Aodh Ruadh secure county final spot
County under 12 semi final
6 July 2007
Aodh Ruadh 1-12
Saint Eunan's 3-03
John Hughes reports from Tir Chonaill Park, Donegal Town.
The under 12s secured their place in the county final last Friday with a gutsy display against Saint Eunan's. Despite the indifferent weather recently the sun shone at Donegal town's Tir Chonaill for most of the duration and conditions were ideal for football.
Aodh Ruadh played into the Donegal bay end with the benefit of a steady breeze for the first half. After an early exchange of points Eunan's goaled in the 6th minute. After that shock Aodh Ruadh made short work of getting back into the game with two points followed by a goal from David McGurrin in the 9th minute. The ball was lofted high into the Letterkenny square and the 'keeper misjudged the flight, allowing the ball to drop into the back of the net. Buoyed up by that goal Aodh Ruadh picked off another three points before the tide began to turn in Saint Eunan's favour.
The change was augured when Conor Gilmartin was forced into fantastic save to put the ball over the end line for a 45 in the 18th minute. Eunan's worked a goal from that 45 and three minutes later they had the ball in the net for a third time. The Ballyshannon lads had to show their mettle once again to peg the Letterkenny side back with two fine points. However, it was Saint Eunan's who finished the half the stronger slotting over two points of their own to go in at the break leading by 3-3 to 1-8.
The second half must go down as one of the best halves of football played by any Aodh Ruadh team at any grade in some time. The omens weren't good when a Saint Eunan's shot came back of the post in the first minute. Shrugging off that near miss, the Ernesiders composed themselves and put in a phenomenal defensive effort combined with precision work in the forwards to steadily manufacture a stranglehold on the game.
The second half was marked by a number of great performances. Eamon McGrath was a transformed player in the second period and his decisive play thwarted a number of Letterkenny attacks. Matthew Maguire and Paddy Gillespie both marked tigerishly and made intelligent use of the ball as they cleared their lines. Pauric Patton caused constant danger with his creative running and crisp passing, whilst Colin Keown was also a thorn in Saint Eunan's side. Up front David McGurrin punished the Letterkenny side relentlessly. The first score of the second half didn't come until the 10th minute when Aodh Ruadh grabbed the equalising point. After that there were only three further scores in the game and all these fell to Aodh Ruadh players. The final insurance point was put over in the 30th minute and a nail-biting five minutes of injury time followed before the large Aodh Ruadh support could celebrate securing their spot in the county final. The final score was 1-12 to 3-3 in favour of the Ernesiders. David McGurrin finished with 1-8 to his name, whilst James Kelly, Johnny Gethins, Jamie McDonald and Pauric Patton also chipped in with points.
With so many outstanding displays it would be perhaps unfair to pick out a man of the match, but Conor Gilmartin's display between the posts was one he will remember for a long time to come. With a number of 'certain' goals picked from just below the crossbar throughout the game, his performance proved a truly match-winning contribution.
The under 12 county final is slated for this Friday 13th July. The time and venue have yet to be decided, but a large turnout from Ballyshannon is asked to attend this hugely important match.
The under 12 Aodh Ruadh team that secured their place in the County final last Friday with a win over Saint Eunan's
Under 12 panelists show their support.
Report Filed: 29 June 2007