Delight for Eunan O’Donnell as St Eunan’s clinch U16 hurling crown
Eunan O’Donnell praised his St Eunan’s side after they edged past Dungloe to win the Donegal U16 ‘A’ hurling Championship yesterday.
St Eunan’s 2-7 Dungloe 1-7
“Dungloe kept coming back and back at us,” O’Donnell said.
“Preparing a team for that is a very hard thing to do.
“They have been training since January and it has been a long season.”
The opening quarter of this final produced just one score. a pointed free from Shane O’Donnell for Eunans as both sets of defences held the upper-hand.
Paul O’Donnell doubled the lead in the 17th minute also from a free but Daithi McRobaird replied with a Dungloe free immediately to get his team on the scoreboard.
St Eunans next attack produced the game’s first goal when Russell Forde pounced on a long ball from midfield and hammered the ball to the net.
Dungloe hit back with a free from McRobaird and then a goal from Dara McSuibhne from close range to leave them level at 1-2 apiece in the 24th minute.
Eoin Dowling edged Eunans ahead again two minutes later with the game’s first point from play and that’s was the final score of the half to leave the Letterkenny lads 1-03 to 1-02 ahead at the break
Daithi McRobaird pointed a free to bring them level again in the first minute of the second-half but six minutes later Eunans struck a telling blow when Shane O’Donnell’s free dropped shot and Russell Forde again pounced to flick the ball to the net from close range to make it 2-3 to 1-3.
O’Donnell took control of the game, scoring two excellent points from play and in between setting up Gavin Forde for a fine score and suddenly it was a double score lead 2-06 to 1-03 in Eunans favour in the 45th minute.
Paul O’Donnell pointed a free to make it a seven point game but McRobaird with a free and Dara McSuibhne with Dungloe’s first point from play brought it back to five points six minutes to go.
McRobaird pointed two more frees to leave a goal in it but Dungloe couldn’t get that vital goal as St.Eunans goalkeeper Cian Harkin who had an outstanding game stood firm to see his team home to take the title on a final score of 2-07 to 1-07 against a Gallant Dungloe team.
St Eunan’s: Cian Harkin, Matthew Noonan, Keenan Barrett, James O’Donnell, Jack Gallagher, Andrew O’Conner, Rory Doherty, Oisín Randles, Shane O’Donnell (0-3), Paul O’Donnell (0-2f). Eoin Dowling (0-1), Gavin Forde (0-1), Peter Kelly, Dylan Doogan, Russell Forde (2-0). Subs: Thomas Crossan for R.Forde, Mark Cannon for Doogan
Dungloe: Philip Rodgers, Oran Duffy, Martin Mannion, Joe Greene, Aidan Breannach, Odhran McGonagle, Dillon Boyle, Brendan Boyle, John Boyle, Eoin Burca, Lochlainn O’Dea, Sean O’Donnell, Dara McSuibhne (1-1) James Hartnett, Daithi McRobaird (0-6f). Subs: Michael Greene for O’Donnell (half-time).