Aodh Ruadh go the extra mile to do the double

Under 14 football Southern Championship Divisional Final
Aodh Ruadh 2-8
Four Masters 1-6
18 August 2017
John Hughes reports from Páirc Naomh Bríd

It took 80 minutes of football to separate these sides in Ballintra on Friday evening. Aodh Ruadh looked like best placed to finish it in regulation time, but a well-struck goal by Four Masters' Mark Jordan three minutes from the long whistle forced an extra 20 minutes.

The Ballyshannon lads fitness and physique stood to them in that period as they hit an unanswered 1-2 to clinch the Southern league and championship double.

It was a low scoring game with both attacks guilty of some poor shooting and shot selection. Aodh Ruadh played into the breeze in the first half, but got out of the traps quickly, Danny Breen-Brosnan one-twoing with Cian Rooney before tucking over.

A fine 30 metre free from Evan Gallagher evened the score three minutes later.

The first goal chance arrived shortly after, but Ballyshannon's Aaron Horan was alert and palmed away the shot. Then Aodh Ruadh had a great oppportunity when the electric Cian Rooney picked out Ryan Keenaghan, but the wing back couldn't keep his shot on target.

Eight minutes in Rooney was on the charge again with a penetrating run down the left wing, before intelligently laying off for Mitchell McLaughlin to pop over and send Aodh Ruadh back into the lead.

There was an identikit score five minutes later when Danny Breen-Brosnan went on a burst down the centre before feeding McLaughlin for his second of the game.

Four Masters second point came 17 minutes in when Liam McLaughlin travelled well before guiding over an accurate shot.

Shortly after the sides were level again when Mark Jordan split the posts with a sweet left foot shot from an acute angle on the left.

That drew response in kind from the Ernesiders, Cian Rooney finding the range with a quality citóg effort.

The Tir Chonaill Park lads levelled again shortly after, Mark Jordan getting his free over with the aid of Horan's left post.

Then six minutes from the break came the game's opening goal. Aodh Ruadh took the ball to the left corner and played keep ball for a spell before Cian Rooney picked out Jake Foley with a rasping pass. Foley fielded well before placing his shot low to the keeper's right.

Four Masters hit back with a lofted score from Evan Gallagher to leave it Aodh Ruadh 1-4 Four Masters 0-5 at the interval.

As is often the case, the team playing against the breeze again had the better of the play. Donegal Town enjoyed long spells of quality possession in the second half, but crucially failed to make it count on the score board.

Early on Horan had to be alert again to field a free dropping short. Then 41 minutes in a blistering shot from Mark Jordan drew another cracking save from Horan. Not long after Evan Gallagher failed to find the target as the half continued scoreless.

The first score only came ten minutes from time. Kyle Murray won a mark on the Four Masters kick out before hitting a slide rule pass to Cian Rooney who worked himself some space before firing over to put a goal between them.

When Aaron Neilan added an expertly struck 45 with six to go, it looked like Aodh Ruadh were almost there.

Four Masters dug deep though and Evan Gallagher did well to swing over a point which cut the deficit back to a goal and then a minute later Conor Reid put Mark Jordan through and the attacker gave Horan no chance this time as he blasted to the net.

It finished 1-6 apiece, and so extra-time it was. The first period was only 25 seconds old when Aaron Neilan's rifled shot put Ballyshannon back into the lead. Five minutes later they extended it with a blinding Cian Rooney goal.

Diarmaid Flood-Dolan did the hard work to win possession before Rooney whipped the laces through a shot from left to right across the face of goal which went in at the far post.

Just before the break Four Master could have had a goal back, but once again Aaron Horan was magnificent to deny Conor Reid.

Aodh Ruadh pushed on for the win and Daniel Quinn produced an excellent save from Cian Rooney, but with five minutes left Jake Foley got the insurance score. Colm McGloin forced the turn over before feeding Foley who blasted over.

Great celebrations at the final whistle by the large Ballyshannon contingent present and Aodh Ruadh captain Kyle Murray collected the championship trophy to add to the league cup claimed in Ardara earlier this season.

Cian Rooney was Ballyshannon's man of the match, but he was run very close by Aaron Horan with Aaron Neilan, Kyle Murray, Ryan Keenaghan and Darragh Flood Dolan also playing out of their skins for Gerald McGloin's side.

Meanwhile Four Masters centre back Lee Murchin worked hard before having to exit through injury. Senan Quinn showed well at midfield while Evan Gallagher and Mark Jordan gave their all the whole way to the end.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Aaron Horan; Daire Gallagher, Matt Gillespie, Daragh Flood-Dolan; Colm McGloin, Kyle Murray, Ryan Keenaghan; Aaron Neilan (0-2, 1 45), Calum Doherty-Craig; Mitchel McLaughlin (0-2), Cian Rooney (1-2), Daniel Breen-Brosnan (0-1); Daire Warren, Jake Foley (1-1), Diarmuid Flood-Dolan.
Subs: Conal Bradshaw for Danny Breen, Corey Ryan for Daire Gallagher, Conor Foy for Danny Breen, Jamie McGee-Gilmore, Padraig Daly.
Frees conceded: 15
Wides: 4
Kick outs won: Total - 12; Own - 9; Opposition - 3.
Four Masters
Daniel Quinn; Daniel Dunnion, Andrew Monaghan, Calum Stewart; Josh McCrea, Lee Murchin, Diarmuid O'Donnell; Senan Quinn, Frank Cornyn; Liam McLaughlin (0-1), Evan Gallagher (0-3, 1f), Conor Reid; Mark Jordan (1-2, 1f), Ethan Potter, Adam Gillespie.
Subs: Ryan Dullea for Lee Murchin, Conor Gillespie for Adam Gillespie, Patrick Lyons for Conor Reid, Dylan McHugh, Adam Mazire.
Frees conceded: 33
Wides: 14
Kick outs won: Total - 14; Own - 11; Opposition - 3.
Referee: Mark Dorrian (Saint Naul's)

Action from the under 14 Southern Divisional final.
From left, Sideline official, Terence Kilpatrick, Aodh Ruadh captain Kyle Murray, referee Mark Dorrian, and Four Masters captain Lee Murchin before throw-in at the Southern Divisional Championship final in Ballintra.

Action from the under 14 Southern Divisional final.
Winning Aodh Ruadh captain Kyle Murray receives the Southern Championship trophy.

Action from the under 14 Southern Divisional final.
Winning Aodh Ruadh captain Kyle Murray receives the Southern Championship trophy.

Action from the under 14 Southern Divisional final.
Aodh Ruadh celebrating victory in the under 14 Southern Divisional Championshilp final in Ballintra.
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Last modified: Friday, 18 August 2017 at 11:22pm