NIALL O’DONNELL SCORED seven points and Rory Kavanagh a goal as St Eunan’s overcame Dungloe in the Donegal SFC at Rosses Park this evening.
Dungloe 0-4 St Eunan’s 1-11
However, St Eunan’s look as though they will now have to face into an all-or-nothing last day decider without inter-county defender Caolan Ward, who was given a straight red card for his part in a second half melee, which also saw Shaun Sharkey sent off.
The melee wasn’t anything major and both players looked to having played minor roles – if anything.
Referee Robbie O’Donnell was insistent as he sent both men to the line 19 minutes into the second half, whilst also telling St Eunan’s mentor Brendan Kilcoyne to take his place behind the wire for his protestations.
Dungloe then lost David McCarron to a second yellow card and would finish with 13 as night set in.
With the Letterkenny side having gone down 0-10 to 1-6 against Gaoth Dobhair last Sunday and Dungloe hammered 4-16 to 0-6 at Naomh Conaill, tonight’s loser would all be confined to elimination from the SFC and Group B.
The first half was particularly scrappy; after which St Eunan’s held a narrow 0-4 to 0-3 advantage playing ‘up the hill’ at Rosses Park, with Niall O’Donnell kicking all four of their points.
Adam Neely posted two frees and Ryan Greene a point from play in response for the home team – who were content to tuck men behind the ball and were tough to break down in a much improved performance than that of seven days’ beforehand.
Both teams had diffiuclty in front of the posts with Dungloe goalkeeper Danny Rodgers missing four first half frees from his side’s six wides and Maxi Curran’s team being off target on the same number of occasions. Six of one – half-a-dozen of the other.
Ward edged St Eunan’s into a 0-5 to 0-3 advantage just after the restart although Dungloe might’ve goaled when Shaun Patton fumbled a shot that was dropping short from Neely only to recover and save the follow-up from Conor Greene.
Gradually St Eunan’s began to assert their control, with patience proving to be a virtue. Niall and Conor O’Donnell popped over points, as did Eamon Doherty before Kavanagh scored the only goal of the game on 44 minutes having taken a Conall Dunne pass on the run to shoot past Rodgers.
That had St Eunan’s 1-8 to 0-3 up and the points were effectively in the bag. Referee O’Donnell then sent off Ward and Sharkey, with both claiming their innocence and they made their way off. McCarron followed them two minutes later for a second yellow as he tried to halt the marauding Kavanagh in his tracks.
St Eunan’s saw it out with two more Niall O’Donnell scores and Lee McMonagle also registered, while Neely scored Dungloe’s only point of the second half when he fizzed one late over Patton’s crossbar. For Dungloe, it looks like the promotion-relegation play-offs after a wretched year that saw them demoted from Division 1, while St Eunan’s will need something from their trip to Glenties next weekend.
Dungloe: Danny Rodgers; Matthew O’Donnell, Mark Curran, Doalty Boyle; David McCarron, Gerard Walsh, Christy Greene; Noel McBride, Conor Greene; Conor O’Donnell, Ryan Greene (0-1), Luke Neely; Adam Neely (0-3, 2f), Shaun Sharkey, Darren Curran. Subs: Ryan Connors for L Neely (half-time), Owen Scally for Boyle (56).
St Eunan’s: Shaun Patton; Conor Morrison, Eamon Doherty (0-1), Conor Parke; Conor O’Donnell (0-1), Caolan Ward (0-1), Aaron Deeney; Darragh Mulgrew, Rory Kavanagh (1-0); Niall O’Donnell (0-7, 5f), Ross Wherity, Sean McVeigh; Conor Gibbons, Rory Carr, Lee McMonagle (0-1). Subs: Conall Dunne for McVeigh (half-time), Michael Miller for Carr (50), Peter McEniff for McMonagle (55), Conor ‘Duck’ O’Donnell for Kavanagh (59).
Referee: Robbie O’Donnell (Naomh Muire).