14 Aug 2022

Gildea goal fires Naomh Conaill into Division One final

Naomh Conaill saw off St Eunan's on Sunday evening to book their place in the decider

Naomh Conaill

Naomh Conaill have qualified for the Division One final.

Daniel Gildea played only four minutes, but his goal in the sixth minute helped fire Naomh Conaill to victory over St Eunan's and into the All-County League Division One final.

Naomh Conaill 1-11
St Eunan’s 1-8

Gildea was only just on the field, having replaced the injured Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí, when he announced his arrival to Sunday evening’s game in style. Ciaran Thompson provided the pass and Gildea’s finish was excellent, smashing brilliantly to the top corner of Eoin O’Boyle’s net.

Gildea’s evening was soon over, too. The youngster was helped off in the ninth minute having also sustained an injury.

St Eunan’s never led here and Naomh Conaill were good value, although it was a meeting that will have no bearing should their swords meet again in a Championship arena come the autumn.

Gildea’s goal had Naomh Conaill 1-2 to 0-1 in front and by half-time the margin was out to six, 1-7 to 0-4.

Naomh Conaill goalkeeper Stephen McGrath repelled a close-range shot from Sean McVeigh in the 14th minute as St Eunan’s sought a way back, but quick-fire points from Thompson and Eunan Doherty reaffirmed Naomh Conaill’s control.

The McGeehin brothers, Eoin and Ronan, reduced the arrears but a late Doherty brace, either end of a John O’Malley score, had the hosts six in front at the changeover.

A tepid second half followed with both goalkeepers making big saves at either end early in the half. First, Eoin O’Boyle turned over Charles McGuinness’ close-ranger before McGrath beat away Jordan O’Dowd’s shot at the other end.

Naomh Conaill’s AJ Gallagher might have struck goal, but saw his effort blocked by Conor O’Donnell junior.

With the last kick of the game, Caolan Ward lashed in a St Eunan’s goal. It was little more than a footnote on an evening that neither will lend too much weight to when the bigger picture is framed.

Scorers for Naomh Conaill: Eunan Doherty 0-4; Daniel Gildea 1-0; Charles McGuinness 0-3; John O’Malley 0-2; Ciaran Thompson (1f), Paul McGuinness 0-1.

Scorers for St Eunan’s: Eoin McGeehin (1f) 0-4, Caolan Ward 1-0; Conor Parke, Ronan McGeehin, Brian McIntyre, Darragh Mulgrew 0-1.

Naomh Conaill: Stephen McGrath; Stephen Molloy, Jason Campbell, Kevin McGettigan; Keelan McGill, Anthony Thompson, Hughie Gallagher; Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí, Ciaran Thompson; Eunan Doherty, John O’Malley, Dermot Molloy; Paul McGuinness, Charles McGuinness, Leo McLoone. Subs: Daniel Gildea for Mac Ceallabhuí (5), AJ Gallagher for Gildea (9), Neil Francis Boyle for P.McGuinness (56), Conor Roarty for H.Gallagher (60).

St Eunan’s: Eoin O’Boyle; Anthony Gallagher, Darragh Toal, Conor Parke; Darragh Mulgrew, Caolan Ward, Noel O’Donnell; Jordan O’Dowd, Ciaran Moore; Brian McIntyre, David Boyle, Sean McVeigh; Conor O’Donnell junior, Ronan McGeehin, Eoin McGeehin. Subs: Peter McEniff and Sean McGettigan for N.O’Donnell and Boyle (37).

Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).

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