Aodh Ruadh book their place in league decider
Under 16 football
Aodh Ruadh 1-11
12 May 2012
Aodh Ruadh came through a physical encounter with Burt to book their place in the league final against Gaoth Dobhair on Friday evening last. Burt are a strong side with a number of players on the county under 16 panel so a tight game was expected and that was exactly what played out.
Burt got their first point through their fast and tricky number 15, and in general Burt were the quicker to get up to the pace of the game. Ballyshannon captain Niall Harley notched a reply only for the number 15 to edge the Inishowen men back in front. After that Aodh Ruadh found their groove for a spell and points from Colm Kelly, Shane McGrath, Eddie Lynch and two Philip Patton frees took the Ernesiders into a 0-6 to 0-2 lead. Then in the closing moments of the half Burt's number 15 and midfielder struck points to narrow the gap to two points at half time. Eddie Lynch had a mighty game for Aodh Ruadh and he was on the board early in the second half. Philip Patton restored Ballyshannon's four point cushion but then came the incident which upped the ante for the remainder of the match.
Matthew Maguire was on top of the two men put on him during the match, but at this point he was flicking the ball away from a forward when he received an elbow in the face which saw a front tooth broke in half and the Ian Molloy issuing a straight red card to the Burt forward, reducing them to 14 men.
After that Burt redoubled their efforts, egged on by their vocal support. Their midfielder went on a stoming run through the middle of the Aodh Ruadh defence and took a shot from 20 metres which flew into the net to cut the gap to a point.
Aodh Ruadh were applying pressure for a score in response, but it took its time in coming Eventually Philip Patton got on the end of a ball into the area and had to hit a quality beat the Burt goalkeeper, who had been excellent all game.
Burt came back with three points, two from the number 15, during which period Philip Patton had a penalty saved after an Aodh Ruadh man was dragged down in the area.
Matthew Maguire was heroic during this phase of the game, particularly considering the fact he was playing with a serious injury. He put in some amazing score-saving blocks and in his role as spare man he got on a lot of ball and initiated a number of attacks. These saw Philip Patton adding two further points, one from place ball. A Burt substitute got their final score of the game, but the last word was go to Aodh Ruadh. Nathan Boyle forayed up the field, took a one-two and blasted over a great long range point to secure Ballyshannon's place in the county decider.
It was a gutsy display from Aodh Ruadh and that was best exemplified by Matthew Maguire's defiant performance. Eddie Lynch was massive in the forward line, linking play up and mastering his opposite number, a starting member of the county under 16 team. Shane McGrath also put in a solid shift, while Philip Patton's haul of 1-5 was key to seeing Aodh Ruadh over the line.
Next up is the county league decider and the challenge of Gaoth Dobhair who defeated Killybegs in the other semi-final. Aodh Ruadh have shown huge reserves of guts and determination in their progress to date, and the county final is set up for a real humdinger of a game.
Kevin Warnock; Nathan Boyle (0-1), Matthew Maguire, Colm Doyle; Ellis McGuinness, Calum O'Halloran, Eugene Drummond; Niall Harley (0-1), Colm Kelly (0-1); Philip Patton (1-5, 3f), Eddie Lynch (0-2), Oisín Roper; Jason Gallagher, Stephen Thompson, Shane McGrath (0-1).
Substitutes: Oisín Rooney for Jason Gallagher, Terry Ward for Stephen Thompson, Ryan Gallagher, Donal Sweeny, Jimmy Ward, Daniel Warnock.
Last modified: Tuesday, 15 May 2012 at 12:03am