St. Eunan's players come out of defence during Saturday's evening Senior C final win over Glenfin. Picture: Thomas Gallagher
St. Eunan’s were crowned Senior C champions on Saturday evening with a seven-point win over a dogged Glenfin in Ballybofey.
St. Eunan’s . . . 2-12
Glenfin . . . 1-08
The Pairc Taobhoige men were right in contention at MacCumhaill Park up until the last quarter. But a second Oisin Purdy goal finally shook them from the Letterkenny men’s coat-tails.
Glenfin, pressing hardest early on, hit the front foot in spectacular fashion when Damien Doherty nailed the back of Emmet Lynch’s net, just two minutes in.
Soon after, they jumped four clear thanks to a Kyle O’Meara free, won by the directness and determination of PJ Scanlon at No. 14.
Eunan’s responded and, similar to Glenfin’s initial breakthrough, they would also raise a green flag from their very first attack when Purdy bundled the ball home at the foot of the post after Michael Roche had palmed the ball back in his direction. The sides were level on six minutes thanks to a Brandan Jordan point.
Eunan’s – now much improved – were beginning to dominate. They led for the first time through Paddy Rafferty, as 1-2 played 1-1. Into second quarter, Mathew McGovern clipped over an impressive free from the hands and the gap widened to two.
Daniel Gillespie became the second Letterkenny midfielder to get on the scoresheet as Eunan’s posted their fourth point on the trot.
Glenfin finally ended that impressive period of black and amber dominance when O’Meara struck, again from a placed ball. Up the other side, a super save from Ryan Dorrian denied McGovern a second Eunan’s goal.
Four minutes out from the midpoint a steadier Glenfin, through Aaron McGlynn, cut the difference back to a single point on 1-4 to 1-3. Points were traded through McColgan and McGlynn and one remained the difference.
As time moved into the red at the end of what was an enjoyable and competitive first-half, Eddie Blake struck to secure the Cathedral men a two-point advantage at the turnaround.
Glenfin were out of the blocks quickest following the resumption and Ethan O’Donnell halved the deficit. On 33 minutes, the sides were level once again thanks to a neat Scanlon point.
Eunan’s were up and running in the second stanza when Gillespie lobbed over. Substitute Oisin Clarke sailed over a brilliant effort for St. Eunan's. Glenfin again narrowed the deficit to just one but back bounced Eunan’s as another replacement, Michael Moreton, pounced. Pilling on the pressure, Rafferty made it 1-10 to 1-7 to Eunan’s.
And with the clock reading 49 minutes, St. Eunan’s snatched the decisive score when Purdy nabbed a second goal. Another Gillespie point, his third of the evening, put a huge seven points between the teams.
The big midfielder was at it again three minutes out from the end as the white flags went up from Glenfin. The O’Donnell Park men ran down the clock in the final moments and they deservingly took the title.
St Eunan’s: Emmet Lynch; Ciaran McIntyre, Ronan Lennon, Gavin Maguire; Mark O’Hare, Steven Nairn, Ciaran Sharkey; Pajo Rafferty (0-2), Daniel Gillespie (0-4); Oisin Purdy (2-0), Brandon Jordan (0-1), Mathew McColgan (0-1); Michael Roche, Matthew McGovern (0-1), Eddie Blake (0-1). Subs: Jerome Angel-Atuahene for C.McIntyre (half-time), John McIntyre for McColgan (half-time), Oisin Clarke (0-1) for Roche (43), Michael Moreton (0-1) for McGovern (45), Iarlaith McGinley for O’Hare (52).
Glenfin: Ryan Dorrian; Finan McGlinchey, Paul McCrudden, Shane O’Donnell; Darren Marley, Gareth Martin, Aaron McGlynn (0-2); Christopher Morrow, Bryan Foy; Damien Doherty (1-0), Ronan Carolan, Tony Carlin; Kyle O’Meara (0-3, 2f), PJ Scanlon (0-1), Ethan O’Donnell (0-1).
Subs: Paul Bonner for Carlin (37), Pat Campbell for Morrow (51), Paul McGlynn for Carolan (53), Martin McGlynn for Foy (55).
Referee: Martin McKinley (Naomh Colmcille).