ST EUNAN’S RECLAIMED the Northern Regional Board Division 1 Championship with a five-point win over St Michael’s in Buncrana tonight.
St Eunan’s 1-9 St Michael’s 0-7
A first half goal from Oisin Purdy gave the Letterkenny side a 1-3 to 0-4 half-time lead but their opponents from Dunfanaghy came back to level, thanks mainly due to the talents of Colin McFadden and Caolan Toye.
However, St Eunan’s, who went 21 minutes without a score at one stage, finished strongest to win as St Michael’s lost full-back Jamie Hunter, who was yellow, black and consequently red carded for two fouls on Niall O’Donnell, who was named as man of the match.
It means that St Eunan’s will now face the Southern runners-up Aodh Ruadh and St Michael’s have an appointment with Naomh Conaill in the county semi-finals.[adrotate group=”38″]
Under the floodlights in Buncrana, Purdy got in for goal as early as the sixth minute following a pass from Matthew McGovern after Oisin Toal had turned over possession. Purdy’s goal put St Eunan’s 1-0 to 0-1 in front, after McFadden had opened the scoring for St Michael’s.
O’Donnell edged St Eunan’s a further point in front before Matthew Gallagher made a stop from McFadden, whose strong running early on was a facet of the contest. McFadden would score again but Oisin O’Boyle’s two scores – one from a free and another from play – put St Eunan’s 1-3 to 0-2 up.
But another free and one from play, in this case both booming efforts from Toye brought St Michael’s deficit back to two points at the break, 1-3 to 0-4 down.
Toye scored another free at the start of the second half, meaning he had hit three on the bounce and when Ciaran McGinley also found his range from distance it meant the teams were level, 1-3 for St Eunan’s and 0-6 for St Michael’s.
Despite getting back on terms, St Michael’s were blighted in that third quarter by hitting five successive wides. They would finish the contest with 10 to St Eunan’s six.
Purdy got free to put St Eunan’s back in front by the minimum on 48 minutes – it was the first time his team had scored since they 27th minute.
They used that as a launchpad, with six out of the last seven points. O’Donnell would finish with four, Evan McGroary was on target, as was Eóin McGeehin, who got in after a slalom run to slot over. Lee McColgan scored the last point for St Michael’s after Hunter’s sending off.
In injury time, Dylan McCroary almost added a second St Eunan’s goal; he saw Dean McColgan, the St Michael’s goalkeeper, save with his feet.