Aodh Ruadh under 16s take first leg advantage
Under 16 football championship first round, first leg
15 July 2015
Aodh Ruadh 2-10
Four Masters 1-6
Father Tierney Park
With Father Tierney Park in great condition and a large crowd of supporters present on a warm summer evening this under 16 2015 championship first leg battle lifted off. Four Masters had the upper hand for the first quarter, they settled in quickly rattling off four unanswered points and playing the game in the Aodh Ruadh half of the field. That the Aodh Ruadh backs were making them work for their scores was clear from the start as they put up a robust defence. The Donegal town lads had a number of wides and balls short as they were forcing shots under pressure. Four Masters second point was a particularly good score and came after a relentless defensive drive. Aodh Ruadh settled in after 15 minutes scoring three points from play before Odhran O'Neill popped over their last point of the half from a free. At half-time it was 1-5 to 0-4 in favour of Donegal Town.
Shane Dorrian came on at half time and had an immediate impact on the game running well at the Four Masters defence and narrowing the gap for the hosts. Cian McGloin played a captain's role in pressing the Aodh Ruadh boys on and Dylan Gallagher, playing out of his skin, added 1-2 to his first half score.
Aodh Ruadh lost a player at this point to what looked like an entirely unwarranted red card. This served to strengthen Ballyshannon's resolve and they finished the stronger. Ronan McMullin's industrious commitment was rewarded with a goal that cemented the result before Sean Taylor, playing through the pain barrier, pointed the final score of the game.
Donegal Town show-cased some great fielding in Fergal O'Callaghan and Thomas McGowan's all-round play, but Aodh Ruadh simply appeared to be more up for the game when push came to shove.
Eight different scorers sharing 12 scores shows balance and teamwork in attack, but the second half shut down in defence which kept Donegal scoreless from play in the second half and limited them to one pointed free was superb. Mark Gallagher repeatedly put the body on the line to thwart Donegal's crusade for a goal. Odhran Kennedy, Paddy McCaffrey, Jason Patterson and Pauric Keenaghan put up a second half iron curtain while wing back Michael McKenna's ball carrying skill and immense work-rate was an invaluable asset. Matteo Rivenna provided a strong presence in midfield while JC McGarrigle did well linking defence and attack in the early exchanges.
All round this was a performance that, to a man, the Aodh Ruadh boys can be proud of. We look forward to the second leg in Donegal Town on Tuesday July 28th.
Mark Gallagher; Jason Patterson, Odhran Kennedy, Paddy McCaffrey; Ronan McMullin (1-0), Conall Sweeny (0-1), Michael McKenna; Matteo Rivenna, Sean Taylor (0-2); JC McGarrigle, Dylan Gallagher(1-3), Cian McGloin (0-2); Odhran O'Neill(0-1), Evan McTernan (0-2), Pauric Keenaghan.
Substitutes: Shane Dorrian (0-1) for JC McGarrigle; James Sheerin; Ciaran Hodgkins.
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Last modified: Friday, 17 July 2015 at 9:33pm