St Eunan’s denied Moville their sixth Minor’s title in six years at MacCumhaill’s Park in Ballybofey on Saturday with an emphatic first-half performance.
Report from Charlies Collins at MacCumhaill Park
Photography by Evan Logan
As Moville aimed for their sixth title in a row, St Eunan’s gave them a gutsy production in an epic encounter.
Playing with a strong wind in their favour the Letterkenny girls ran rampant in the first 13 minutes – scoring five goals and two points.
Claire Doherty and Ciara O’Donnell did the early damage, recording a quick goal and point to open up a four-point advantage.
The real harm was done from the six-minute mark, St Eunan’s devastating in their attacking advances, Niamh Walsh, Maeve McEniff (x2) and Laura Crossan emphatically scoring four more goals, putting the game increasingly beyond the holders early.
Niamh Walsh made good another effort from range to open up a 17 point lead – but Moville eventually kicked into gear halfway through the first half.
Someone somehow had to take leadership for Moville and Niamh McDonald grabbed the scruff by the neck, hitting the net twice in two consecutive minutes – narrowing the deficit to 11 points.
However, it was all in vain as the Letterkenny outfit regained their seven-point lead. Louise Ryan making the job an uphill battle for Moville when she added a goal for her troubles.
Just before half-time, St Eunan’s Niamh Walsh and Claire Doherty tallied four points between them – making it 6-6 to 2-0 at the break.
In the second half, Moville fought hard and put in an excellent first twenty minutes in the second half to get themselves back into the fixture – a game that should have been dead and buried from a St Eunan’s point of view.
Starting through Eimear McLaughlin and Niamh McDonald, Moville bagged two early points from open play, while Kate McClenaghan added another three points with a goal after 38 minutes for Inishowen side.
A minute later, St Eunan’s perked up when it mattered, Clare Doherty replying with another goal following some excellent play from Maeve McEniff.
Despite suffering a further setback, Moville took real charge from there and with brilliant football being played across McCool Park, the North Donegal side scored their fifth goal of the fixture – Brona McGuinness getting on the scoresheet.
An additional two points were added for Moville through McDonald and Shauna Leech just before the 50-minute mark.
The holders really began to turn the screw when they made it a four-point game in the dying minutes – Moville adding two further goals following two quick-fire points from St Eunan’s making it a 7-8 to 7-4 game.
However, Niamh Walsh popped up with a brilliant point in the last minute, to extended St Eunan’s lead by five and ensured the Minor A cup was heading back to Letterkenny.
It was an excellent performance from St Eunan’s overall and credit must go to Moville for their brave second-half performance, scoring 19 points and it could have been much more if not for the excellent Shannon Doherty in goals for St Eunan’s.
Moville: Fiona McLaughlin, Breena Diver, Clodagh Skelly, Ciara Harkin, Erin Coyle, Aodh Faulkner, Katherine McLaughlin, Tara Hegarty, Niamh Skelly, Eimear McLaughlin (0-1), Shauna Leech (0-1), Niamh McDonald (2-2), Emer Gillen, Kate McClenaghan (4-0), Brona McGuinness (1-0) Subs: Louren Lyndsey, Collen McGlery
St Eunan’s: Shannon Doherty, Sinead McIntyre, Kitty McGovern, Grace Karkin, Arife McCarron, Ciara O’Donnell (0-2), Shauna Higgins, Anna Flanagan, Catherine Kelly, Niamh Harkin, Laoise Ryan (1-0), Laura Crossan, Meave McEniff (2-0), Claire Doherty (2-2), Niamh Walsh (2-5) Subs: Precious Aduoka, Alisha TobinTags: