Flanagan and McDaid give Eunan’s head start

St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny 3 De La Salle, Waterford 1

Conceding twice in the opening 16 minutes of the showdown at the Oscar Traynor complex in Dublin proved too much of a burden, particularly as the Donegal school has Finn Harps’ 16-year-old goalkeeper Sean Patton between the posts.

Ireland U16 midfielder Chris Flanagan fired the Saints ahead on 10 minutes with a volley before Cathal McDaid added a second six minutes later.

De La Salle were much-improved following the break and, just moments after Jack Hale reduced the arrears 10 minutes from full-time, Joshua Aimiuhi was denied an equaliser by Patton’s excellent save from close-range.

With the Déise boys pushing for a leveller, gaps emerged in their defence which St Eunan’s substitute Michael Miller took full advantage of in the 86th minute by stroking home Aidan Sweeney’s lay-off following a swift counter-attack.

These schools square up again on Wednesday in the FAI Schools Minor final — giving De La Salle the opportunity to complete the campaign with some silverware after this disappointment.

ST EUNAN’S COLLEGE, LETTERKENNY: S Patton; J McBride, S Hume, E Barrett, D McDaid; R Rainey, C Flanagan, D Gorman, A Sweeney, C McDaid; J Doherty (M Miller 70).

DE LA SALLE, WATERFORD: P O’Sullivan; S Mackey, D Foley, P Fitzgerald, J Maher; A Phelan (J Hale 55), C Whittle, D Hutchinson, D Pender (M Shanahan 65); J Aimiuhi, N McCabe.

Referee: K Thornton.

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