Emotional MacRory win for St Eunan’s

February 08, 2020

Danske Bank MacRory Cup Round 2 Eliminator:
St Eunan’s Letterkenny 1-5 Patrician Carrickmacross 0-4
SATURDAY was a challenging day in many ways for the MacRory Cup footballers of St Eunan’s Letterkenny – and the onslaught from Storm Ciara was really a minor distraction on the Burn Road in Termon.
The game was played there as it was the home club of Callum Friel who had shared class-rooms and changing rooms with the Letterkenny lads up until his diagnosis with leukemia some 18 months ago. Callum lost his battle with the disease last weekend and was buried on Monday last.
Two years ago, Callum spearheaded St Eunan’s Danske Bank Treanor Cup success from cen-tre-forward and a year earlier recorded 4-17 during the course of the Danske Bank Loch an Iúir competition. St Eunan’s lost that final to Patrician High Carrickmacross.
On Saturday his team-mates overturned that result after doing the warm-up with each mem-ber of the squad wearing a specially commissioned number 11 jersey, which has been retired for the rest of this term.
The game on Saturday – even the result – was very much a secondary consideration with the Friel family serving half-time refreshments after a tough 30 minutes during which only a point from Sean Jones was recorded in the 26th minute.
St Eunan’s goalkeeper Emmett Maguire had turned Jones’ powerful drive over the crossbar, having earlier saved well from Kyle Connolly and also Jones.
Six minutes into the second half, Shane O’Donnell got St Eunan’s off the mark and Shane Monaghan followed through with a second, although Patrician fought back with sub John Oates from a long-range free edging them ahead with ten minutes to go.
However the key moment came with a 51st minute free from Shane O’Donnell into the Patri-cian area. It dropped loose and Kieran Tobin pounced to stab to the net.
Jack Alcorn then converted a free before O’Donnell landed two, both huge scores from either wing.
There was a late scare – a penalty awarded in added time for a foul on Diarmuid Marron. Donnach Swinburne took responsibility, but his kick was blasted just over the black spot.
Mark Loughran’s long whistle signalled the end of an emotional afternoon for all connected to the Letterkenny school who progress to a quarter-final against St Colman’s Newry on Wednesday
St Eunan’s: E Maguire; C Cassidy, J Grant, K Tobin (1-0); D Doogan, J Gallagher, C McDermott; K Dunleavy, E Dowling; E O’Boyle, O Winston, C McMonagle; S Monaghan (0-1), J Alcorn (0-1f), S O’Donnell (0-3, 2f).
Sub used: D Boyle.
Patrician: J Kirk; C Cumiskey, J McGeown, H Corscadden; R Grimes, S Hanratty, D Byrne; R Kennedy, D Marron; O O’Hanlon, S Jones (0-1), D Swinburne (0-2, 1pen); K Connolly, L McDonald, R Farrelly.
Subs used: J Oates (0-1f), C Sheedy, D Povall, C Finnegan.
Referee: M Loughran (Tyrone).