Gweedore cash in as smash and grab raid sinks Eunan's
Published 16/10/2006 | 00:11
Gweedore 1-5 St Eunan's 0-6 Donegal SFC final GWEEDORE provided a smash and grab raid in Ballybofey yesterday as they came good in the final ten minutes to defeat St Eunan's in one of the worst Donegal county finals ever.
Both sides were guilty of bad wides, but St Eunan's will wonder how they left this title behind them. They hit 13 wides and numerous shots into the goalkeeper's hands - yet still had the game withing their grasp as they led by three points with just ten minutes left.
after the sides had shared four first half points on a perfect day for football, the game eventually sung in the winners' favour when Eamonn McGee, the Gweedore Man of the Match, found Stephen Cassidy. He turned his marker and struck a magnificent goal with his weaker left boot.
That was their first score of the second half, but it proved the vital score.
James Gallagher added three points before the end to seal a 14th county title for Gweedore.
For much of this game the new champions played second fiddle to St Eunan's. However, the 'final hoodoo' that has shadowed the losers in recent years came back to haunt them. The Letterkennymen just couldn't recover from the Cassidy goal.
The statistics of the game facts are not kind to them. Their wide tally, allied to the fact that their three county men - Conall Dunne, Rory Kavanagh and Brendan Devenney didn't get on the scoresheet - speaks for itself.
For the 6,000 attendance there was little to cheer about as even the Gweedore faithful seemed shellshocked by the victory.
It was the ninth time the sides had met on final day and Gweedore now have a fantastic 6-3 record.
Neil McGee kept the threat of Brendan Devenney at bay, while his brother, Eamonn, controlled matters when it really counted at centre-half back.
Gweedore captain, James Gallagher - who is getting married next Saturday - seemed off colour, missing frees, but he came good in the final ten minutes.
Gweedore manager, former Donegal star, Declan Bonner, was happy afterwards. "It was a poor game for the neutral, but that won't matter in Gweedore.
"I felt we needed a goal to win this game and I had said that to Stephen (Cassidy) before the game. It worked out well for us," said Declan.
Gweedore now advance to meet Armagh champions, Crossmaglen, in two week's time at the same venue, but on this showing they will have to improve greatly.
SCORERS - Gweedore: S Cassidy 1-1, J Gallagher 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 45). St Eunan's: D Molloy (0-3f), R Wherity, B Roache, C Ryan 0-1 each.
GWEEDORE - S Sweeney; C McFadden, N McGee, S McGarvey; D McBride, E McGee, J Duffy; K Cassidy, M McCafferty; P McGarvey, C Gallagher, B McGee; T Diver, S Cassidy, J Gallagher. Subs: S Mac Niallais for C Gallagher; S Diver for T Diver; R McCool for P McGarvey; C McCool for Duffy; J Carroll for McGee.
ST EUNAN'S - T Blake; E Brennan, C McIntyre, M McGowan; D McClafferty, S McEwen, P Thornton; J Haran, K Rafferty; R Wherity, B Roache, R Kavanagh; D Molloy, B Devenney, C Dunne. Subs: C Greene for Dunne; C Ryan for McEwen; K Winston for Molloy; M McGeehin for Thornton.
REF - J White (Killybegs).