ONCE AGAIN, St Eunan’s and Naomh Conaill will contest the Donegal SFC final after their wins over St Michael’s and Kilcar and the weekend.
This will be their fourth final meeting in 11 years after impressive displays in the semi-finals.
- John Paul Clarke (St Eunan’s)
CLARKE’S clean sheet ensured that St Eunan’s never had to chase their tails against St Michael’s on Saturday night.
Clarke’s save from Christy Toye after only eight minutes was one of the game’s real highlights. Colm McFadden and Martin McElhinney combined to set Toye on his way, but the Donegal player’s advances were thwarted by a brilliant block from Clarke, who was celebrating his 36th birthday on Saturday.
- Kevin McGettigan (Naomh Conaill)
AT a time when Sunday’s semi-final was still very much in the melting pot, McGettigan somehow made a goal-line intervention to keep the ball out of the Naomh Conaill goal after Ryan McHugh flicked over the head of goalkeeper Stephen McGrath.
McGettigan also got up to kick a second half point.
- Sean Hensey (St Eunan’s)
HENSEY restricted Brian McLaughlin’s influence on proceedings on Saturday night, with the veteran St Michael’s man replaced after 28 minutes. Turning Hensey into a full-back of note has been one of Maxi Curran’s big success stories and this was another solid outing.
- Caolan Ward (St Eunan’s)
HAS just returned from America and has made a huge contribution to the St Eunan’s side since being restored. Defended well against St Michael’s and added significantly to the Eunan’s offence with his strong ball carrying. Sometimes his no-nonsese defending can be over-shadowed by his forays forward.
- Eamonn Doherty (St Eunan’s)
CURBED the threat of Colm McFadden, who was again positioned in a deep-lying role for St Michael’s. Doherty has been a tower of strength for St Eunan’s and his game has improved considerably with his involvement in the county panel. Is heading for his sixth county final – and has won five-out-of-five.
- Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
THE quiet man gave a trademark display for Naomh Conaill on Sunday. Has an uncanny ability to ghost into position at will and goes about his business without frills or fuss.
- Conor Parke (St Eunan’s, pictured above)
SCORED the goal that put to bed any lingering notions that St Michael’s had of a comeback. His exquisite lob over the advancing Mark Anthony McGinley was a touch of class in a situation where many may have panicked – but not Parke.
- Hugh McFadden (Killybegs)
SEVEN points from McFadden kept Killybegs on Sean MacCumhaills’s coat tails for the duration of their relegation play-off in Donegal town. Kicked some breathtaking scores and inspired his side throughout. Certainly didn’t deserve to be on the losing side on Saturday.
- Kevin Rafferty (St Eunan’s)
RAFFERTY’S consistency in rising to the big occasion has been instrumental in driving St Eunan’s into their fifth final in eight years. Again on Saturday, he was central to all that was good about the black and amber’s win over St Michael’s and is playing as well as ever. Scored two vital first-half points and was the engineer for several St Eunan’s scores.
- Martin O’Reilly (Sean MacCumhaills)
O’REILLY has had a superb year and Sean MacCumhaills have him to thank for a scintillating display that saw his side preserve their senior status with Saturday’s win over Killybegs. O’Reilly netted a crucial penalty in the first half and scored 1-6 in all.
- Dermot Molloy (Naomh Conaill)
MOLLOY flicked home Naomh Conaill’s opening goal in their rout against Kilcar on Sunday when he got on the end of Daragh Gallagher’s raking free to steer past Kevin Campbell. Molloy scored 1-5, 1-4 of that coming in the first half. Having opted out of the Donegal panel earlier this year, Molloy seems to have recaptured his love for the game again.
- Rory Kavanagh (St Eunan’s)
THE former Donegal player sets the tone for St Eunan’s. Along with Kevin Rafferty, it is Kavanagh who calls the tune played by the black and amber. Martin McElhinney and Christy Toye were their direct competitors, but with Kavanagh dictating operations, St Eunan’s had the better of it. It is no coincidence that there has been a marked improvement in St Eunan’s since the return of Kavanagh.
- Eoghan McGettigan (Naomh Conaill)
BEFORE Sunday, Eoghan McGettigan’s name had never been written on a Naomh Conaill senior team sheet. His debut was certainly one to remember.
He showed all the coolness of a seasoned campaigner to score a goal late in the half and he provided the assists for the second half goals by Leo McLoone and Leon Thompson. Naomh Conaill’s one for the future became one for the present with an assured performance.
- Rory Carr (St Eunan’s)
CARR scored six points in St Eunan’s impressive win over St Michael’s, but that statistic only tells part of the tale. Carr’s kicking was peerless on Saturday night.
After St Michael’s began the second half with a scoring spurt, Carr nailed two magnificent frees from the ’45, one of which he assumed responsibility for when it seemed perfectly placed for Kevin Rafferty.
It was a performance of confidence and balls from the 18-year-old.
- Lee McMonagle (St Eunan’s)
HAS added a scoring dimension that was missing from St Eunan’s in his absence. McMonagle’s return has been seamless and he scored 1-2 against St Michael’s. Took particular delight in riffling the goal past Mark Anthony McGinley, with whom he had a strong battle of verbals over the hour.Tags: