St Eunan’s survive in Donegal MacLarnon derby

February 24, 2018

Danske Bank Dr MacLarnon Cup semi-final
St Eunan’s Letterkenny 2-12 Scoileanna Inis Eoghain.2-10
IN OWENBEG on Saturday, two goals just before the break took St Eunan’s Letterkenny far enough clear of Scoileanna Inis Eoghain to seal victory in the Donegal derby in the Danske Bank Dr MacLarnon Cup semi-final.
An interval lead of 2-9 to 1-4 was always going to be difficult to reel in and the closest the north east amalgamation got was a few minutes from full-time when sub Lee McLaughlin pointed. They had a late goal opportunity but under pressure Houghton couldn’t complete his hat-trick.
They could have snatched a win, they would have settled for a draw, but perhaps the team that controlled the first three quarters of the game deservedly won. St Eunan’s brought two excellent saves out of Daniel McCallion, one in each half, and Brendan Doherty also cleared off the line.
Pauric McGettigan, Shane McDevitt and Brian Diver had big games for St Eunan’s, while Brendan Doherty, McCallion, Matthew Mulholland and Conor O’Donnell played well for the losers, although it is a long time since O’Donnell was held scoreless from play.
Inis Eoghain started very well with the opening two points from O’Donnell and Josh Conlon and even went 1-3 to 0-4 ahead in the 12th minute when good approach work from Oisin McGonagle placed Daniel Houghton for a palm to the net.
However they only scored once more during the opening half with St Eunan’s Conor O’Donnell and Shane McDevitt landing a series of points before the first of the two goals in the 28th minute.
Pauric McGettigan cut through the centre of the Inis Eoghain defence and finished to the net and a couple of minutes later Oisin Purdy got on the end of a good team movement to fist home from close range and an eight points’ interval advantage
There was a lot of pressure from St Eunan’s during the third quarter, but in the 43rd minute Houghton capitalised on a poor kick-out, beat two defenders and planted the ball in the Letterkenny net. Game on at 2-9 to 2-5! Sadly no, as St Eunan’s reeled off three of the next four points, two for Shane McDevitt and one from their Conor O’Donnell.
Inis Eoghain closed the gap with the last four points, including three frees, but St Eunan’s had done enough and are through to the final where they will meet the winners of Holy Trinity Cookstown and Knock, a game fixed for Tuesday evening.
St Eunan’s: E O’Boyle, C O’Kane, A Gallagher, J Kelly, B Diver, S McDaid, P McEniff, P McGettigan 1-1, S Doherty 0-1, C Finn 0-1, C O’Donnell 0-3, S O’Donnell, S McDevitt 0-4, 0-3 frees, O Purdy 1-1, PJ McBrearty 0-1.
Subs: R Hifearty for C Finn (36), B Alcorn for O Purdy (56)
Scoileanna Inis Eoghain : D McCallion, B Doherty, C Doherty capt., L Mullins 0-1, M Mulholland, D Doherty, L McLaughlin 0-1, C Bambrick, O McGonagle, L Bradley 0-1, A Craig, O Hession 0-1, C O’Donnell 0-4 frees, D Houghton 2-0, J Conlon 0-2, 0-1 free.
Subs : C Carlin for O McGonaghle (42 black card), S Byrne for A Craig (51), R Hegarty for C Bambrick (56).