Eunan’s edge unsavoury affair
St. Eunan’s: 2-08
BY AIDAN O’DONNELL IN CONVOY
A Ross Wherity goal two minutes into stoppage time dashed Kilcar’s championship hopes as St. Eunan’s progressed from a tempestuous first round replay in Convoy on Thursday night.
Kilcar responded to going in at the break three points behind (0-6 to 0-3) by scoring two goals in quick succession at the beginning of the second half to turn the game on its head.
Glenn McBrearty and Patrick McBrearty both found the back of the net for James McHugh’s side before the game descended into anarchy during a frenetic five-minute spell.
Countless off-the-ball incidents occurred that left referee Jimmy White needing eyes on the back of his head to keep everyone in check.
The Killybegs official appeared to be in constant consultation with his linesmen as they tried to police what quickly evolved into an ugly brawl.
The chaos culminated in a scuffle between Rory Kavanagh and Ryan McHugh which ended with the St. Eunan’s player and Kilcar midfielder Conor McShane receiving second yellow cards.
But Kavanagh’s reluctance to the leave the field of play appeared to prompt White to flash a straight red card which could rule the county star out of the rest of the championship, given the condensed nature of this year’s competition.
The dramatic pyrotechnic scenes in the second period were in stark contrast to what occurred in the first thirty minutes.
Both sides combined to hit eight wides in the opening quarter of an hour in which Conor McShane’s fifth minute point was the only successful effort between the uprights and even then that was as scrappy as they come.
But the game came to life ten minutes before the break as Conor Gibbons found his range to land three points from the dead ball, as well as another from play, while Mark McGowan took responsibility with punts from distance and the half-back didn’t disappoint with two majestic efforts.
At the other end, Eoghan McHugh angled a glorious effort over the black spot for a rare point from play, while a free from Patrick McBrearty meant the men from Towney headed for the interval trailing by three.
They were back on level terms three minutes after the restart as half-time replacement Glenn McBrearty reacted quickest to Barry Doherty’s rebounded effort off the inside of the post before firing home from close range.
Less than five minutes later they charged into the lead when Eddie Brennan was adjudged to have fouled Doherty inside the area and Paddy McBrearty coolly sent JP Clarke the wrong way as Kilcar hit the front foot.
Kavanagh and McShane were then given their marching orders at the end of an unsavoury spell that had it all – headlocks, uppercuts and general cheap shots.
Before that, Gibbons sent over another free and when the dust settled, David McGinley found the back of the net for the Cathedral Town side with one of his first touches since coming on as a substitute for Lee McMonagle.
A long ball forward caught the Kilcar defence on the hop and after the ball slipped through Stephen Shovlin’s hands, McGinley put his side back into the lead with a ruthless finish beyond Eamon McGinley.
Gibbons took his tally to six points as Eunan’s stretched their lead out to two but an effort from Ryan McHugh preceded a well-measured ‘45’ from McBrearty – who also passed up two other score-able chances from the placed ball – as the clock ticked past the 60-minute mark.
Extra-time was on the cards until Wherity broke free to fire past the Kilcar netminder two minutes into injury-time as Eunan’s set up a last-eight clash with Killybegs on Sunday.
St. Eunan’s: JP Clarke; Eddie Brennan, Mick Martin, Conor Parke; Peter Devine, Eamon Doherty, Mark McGowan (0-2, 2f); Rory Kavanagh, John Haran; Lee McMonagle, Kevin Rafferty Conal Dunne; Sean McVeigh, Ross Wherity (1-0), Conor Gibbons (0-6, 5f). Subs: Dara Mulgrew (Parke, 42 mins), David McGinley (1-0 for McMonagle, 42 mins). Ciaran Greene (Brennan, 54 mins).
Kilcar: Eamon McGinley; Pauric Carr, Stephen Shovlin, Patrick Gallagher; Eoghan McHugh (0-1), Mark McHugh, Ryan McHugh (0-1); Conor McShane (0-1), Michael Hegarty; David McShane, Ciaran McGinley, Mark Sweeney; Ashley Carr, Barry Doherty, Patrick McBrearty (1-2, 1p, 1f, 1 ‘45’). Subs: Noel Hegarty (P. Carr 31 mins), Glenn McBrearty (1-0 for A. Carr, 31 mins), Pauric Sweeney (M. Sweeney, 55 mins).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).