FOURTEEN-MAN ST EUNAN’S will renew acquaintances with Kilcar at Under-21 level following this afternoon’s semi-final victory over Aodh Ruadh.
St Eunan’s 1-11 Aodh Ruadh 1-6
The Letterkenny side, who lost Jordan O’Dowd to a red card having picked up a yellow and black in the first half, had Michael Miller to thank with five points from play and a Barry McGeehin goal settled any late nerves.
The fixture was a bit of a saga after a spate of postponements but both parties were glad to get the game finally played.
It means that St Eunan’s will now put their Under-21 title on the line against Kilcar – who they overcame in last year’s showpiece on a 3-12 to 1-15 scoreline – this Wednesday night with Pearse Park in Ardara mooted as a possible venue.
Today at Tirconaill Park in Donegal town, Noel Keaveney’s St Eunan’s who went in at half-time 0-8 to 0-4 in front. Having played with the wind and lost O’Dowd, it perhaps wasn’t the most comfortable of leads.
Miller scored three first half points, as Niall O’Donnell was on target twice. One of Miller’s scores was almost a goal as it struck the crossbar on the way over on 24 minutes. Then, a minute later, Rory Carr also rammed the Aodh Ruadh crossbar when he got in on Daniel Kelly’s goal.
But Aodh Ruadh had their chances as well. David McGurrin, who scored twice, also drew a fine save from Matthew Gallagher in the St Eunan’s goal.
Right on the stroke of half-time, substitute Oisin Roper – who O’Dowd was blacked-carded for hauling down moments beforehand – had a pop at goal and was unfortunate to see his effort hit the side-netting right by the post.
The Ballyshannon team had the breeze in the second half but if there was a spell in the game which was decisive, it was St Eunan’s ability to keep Aodh Ruadh at bay.
It took until the 48th minute for Aodh Ruadh to register again, with St Eunan’s 0-11 to 0-4 up at that point.
Niall O’Donnell had struck the outside of the Aodh Ruadh post when going for goal and goalkeeper Kelly had to have his wits about him to stop a dropping effort from substitute Darragh Mulgrew, with the woodwork – for the fourth time – coming to the rescue for the Fr Tierney Park outfit.
David McGurrin’s penalty for Aodh Ruadh against St Eunan’s this afternoon
But Aodh stuck in gamely and when McGurrin scored a penalty – after the corner-forward had been bumped by Odhrán McGinley – 12 minutes from time, there was life in their challenge.
McGurrin added two more frees and the deficit was down to two, 0-11 to 1-6.
The Aodh Ruadh side who faced St Eunan’s in the Under-21 championship semi-final this afternoon at Tirconaill Park in Donegal town. Photo courtesy of Brian Drummond, aodhruadh.org
However, with three minutes to go, St Eunan’s substitute Sean Hume, who wasn’t deemed fit enough to start having scored 1-10 against Termon in the semi-final, saw a free drop short and McGeehin swiveled to stab home a goal.
Eamonn McGrath, the Aodh Ruadh centre-back, was sent off in the closing stages for picking up a second yellow card for an altercation with Miller, who picked up a black card for his troubles.
St Eunan’s: Matthew Gallagher; Connall O’Boyle, Darragh McWalters, Conor Parke; Barry McGeehin (1-1), Conor O’Donnell, Daire McMonagle; Oisin Carr, Conor Morrison (0-1); Odhrán McGinley (0-2), Michael Miller (0-5), Jordan O’Dowd; Niall O’Donnell (0-2, 1f), Rory Carr, David Tyrell. Subs: Darragh Mulgrew for Tyrell (39), Sean Hume for Morrison (55), Brian MacIntyre for Miller (59), Kevin Meehan for McMonagle (60).
Aodh Ruadh: Daniel Kelly; Calum O’Halloran, Eugene Dummond, Eddie Lynch; Pauric Patton, Eamonn McGrath, Nathan Boyle (0-1, ’45’); Oisin Rooney, Niall Harley; Johnny Gethins, Philip Patton, Jamie McDonald; Shane McGrath (0-1), Ryan McGrenaghan, David McGurrin (1-4, 1-0 pen 3f). Subs: Oisin Roper for McDonald (29), Ryan McKenna for O’Halloran (39), Colm Kelly for McGrath (49).
Referee: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs)Tags: