St Eunan’s getting set for championship assault

By Michael McMullan

ST Eunan’s are now focusing on the championship with their league final hopes out of their own hands.

With all their games played, they are joint top with Naomh Conaill and Gaoth Dobhair who both have one game left.

St Eunan’s are currently second on score difference and would have the head-to-head on Naomh Conaill but not Gaoth Dobhair.

“We are just waiting at the minute,” said St Eunan’s captain Kieran Tobin ahead of Wednesday night’s championship draw.

The Letterkenny men are under the management of Barry Meehan, who took over from Rory Kavanagh, with Brendan Devenney, Kieran Sharkey and Dualtach Molloy as part of the management ticket.

There was a relaxed mood to the league. Their five county players were unavailable while Caolan Ward did make a return from injury.

There were other weeks when players were injured or away on holidays. They had just a handful of pitch sessions in the tank before their opening league game, a defeat to Kilcar.

“We didn’t go gung-ho in terms of making everybody go 100 per cent and then maybe they lose interest when you come to the middle of July or they’re fed up,” Tobin told Gaelic Life.

The “relaxed” approach was geared towards using their panel, experimenting with players and exposing players to senior football who hadn’t got a taste in the past.

St Eunan’s shipped a six-point defeat to Gaoth Dobhair in May with draws coming against Malin and Downings.

“We had a few blips in the road in results,” Tobin said. “Regardless of who you had playing you wouldn’t be overly happy about but we’ve done a lot of learning of where people were probably at.

“I would say the Gaoth Dobhair is the only one that sticks out that we were well below par.”

The Donegal Championship will again be played in the same format with four randomly drawn games played to decide placings ahead of the knock-out stages, with the top four teams going straight to the quarter-finals.

St Eunan’s were champions in 2021 before coming up short in the decider 12 months later.

There are a handful of teams in contention and Tobin says St Eunan’s are fully focussed on getting their hands on the Dr Maguire Cup.

“It has been a long two winters waiting about,” he said. “We stopped Glenties when they were going for three in a row in ‘21. Then, we fell short of them twice in a row there now.

“Gaoth Dobhair and Kilcar are coming back into it but we need to start going back and winning championships – that’s the long and the short.

“We’ve fallen short far too many times. Mentally you’re thinking if we go a third year, falling short, you could lose a boy or two and that would really dishearten the whole thing.

“It’s seriously important we get the house in order and go after this championship.”

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