St Enda’s almost throw away lead, but battle through to beat St Eunan’s

Letterkenny side push for equaliser in the second half, but Omagh club seals the victory with 54th-minute score

Darragh Mulgrew of St Eunan’s with Ciaran McLaughlin, Aaron Grugan and Justin McMahon of St Enda’s. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

Darragh Mulgrew of St Eunan’s with Ciaran McLaughlin, Aaron Grugan and Justin McMahon of St Enda’s. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Inpho

 

Omagh St Enda’s 1-8 St Eunan’s 0-8 

They made heavy work of it in the second half, but Omagh St Enda’s battled past Donegal champions St Eunan’s earlier today to reach a first-ever Ulster club SFC final.

The Tyrone champions threatened to undo all their good work as they retreated into a defensive shell in the last 20 minutes in Celtic Park.

St Enda’s fully merited their 1-5 to 0-5 lead at half time, Tyrone defender Barry Tierney following up his goal against Crossmaglen with another tidy finish after 24 minutes.

A Jason McAnulla point immediately after the restart stretched their lead but they failed to score for the next 22 minutes.

When Joe McMahon was forced to go off through injury, Omagh collapsed in midfield and Rory Kavanagh’s influence grew as the momentum shifted towards the Donegal champions. Scores from Conor Morrison and Sean McVeigh brought St Eunan’s to within a point with seven minutes remaining.

When Ronan O’Neill, who hit three superb first-half points, missed a simple chance to settle Omagh, it gave St Eunan’s, playing their eighth championship game in as many weeks, every incentive to push for the equaliser.

However, Conor McMahon, the younger brother of Tyrone All-Ireland winners Joe and Justin, ended the scoring drought in the 54th minute and then tagged on another point, following a precision pass by O’Neill, to seal the victory.

Cork City’s Cillian Morrison, making his first start for St Eunan’s in four years due to soccer commitments, scored two first-half points and almost snatched an equalising goal late on, but his shot was well wide. Both sides were reduced to 14 players in injury time, Caolan Ward (St Eunan’s) and Conan Grugan (Omagh) picking up black and yellow cards respectively, but neither dismissal had any impact.

“It was a very poor last 20 minutes from us, but we battled to the end,” said a relieved Omagh manager Larry Strain.

OMAGH ST ENDA’S: R Clarke; H Gallagher, Justin McMahon, S Mullan; C McLaughlin, B Tierney (1-0), C McMahon (0-3); Joe McMahon, C Grugan; A Grugan, J McAnulla (0-1), C O’Neill; C O’Donnell (0-1), R O’Neill (0-3), C Meyler. Subs: C McCarron for Joe McMahon (42 mins), C Starrs for C O’Neill (48 mins), D Kerr for McLaughlin (57 mins), J Colton for C McMahon (60 mins). ST EUNAN’S LETTERKENNY: S Patton; C Park, S Hensey, Conor Morrison (0-1); C Ward, E Doherty, D Mulgrew; K Rafferty, R Kavanagh (0-1); C Gibbons (0-1), C Dunne (0-1, free), S McVeigh (0-1); R Carr (0-1, free), J Haran, Cillian Morrison (0-2) Subs: M McGowan for Hensey (half-time), M Miller for McGowan (52 mins) Referee: Noel Mooney (Cavan).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.