ALL COUNTY FOOTBALL LEAGUE, DIVISION ONE
ST EUNAN’S 1-15
YESTERDAY afternoon in Towney I found myself checking the calendar. I had no problem with the date – I knew it was the first Sunday in June – it was the year that was getting me.
No sweepers, no thirteen men behind the ball, little or no negativity coming from the respective benches. It was a throw-back to the good old days – dare I say it a ‘proper’ game of football.
The spectators witnessed forty scores – some of them excellent – on what was a beautiful sunny afternoon.
Granted it was a ‘Star Game’ and the three McHughs and two McBreartys watched on from the sideline for Kilcar while St Eunan’s were also well short on numbers.
As a result, the game lacked some of the intensity that was on show when these two met in the drawn Championship game in O’Donnell Park last month.
That said, it was a game full of honest endeavour as well as plenty of skill and was a timely reminder of what football used to be like.
Okay, tactics have moved the game on to such a level nowadays that we’ll never get back to the type of football that we remember, and love, from yesteryear but for those of us lucky enough to be in Towney we we briefly transported back to a time when the game was all about beating the man in front of you, with more skill than brawn.
Sadly though, the fact that Kilcar won by ten points doesn’t really matter – to either team!
Kilcar and St Eunan’s, together with Naomh Conaill, St Michaels and Gaoth Dobhair are on a different level to the rest of the club teams in Donegal at present.
Winning the league comes to a poor second to winning Dr Maguire and, as a result, we’re getting used to watching some pretty ordinary stuff these days – which what made yesterday’s game so much more enjoyable.
In powerful midfielder Ciaran McGinley Kilcar had the best player on show and one with the talent to pull on the county senior jersey – which is worn with such pride by so many of his club colleagues these days. He scored 2-04, all from play, and both of his goals were of the highest order.
His midfield partner Aodhan McGinley chipped in with eight points – four from play – while the McClean brothers, Matthew and Andrew, were two other bright lights throughout.
When David McGinley names his St Eunan’s team for their next Championship game I don’t expect too many names from yesterday to be in the fifteen but in young Michael Millar and Sean Halvey they had two players who battled hard throughout and never, ever gave up the fight.
Kilcar led by four at half time 1-10 to 0-09 with McGinley’s goal coming coming at the end of the first quarter.
At that point the sides were tied on five points apiece with two long range Lee McMonagle frees giving the visitors the early advantage.
A third McMonagle free and a Brendan Maguire score kept ‘Eunan’s within a few points but in Ciaran and Aodhan McGinley Kilcar had two players who were clinical in front of the posts.
Although they led by four at the sort whistle it could well have been seven only for Sean Halvey’s brilliant full-length dive to divert Conor Doherty’s goal bound shot wide of its intended target in injury time.
Darragh Mulgrew and Conor Gibbons (free) scored two early second half points for the Letterkenny men before Aodhan McGinley (3) and Ciaran McGinley responded with four unanswered scores.
Mark Sweeney hit an upright when, really, he should have done better before Ciaran McGinley burst clear from half-way and hammered a right foot shot high in to the net for Kilcar’s second goal on 41 minutes.
Michael Millar did pull a goal back for ‘Eunan’s – his long range free slipping beyond the grip of Kevin Campbell in the Kilcar goal – but the home side continued to hold sway.
Six Kilcar scores followed in a lethal ten minute burst and although ‘Eunan’s had the last three scores it was a case of too little too late.
KILCAR: Kevin Campbell; Pauric Carr, Conor McShane, Dermot McGinley; Cormac Cannon, Stephen Shovlin, Barry Shovlin; Aoghan McGinley (0-08, 4 frees), Ciaran McGinley (2-04); Conor Doherty (0-02), Mark Sweeney (0-01), Matthew McClean (0-04, 1 free); Andrew McClean, Darragh O’Donnell (0-01), Declan Gallagher (0-02). Subs: James Cunningham for O’Donnell (35 mins) and Pauric McShane for Cannon (56 mins).
ST EUNAN’S: Aidan Simmons; Sean Halvey, Colm McIntyre, Mark Forde (0-01); Peter Devine, Oisin Toal, Conor Parke (0-01); Darragh Mulgrew (0-02), Darragh Toal; Conor Gibbon (0-03, 2 frees), Aidan Friel, Michael Millar (1-02); Brendan Maguire (0-01), Donnacha Gallagher (0-02), Lee McMonagle (0-03, frees). Subs: Conor Harley, Cormac Gallagher and Brian McIntyre for Simmons, Friel and C McIntyre (47 mins)
REFEREE: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs).
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