Aodh Ruadh storm back to take victory

Under 14 Championship county semi-final
3 October 2009
Aodh Ruadh 2-10
Saint Eunan's 0-6
Liam Porter reports from Convoy. Pictures by by Evan Logan

A storming second half display inspired by a magnificent performance from midfielder Pauric Patton, saw Aodh Ruadh come from behind at half-time to record a comfortable victory over Buncrana in the U14 County Championship final in Convoy at the weekend.

Having pegged the game back to level and then edged themselves in front by a point, it was two quick goals in the space of two minutes that finally swung the game for the Ballyshannon lads who cruised to victory after that.

Until then Buncrana had battled on manfully in the second half, with midfielder Peter McLaughlin turning in a brilliant display and at times almost single handedly keeping the Aodh Ruadh lads at bay.

Goalkeeper Harry Doherty was also in fine form for Buncrana, but with several key players injured in the end Buncrana just didn't seem to have the strength to battle against the wind and the opposition in the second half.

They had got off to a great start with a fine point from play within 23 seconds from danger man Darragh O'Connor, but they were to be dealt a major blow in the eighth minute when O'Connor took a knock that saw him eventually limp out of the game just before the break.

That said, Buncrana had the wind at their backs in the first half and with Peter McLaughlin in fine kicking form, they extended their lead to four points by the fifteenth minute.

McLaughlin scored the first of his frees in the first minute and added a second in the sixth minute following a foul on Darragh O'Connor.

Another free from Peter McLaughlin made it four points to no score in Buncrana's favour but the Ballyshannon lads fought their way back into the game and Pauric Patton and Jamie McDonald helped them fight their way back.

McDonald indeed looked as if he could reduce the lead to just a point with a fine shot in the 21st minute following a strong run down the right, but Harry Doherty in the Buncrana goal pulled off a good save to deny the goal.

Eventually half forward David McGurrin notched up a score for Aodh Ruadh with a free in the 22nd minute, but another free from Peter McLaughlin extended the Buncrana lead to four once again.

A minute later Doherty saved well again to deny Jamie McDonald, but from the resulting 45 James Kelly put the ball over the bar and the sides went in at the break with just three points between them.

That was quickly reduced to just one point however with a storming start to the second half from the Ballyshannon boys. Johnny Gettins fired over forty-five seconds after the re-start and then two minutes into the half he fired over again after the ball was worked out to him following another good save from Doherty.

Buncrana responded with another free from Peter McLaughlin five minutes into the half, but it was to be their last score of the game.

Three points in a row from the deadly McGurrin had Aodh Ruadh in front by a point by the eleventh minute of the second half and then the goals came and the game was over.

Substitute Conor Gilmartin rattled in the first after Buncrana failed to clear a free that was dropped in front of Doherty's goal in the 20th minute and two minutes later James Kelly found McGurrin and he slotted home to make it 2-7 to 0-6 in Aodh Ruadh's favour.

McGurrin added a fine point a minute later and then James Kelly fielded superbly before hammering over a great score to make it 2-9 for Aodh Ruadh. Peter McLaughlin tried to respond for Buncrana with a free that Daniel Kelly saved comfortably and it was left to Johnny Gettins to notch up the last score of the day for the Ballyshannon lads who were comfortable winners in the end.

Aodh Ruadh's David McGurrin tussles with Buncrana's Stephen Nelson during Saturday's final.
Aodh Ruadh's David McGurrin tussles with Buncrana's Stephen Nelson during Saturday's final.

Aodh Ruadh manager Niall McCready helps Colm Kelly deal with the pain of injury and the thought of having to be substituted during Saturday's final.
Aodh Ruadh manager Niall McCready helps Colm Kelly deal with the pain of injury and the thought of having to be substituted during Saturday's final.

Buncrana's Darrach O'Connor goes flying under a strong challenge during Saturday's final.
Buncrana's Darrach O'Connor goes flying under a strong challenge during Saturday's final.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Daniel Kelly; Matthew Maguire, Eamon McGrath, Paddy Gillespie; Darren Gethins, Colm Kelly, Niall Harley; Pauric Patton, James Kelly; Jamie McDonald, David McGurrin , Matthew Gettins; Patrick Dixon, Johnny Gethins, Eddie Lynch.
Scorers: David McGurrin 1-5, Conor Gilmartin 1-0, Johnny Gettins 0-3, James Kelly 0-2
Buncrana
Harry Doherty; Shane McLaughlin, Stephen Nelson, Stephen Doherty; Keelan McGonagle, Bruce Waldron, Joseph McGrory,; Peter McLaughlin, James Quigley; Daniel Wilson, Matthew Barber, Conor Grant; Darrach O'Connor, John Campbell, Jack O'Loughlin.
Scorers: Darragh O'Connor 0-1, Peter McLaughlin 0-5f
Referee: Ian Molloy (Naomh Conaill)

Report courtesy of Donegal News. Report Filed: 5 October 2009