St Eunan’s 8-17
BY LIAM PORTER
WHEN St Eunan’s scored three points inside the opening two minutes of this U14 County Final yesterday morning in Convoy, the tone was set for an easy victory over an Urris side who battled gamely to the end, but who never looked as if they could mount a serious challenge.
Darragh Ellison and Shane O’Donnell led the charge for the St Eunan’s lads managed by Joe Higgins, both chipping in with points inside those opening minutes after Pauric McGettigan had pointed with only 25 seconds on the clock. Ellison eventually finished with 2-07 and O’Donnell with 3-04 as the Inishowen lads struggled to deal with the powerful runs straight through the heart of their defence.
When they did score Eunan’s piled on the pressure, winning kick out after kick-out and they cruised in at the interval ahead by 17 points and there was never any doubt about where the silverware would be heading. With that cushion behind them, their dominance wasn’t quite as obvious in the second half when Urris managed to chalk up most of their scores, and to be fair to the young Inishowen lads they never gave up, scoring more in the final quarter than they had for the rest of the match.
It was hard to fault St. Eunan’s taking their foot off the pedal by then though, even if they won’t be overly thrilled at the ease with which Urris found the net three times in the last eight minutes of the game. By that stage St Eunan’s had scored seven goals themselves though and they sealed their emphatic win when Shane O’Donnell ran almost forty yards before smashing the ball to the net to clinch his hat-trick.
Ellison had been first of the Eunan’s men to find the net, picking up a loose kick-out and sending a clever chip over Conor Doherty in the 16th minute to leave St Eunan’s 1-5 to 0-1 ahead. Pearse McCarron had score the Urris point in the 6th minute, but it was all his side could muster in the first half as Eunan’s added further goals from Shane O’Donnell and Dylan Doogan.
With points from Ellisson, Worth and O’Donnell added to their earlier scores, a 3-9 to 0-1 lead at the interval left the Urris lads with an absolute Everest to climb in the second half. They did come out strongly though and Pearse McCarron found the net within a minute of the restart, and they followed that up quickly with a well-taken point from the impressive Jack Doherty.
However Doogan (2), Winston and Ellison all pointed within four minutes of those Urris scores to wipe out those four points and once again the Letterkenny lads upped the tempo.
O’Donnell fired to the net after winning a kick out and driving straight through the Urris defence and within seconds he almost repeated that, his shot saved by Conor Doherty and Oran Winston following up to smash home the rebound for St Eunan’s fifth goal of the match.
Doherty replied with another point before Ellison (2) and Doogan stretched the lead further and goals from Ellison and Pauric McGettigan rubbed more salt in the Urris wounds.
Then came a mini revival of sorts. Pearse McCarron’s shot smashed off the underside of the bar and over the line and two minutes later substitute Dean Harkin ran through and finished soccer-style to the bottom corner to bring his team’s tally to 3-3.
Harkin almost scored again a minute later, his clever chip scrambled off the line and then Luke Doherty smashed a shot into the top corner and seconds later smacked another drive off the post. It was all too little too late for Urris though and it was left to the impressive O’Donnell to have the last say with a fantastic goal that sealed an emphatic win for this excellent young St Eunan’s side.
St Eunan’s: Oisin Randles; Peadar Devenney, David Smith, James McLaughlin; Donal Higgins, Conor O’Donnell, Charlie Worth (0-1); Shane O’Donnell (3-4), Pauric McGettigan (1-1), Jonathan Coady, Darragh Ellison (2-7, 1f), Rory McGinty; Dylan Doogan (1-2), Oran Winston (1-2), Ronan Daly. Subs: Oisin Bradley for Worth (29), Andrew Grant for McGinty (48), Ciaran Tobin for Coady (59).
Urris: Conor Doherty; Killian McCarron, David McGonagle, Matthew Brennan; Eoin McLaughlin, Oisin Devlin, Conor Doherty; Gavin McDaid, Michael Doherty; Tiernan McDonald, Luke Doherty (1-0), Jamie McGonagle; Nathan McKinney, Jack Doherty (0-2), Pearse McCarron (2-1). Subs: Dean Harkin (1-0) for McCarron (35), Aaron Jackie for C Doherty (41), Anton McLaughlin and Paul Doherty for E McLaughlin and J McGonagle (59).
Referee: Ciara Foy (St Mary’s Convoy).
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