NAOMH CONAILL produced their most comprehensive performance of the year to dismantle St Eunan’s at O’Donnell Park this evening.
St Eunan’s 0-8 Naomh Conaill 2-12
A goal and five points from play from Leon Thompson was the stat that will jump out more than most but it was the type of performance that was so thorough, it was hard not to credit the collective.
Few would’ve predicted the actual margin of victory.
Another statistic that jumped out was that St Eunan’s didn’t kick a single wide all day, while, on the other hand Naomh Conaill had 10.
Martin Regan’s team were just shaking off the cobwebs from a pretty abject 1-8 to 0-8 loss at Dungloe in the All-County Football League Division 1 last Saturday.
But at O’Donnell Park, in atrocious conditions to begin with as rain battered off the roof of the stand, Naomh Conaill set about their business. When the need arose they would sit in with 13 but that policy was only occasionally utilised as they were gobbling up all the loose ball in the midfield and looking dangerous up front.
St Eunan’s defensively were uncertain early on and it was only going to get worse for Maxi Curran’s team. It was innocuous enough to begin with, as Naomh Conaill were 0-2 to 0-1 up with Brendan McDyer’s point following up a Daragh Gallagher free, either side of a Conall Dunne free for St Eunan’s.
Thompson, though, looked explosive constantly and on 14 minutes he rifled a cross-shot past John Paul Clarke in the home goal following a pass left from McDyer for the opening goal.
Darragh Mulgrew replied with with fine St Eunan’s score but then Gallagher added a stunning point four minutes later, the visiting support certainly had reason to be vocal, before Thompson landed the last score of the half to have Naomh Conaill 1-5 to 0-2 in front.
St Eunan’s needed to find their gears early in the second half and Curran made three changes at the interval, with David Tyrell replacing Clarke in goal and John Haran and Mark McGowan also coming in.
Three minutes into the second half though, Dermot Molloy wound up for one of his trademarked left-footed scores but the ball rebounded down off the upright and McDyer was the quickest to react to drive past Tyrell.
When Seamus Corcoran and Cathal Ellis added points, Naomh Conaill were in dreamland, 2-7 to 0-2 up with St Eunan’s still stunned.
Thompson added two more points and as with a couple of the preceding opportunities, Naomh Conaill had options to work goal chances instead of taking their points.
But their lead was so comfortable they were content enough to chip away. St Eunan’s did have a spell when they kicked three successive points – through Dunne, Rory Carr and Sean Hensey – and Lee McMonagle had scored a precise effort beforehand.
That, however, mattered little as despite two late scores from Conor Parke, Naomh Conaill won with ease, with Molloy and two Thompson scores wrapping up their excellent evening at the office.
St Eunan’s: John Paul Clarke; Conor Morrison, Sean Hensey (0-1), Conor Parke (0-2); Kieran Sharkey, Eamonn Doherty, Conal McGinley; Darragh Mulgrew (0-1), Kevin Rafferty; Michael Miller, Conall Dunne (0-2, 1f), Sean McVeigh; Rory Carr (0-1), Lee McMonagle (0-1), Conor Gibbons. Subs: David Tyrell, Mark McGowan and John Haran for Clarke, Sharkey and McVeigh (half-time), Patrick McGowan for McGinley (43).
Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Kevin McGettigan, AJ Gallagher, Aaron Thompson; Marty Boyle, Anthony Thompson, Cathal Ellis (0-1); Ciaran Thompson, Johnny McLoone; Daragh Gallagher (0-2, 1f), Leo McLoone, Dermot Molloy (0-1); Brendan McDyer (1-2), John O’Malley, Leon Thompson (1-5). Subs: Ethan O’Donnell and Seamus Corcoran for J McLoone and O’Malley (53), Stephen Molloy for Boyle (58)
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).Tags: