Saturday 26 May 2018

O'Donnell strikes decisive blow as Carndonagh boys reclaim O'Neill Cup

FAIS Senior Cup final: Carndonagh CS 2 Col Chiaráin Athlone 0

Carndonagh CS players celebrate after beating Coláiste Chiaráin Athlone in the FAIS Dr Tony O’Neill Cup final in Whitehall. Photo: Sportsfile
Carndonagh CS players celebrate after beating Coláiste Chiaráin Athlone in the FAIS Dr Tony O’Neill Cup final in Whitehall. Photo: Sportsfile

A goal in each half proved enough for a dominant Carndonagh Community School to recapture the Dr Tony O'Neill Cup in Whitehall.

The Donegal school boasted two schools' international stars who helped claim the Centenary Shield title a fortnight ago for the Republic of Ireland, with captain Daniel Houghton lining out between the posts alongside right-back Kieran Farren.

Carndonagh Community School's Corey McBride takes a corner. Photo: Sportsfile
Carndonagh Community School's Corey McBride takes a corner. Photo: Sportsfile

Martin Cavanagh's crew were the winners of this trophy two years ago and they were always on top throughout this game although the gritty Athlone outfit, who were making their first ever appearance in a cup final at this level, were liable to get back on terms until they went two goals behind with 20 minutes remaining.

Corey McBride had Carndonagh ahead on the stroke of half-time and when Conor O'Donnell steered home the second on 72 minutes, the Cup was destined to travel back to Donegal once again.

Coláiste Chiaráin had suffered an early setback minutes after the start just as they had begun to settle into the game when they lost midfielder Adam Harney through injury.

But they were still the first side to look dangerous and in a couple of early attacks crosses into the Carndonagh area from Callum O'Brien and captain Luke Kelly both failed to trouble the Donegal defenders.

Coláiste Chiaráin Athlone's Callum O'Brien is challenged by Carndonagh Community School's Dylan Sumner. Photo: Sportsfile
Coláiste Chiaráin Athlone's Callum O'Brien is challenged by Carndonagh Community School's Dylan Sumner. Photo: Sportsfile

The first half looked to be ending scoreless until McBride struck to fire Carndonagh in front when he beat Hanley with a clinical finish after great link-up play with Mikey Friel.

Things got worse for Coláiste Chiaráin early in the second half when they were forced to replace the injured Hanley with substitute goalkeeper Jamie Keogh.

Keogh was quickly called into action to keep out O'Donnell's curling effort and then did extremely well to turn out shots from the Doherty duo Ciarán and Jack for corners.

However the relentless Carndonagh pressure finally yielded the insurance goal with slightly less than 20 minutes remaining. Jack Doherty got free on the right and delivered a pin point cross that fell nicely for O'Donnell and under pressure from Dylan Sumner he still managed to sidefoot home from close range.

Coláiste Chiaráin's Ruairi Lenehan challenges Carndonagh Community School's Dylan Sumner. Photo: Sportsfile
Coláiste Chiaráin's Ruairi Lenehan challenges Carndonagh Community School's Dylan Sumner. Photo: Sportsfile

Coláiste Chiaráin - M Hanley (J Keogh 50), A Harney (R Hardiman 6), D Sumner, P McManus, J Tumulty, R Moran (D Duff 70), A Francis, S Ryan (A Freeburne 66), C O'Brien, L Kelly (capt), R Lenehan (N Macken 54).

Carndonagh CS - D Houghton (capt), L McLaughlin, J Harkin, K Farren (P McCarron 90+1), F McClure, C Doherty, O Hession, J Doherty (C Cooke 80), C McBride (B Doherty 86), C O'Donnell (L Bradley 90), M Friel (L Rudden 51).

Ref - D Kitson (Dublin)

Carndonagh Community School players celebrate. Photo: Sportsfile
Carndonagh Community School players celebrate. Photo: Sportsfile

Irish Independent

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