BY CHRIS MCNULTY IN CLONES
EOGHAN Bán Gallagher followed in the family ways yesterday with a Man of the Match display as the Donegal minors scooped a first Ulster MFC title since 2006.
Back in 1985, his father, John Bán, played on the Donegal minor team that won an Ulster title. Two years later, he played with the Under-21s as they won Ulster and All-Ireland medals before coming on as a sub in 1990 in the senior final, as Donegal collected the Anglo-Celt.
Eoghan was the pick of the bunch yesterday as Declan Bonner’s team scored a deserved win over Armagh. While the goals by John Campbell and Jamie Brennan were key, the performance of Gallagher was the standout display.
“I can’t believe it. I’m just lost for words here,” he said, as he gazed starry eyed around the stage upon which he’d shone.
“The crowd was a big help when Armagh came back at us in the second half. We let our own intensity drop during the spell, but the supporters drove us over the line there when we needed them. They were massive for us.”
Gallagher stepped in with a timely intervention to make an interception on the goal-line in the second half at a time when Armagh had a purple patch.
The Killybegs man said: “The clean sheet is always important. In games like this, if you’re not conceding goals it’s a massive help.
“We got the early scores and we started off very well.”
Donegal advance as Ulster champions to an All-Ireland quarter-final meeting with Roscommon, who were beaten by Mayo in last week’s Connacht final.
Gallagher said: “We’ll take it now one game at a time. That’s what we always do and that won’t change now at all. We’ll go with confidence to the games, but the next one now is all that matters.”
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.