The scoreline might’ve raised eyebrows, but Conor Cunningham was quite content to see his Kilcar side inflict a first defeat of 2022 on county champions St Eunan’s.
Kilcar overcame St Eunan’s 1-4 to 1-1 in a low-scoring Division 1 meeting in Letterkenny on Sunday.
St Eunan’s, via an Eoin McGeehin goal, were 1-0 to 0-1 ahead at half-time.
“We don’t want to say we’re defensive,” Cunningham, who succeeded John McNulty in the Towney hotseat this year, said. Indeed, only Gaoth Dobhair have scored more in 2022 so far in Division 1.
“We have attacking players out there. Most of our scores probably came from defensive players. Both teams have very good individual defenders so we needed someone else to step up, the likes of Brian O’Donnell and Daniel Lyons, who came up with scores to get us over the line.
“Our scoring average is pretty high, we’re up in the 20s. Conditions were very tough on the players, it was 20 degrees and it zapped a good bit of energy.”
Lyons netted in the 53rd minute to turn the tide in Kilcar’s favour.
Driven by Ciaran McGinley and Andrew McClean, Kilcar came from behind for a useful win - their fourth on the trot.
Cunningham said: The last couple of weeks, we’ve started to pick up the pace a bit.
“St Eunan’s were the better team in the first half, but we re-set at half-time. When we went ahead, we looked after the game and we finished strong.
“St Eunan’s are the team to beat. They’ll forget about this in ten minutes and move onto next week.”
McGeehin’s early goal gave St Eunan’s a foothold, but they didn’t add to their tally until Darragh Mulgrew’s second half point - their only further score.
Cunningham said: “The point we made at half-time was that they only got one score - and that was off our mistake. Defensively we were pretty sharp.
“We upped the intensity in the second half. We didn’t panic and we were pretty confident at half-time. By the end, we were happy enough.”
Cunningham was appointed in late January and the Kilcar boss says his men are content to go under the radar.
Kilcar will welcome Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty back to his ranks for the Championship and Cunningham added: “We were late getting back into the season and that cost us against Ballyshannon. Since that we’re working hard at home and keeping ourselves to ourselves. We’re keeping it quiet and that’s the way we’ll keep it.”
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