: Stephen McGrath; Kevin McGettigan, Jason Campbell, Logan Quinn (0-1); Ultan Doherty, AJ Gallagher, Eoin Waide; Charles McGuinness, Ethan O’Donnell; Eunan Doherty, Kieran Gallagher (1-1), Marty Boyle; John O’Malley (1-5, 1-2f), Seamus Corcoran (0-1), Seamus Ellis. Subs: Jeaic MacCeallabhui for McGuinness halftime, Jamie McHugh (1-0) for E O'Donnell, Oran Doherty for S Ellis 56
REFEREE: Jimmy White (Killybegs)