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O'Donnell the star as Saint Eunan's progress

Under 18 football championship county semi-final
5 September 2015
Aodh Ruadh 0-7
Saint Eunan's 0-14
Father Tierney Park

It was to be disappointment for Aodh Ruadh in this last four clash, but despite the difficult circumstances surrounding this match the Ballyshannon men still gave a good account of themselves. Aodh Ruadh dominated the first quarter of this game despite playing into a breeze. However, they could only muster two points in the final three quarters of an hour are that proved the Ernesiders downfall. Niall O'Donnell got the first of his eight points shortly after the throw in, but Aodh Ruadh struck back quickly with Garreth Sheerin screwing over a lovely shot before Nathan Boyle locked on to the Eunan's kick out, drove at the posts and rifled over.

Eight minutes in Philip Patton landed his first free of the game and then the unexpected sight of corner back Cáelán Drummond raided up to get on the end of another good move from the Ernesiders.

Kevin Keely clawed back a point for the Letterkenny men, but when Philip Patton pointed another free and Jason Granaghan pulled off a super block on a Niall O'Donnell attempt on goal it looked like Aodh Ruadh were the more composed and fluent side.

After that though, it was all Saint Eunan's. Rory Carr landed a 45 and then three Niall O'Donnell points and a white flag from Padraig McAleer had the amber and black heading in at the break leading 0-5 to 0-7.

Aodh Ruadh continued to battle and a Philip Patton free right after the break took them back to within a point. Then six minutes in Callum 'Cookie' O'Halloran drove out of defence with the ball and it was worked to Oisin Rooney who was able to point from close range to tie the game up. That, however, was to be Aodh Ruadh's last scoring contribution to the match.

After that a visibly tired Ballyshannon side struggled to contain the Saint Eunan's attacks. Jack Whelan edged the Letterkenny men back in front with 20 minutes left, then two further points from Niall O'Donnell put a goal in it.

Aodh Ruadh never let the heads drop though and they got a life line when Oisin Rooney was toppled as he drove through on goals. Liam McConigley had no hesitation in calling the penalty. Nathan Boyle stood up to the kick, but his shot slipped just wide of Matthew Gallagher's right upright.

From there on it was a case of gilding the scoreline for Saint Eunan's with points from O'Donnell (2), Ciaran Kelly and Rory Carr landed between the 58th minute and full time.

Disappointment then for Peter McKenna, Raymie Granaghan, David O'Donnell, their brave charges and the large Aodh Ruadh support in Convoy. There were a number of notable Aodh Ruadh performances to take heart from. Cookie O'Halloran was Aodh Ruadh's man of the match, with Sean Taylor's accurate kicking from between the posts a decided asset. Jason Granaghan and Cáelán Drummond were both in excellent form while Nathan Boyle was best for Aodh Ruadh further up the pitch.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Sean Taylor; Jason Granaghan, Callum O’Halloran, Cáelán Drummond (0-1); Cian McGloin, Conall Sweeny, Daniel Warnock; Nathan Boyle (0-1), Oisin Rooney (0-1); Philip Patton (0-3, 3f), Oisin Roper, Shane McGrath; Garreth Sheerin (0-1), Jason Gallagher, Ryan McKenna.
Substitutes: Dylan Gallagher for Jason Gallagher 34m; Conor Kennedy for Garreth Sheerin 43m.
Saint Eunan's
Matthew Gallagher; Conor Moore, Darragh McWalters, Sean Halvey; Brian McIntyre, Darragh Toal, Kevin Keely (0-1); Oisin Toal, Kevin Grant; Padraig McAleer, Niall O’Donnell (0-8, 1f), Ciaran Maloney; Odhran McGinley, Rory Carr (0-2 ,1f, 1 45), Jake Whelan.
Substitutes: Ciaran Kelly (0-1) for McAleer 22m, Oisin O’Boyle for Whelan 57m, Ciaran Diver for Darragh Toal 60m.
Referee: Liam McConigley

Last modified: Monday, 1 June 2020 at 12:11pm