ST EUNAN’S U16 girls were crowned County A Champions after a hard-fought battle with Milford under the lights at St Mary’s Convoy on Wednesday night.
Milford 2-3 St Eunan’s 2-14
A stunning second half performance by the Letterkenny girls saw them lift the title with more than enough to spare in the end.
Both teams came into the final, having despatched pre-tournament favourites, Eunan’s seeing off Termon by 11 points while Milford defeated reigning champions Naomh Conaill with ease in their semi-final.
The final had all started so well for Milford when Megan Ryan netted in the opening minutes to get Marty Barrett’s girls off to a flying start.
Donegal LGFA chairman Seamus Herron with Anna Flanagan
But the St Eunan’s girls were bolted into action, with Niamh Harkin, Claire Doherty and Niamh Walsh pointing to get them back in the game, Walsh hitting one point from an angle more than 35 metres out.
Doherty hit an equally fine point from the other side after a wonderful 40-metre cross-field pass from Eunan’s captain Anna Flanagan.
As the Eunan’s forwards took control of the game, Milford needed ‘keeper Alannah McFadden to be at her best as she pulled off a series of fine saves – stopping four clear goal chances.
But when one of those shots re-bounded the effervescent Laura Crossan despatched a wonderful shot to the top left-hand corner of the net.
Milford did launch a series of raids into the Eunan’s half, led by midfielder Taylor Doherty, but the black-and-amber backline of Katie McGovern, Katie Hasson and Sinead MacIntyre were resolute and keeper Hannah McMenamin pulled off two fine saves of her own.[adrotate group=”85″]
At the other end, the Milford defence struggled to cope with Eunan’s full-forward Shannon Cunningham who wasn’t to be denied a goal, finally blasting the ball past McFadden to give Eunan’s a 2-04 to 1-02 lead.
The St Eunan’s girls completely dominated the second half, with sub Laoise Ryan adding two more points, the second at the end of a wonderful move involving 17 passes and nine team-mates.
In a hard-fought game in which every ball was contested, the Eunan’s midfield duo of Anna Flanagan and Katherine Kelly were outstanding while half-forward Niamh Harkin was at the heart of so many of their attacks.
Laura Crossan starts another Eunan’s attack
Cunningham, Walsh and Doherty were all back on the scoresheet as Eunan’s hit ten points in the second half.
Half-back line Ciara Bonnar, Laura Kealy and Grace Harkin put in a huge effort, intercepting Milford passes at crucial times.[adrotate group=”83″]
They helped restrict Milford to just two second-half scores, one a glorious goal from Kelly-Ann Buchanan who buried a shot in the bottom corner of the net seven minutes from the end.
Eunan’s brought on Ciara O’Donnell and Caoimhe Kelly to help steady their nerves but the Milford goal was to be a mere consolation for a brave Milford team as Greg Harkin and Eunan Walsh’s Letterkenny girls ran out comfortable 2-14 to 2-03 winners on the night.[adrotate group=”85″] Tags: