Final heartbreak for under 12s

Under 12 football - Southern Regional Final
3 July 2015
Four Masters 3-9
Aodh Ruadh 3-6
Tír Chonaill Park

Trailing by just a point at half-time with the backing of a strong wind to come, it looked like Aodh Ruadh had the hard work done by the break in this under 12 Southern Minor Board final. However Four Masters greater hunger in the second half proved decisive and they made over the line to claim the title.

Aodh Ruadh's best football was played in the first half when their accurate kicking game picked Four Masters apart with great results.

The hosts got the first score of the game though, their man of the match Diarmuid Slevin striking over in the first minute.

Ballyshannon's first point came three minutes later, Cian Rooney with a stylish score, However Four Masters Slevin hit back immediately to restore their lead.

Calum Ayres was excellent in the first half and he struck for a well taken point in the ninth minute and added a second a minute later to put the visitors into the lead for the first time in the game.

Ultan O'Grady levelled matters in the 12th minute at three apiece, but the Ernesiders quickly went back in front, Cian Rooney coolly slotting over a free.

Then with six minutes left in the half, Four Masters got one of those fortuitous goals which are such a feature of underage football, Frank Cornyn's shot finding its way past Diarmaid Dolan to the net.

Four Masters rapidly extended their lead with Evan Gallagher sweeping over from long range. Mark Jordan and Diarmuid Slevin added further points to make it double scores in favour of the homesters with four minutes to the break.

Then Jake Foley was brought down for an open-and-shut penalty. Cian Rooney was once again coolness itself as he drilled his shot to Oisin McCalliog's net.

Aodh Ruadh continued to pile on the pressure and Four Masters were forced into two last gasp saves to deny goal shots. The second was put out over the sideline for a 45. Callum Ayres did a spectacular job of belting the shot over to leave just the minimum between the sides at the break, Aodh Ruadh 1-5 Four Masters 1-6.

Aodh Ruadh were quickly disabuse of any illusions they might have had about letting the wind do the work in the second half. Diarmuid Slevin again the man doing the damage, firing home the game's second goal two minutes into the half. Then shortly after Aidan Gillespie piled on the misery for Aodh Ruadh rifling home a third goal for Four Masters and giving them a seven point cushion.

Jake Foley hit a point half way through the half, but Four Masters were able to keep the Ernesiders at arm's length for the final quarter. They picked off scores from Diarmuid Slevin and Frank Cornyn before Cian Rooney gave Ballyshannon a lifeline when he sent a 45 straight to the net with two minutes left.

Diarmuid Slevin hit a point on the stroke of time to leave Aodh Ruadh needing two goals two get a draw. They got the first of them shortly into added time, Daragh Dolan sweeping home after a magnificent run through the Four Masters defence.

However Eugene McHale's whistle went seconds later and Aodh Ruadh would be within their rights to feel a bit miffed with lack of added time, given the time taken up with injuries and substitutions in the second half.

Four Masters took the title and much of the credit for that belongs to Diarmuid Slevin who was a bit of quality. Their keeper Oisin McCalliog also had to be in top form and denied a number of sure-fire goals.

For Aodh Ruadh Aaron Neilan worked tirelessly in midfield while Calum Ayres and Cian Rooney took some great scores. Daire Warren, Colm McGloin and Ryan Keenaghan all worked hard. All Aodh Ruadh's subs made a great contribution on their introduction

Vital Statistics
Four Masters
Oisin McCalliog; Senan Quinn, Diarmaid Ó Domhnall; Jamie Goss, Lee Murchain, Liam McLaughlin; Ultan O'Grady (0-1), Evan Gallagher (0-1); Mark Jordan (0-1), Diarmuid Slevin (1-5), Frank Cornyn (1-1); Michael Gallagher, Andrew Monaghan.
Substitutes: Aidan Gillespie (1-0)
Aodh Ruadh
Diarmaid Dolan; Dara Gallagher, Kyle Murray; Daragh Dolan (1-0), Martin McGarrigle, Daire Warren; Calum Ayres (0-3, 1 45), Aaron Neilan; Colm McGloin, Ryan Keenaghan, Matt Gillespie; Cian Rooney (2-2, Pen, 1f), Jake Foley (0-1).
Substitutes: Mitch McLaughlin, Kyle McCaffrey, Calum Craig-Doherty, Conor Foy, Conal Bradshaw.
Referee: Eugene McHale

Last modified: Monday, 6 July 2015 at 11:55pm