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Stylish Saint Eunan's are champions

Under 13 Championship final
22 November 2008
Saint Eunan's 5-05
Aodh Ruadh 3-04
Harry Walsh reports from Tir Chonaill Park.

Saint Eunan's won the under 13 county final in impressive style at Tir Chonaill Park yesterday afternoon.

The young Letterkenny players, under the guidance of team manager Paul Carr, worked tirelessly throughout the hour to secure this well deserved seven point victory over Aodh Ruadh.

While there were a number of fine individual performances from the boys wearing the black and amber colours of Saint Eunan's it took a huge collective effort to bring the silverware back to O'Donnell Park.

That said, it was fitting that Michelle Bennett, Coiste Na nOg, presented the cup to Saint Eunan's captain Conor Tourish who was the best player on the pitch. Strong in the tackle and powerful in the air, Tourish led his team mates by example from his centre half back slot. He even managed to chip in with a goal early in the second half.

He was ably assisted by Oisin Carr and David Tyrell in the half back line while the half forward line of Tomas Grant, Daniel Gillespie and Barry McGeehin ran tirelessly for the cause at the other end of the field.

With each member of the inside forward line, Sean Hume, Conor McEniff and Jack Brennan scoring a goal, it proved to be a good day at the office all round for the Letterkenny team.

Playing with the advantage of the gale force wind at their backs in the first half, Aodh Ruadh went into the break three points to the good (2-2 to 1-2) but one felt that they needed a bigger advantage and so it proved.

Aodh Ruadh full forward Jamie McDonald opened the scoring on four minutes only for Cathal McDaid to reply with a goal and a point for Saint Eunan's.

A foul on Ballyshannon danger man Pauric Patton paved the way for their equalising goal on seven minutes. Try as he might, Jordan McBride was only able to parry David McGurrin's high ball into his own goal.

Sean Hume, cleverly flicking up Tomas Grant's pass, fired over Saint Eunan's second point of the afternoon before McDonald rifled home Ballyshannon's second goal on 15 minutes.

The Saint Eunan's defence saw a lot of the ball for the remainder of the half but with Tourish, Carr and Evan O'Sullivan all dominant under the high ball Aodh Ruadh struggled to press home their territorial advantage.

They did manage to add a second point - through a McGurrin free - in first half injury time.

Johnny Gethins and Barry McGeehin traded points in the opening minutes of the second half before McGurrin stretched the Aodh Ruadh advantage to six points when his free kick deflected into the net off Eunan's corner back Brian Hannigan.

Dale Gorman came on for Conal O'Boyle on 42 minutes and within sixty seconds Tourish smashed home Saint Eunan's second goal off the underside of the crossbar.

Jack Brennan fired home Saint Eunan's third goal on 45 minutes after Conor Gilmartin had fisted the ball into his path under pressure from Sean Hume.

Aodh Ruadh were finding it increasingly difficult to clear the ball out of their own half and Sean Hume edged Saint Eunan's in front on 48 minutes.

Gorman's pass put Hume through for goal number four on 52 minutes before Conor McEniff got onto the end of a fine move involving Oisin Carr and Barry McGeehin for goal number five sixty seconds later.

Matthew Gettins, who worked hard throughout for Aodh Ruadh, got a late point for the Ballyshannon team only for McEniff to complete the scoring with a point for Saint Eunan's.

Paul Carr used the closing minutes to give substitutes Conor O'Donnell, Christopher Flanagan and Darragh McMonagle a taste of the action.

As mentioned earlier, Saint Eunan's had fine performances from number one right through to fifteen, while Patton, Barry Gillespie, James Kelly and Paddy Dixon, before he was carried form the field with a leg injury, were best for Aodh Ruadh.

Overall, the game was a fine advertisement for underage football and all players deserve credit for trying to play football at all times on a difficult, wet and windy afternoon.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Conor Gilmartin; Matthew Maguire, Eamon McGrath, Barry Gillespie; Matthew Gettins, James Kelly, Michael McNeely; Pauric Patton, Johnny Gethins; Paddy Dixon, Niall Harley, Tommy Gillespie; Colm Kelly, Jamie McDonald, David McGurrin.
Substitutes: Colin Keown for C. Kelly (46 mins); Adan Irwin for Harley (57 mins); Dominic Boyle for Dixon (59 mins).
Saint Eunan's
Jordan McBride; Brian Hannigan, Evan O'Sullivan, Conal O'Boyle; Oisin Carr, Conor Tourish, David Tyrell; Cathal McDaid, Conor Morrison; Tomas Grant, Daniel Gillespie, Barry McGeehin; Sean Hume, Conor McEniff, Jack Brennan.
Substitutes: Dale Gorman for O'Boyle (42 mins); Ronan Dorrian for Tyrell (50 mins); Conor O'Donnell for Brennan (59 mins); Christopher Flanagan for Hume (59 mins); Darragh McMonagle for Hannigan (59 mins)
John McGlanaghey (Four Masters)

Report courtesy of Donegal News. Report Filed: 24 November 2008