Ballyshannon book semi-final spot
Under 14 football county quarter-final
Aodh Ruadh 4-6
2 September 2017
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park
Aodh Ruadh under 14s booked their place in the county semi-final with a nerve-racking one point victory over Malin in a packed Father Tierney Park on Friday evening.
Malin showed they meant business early on, banging in a goal with 20 seconds on the clock.
Aodh Ruadh were slower out of the traps, but their opening score also saw a green flag hoisted, Cian Rooney on the mark four minutes in.
A minute later and the Ernesiders advantage was doubled when Jake Foley found the back of the net to make it 2-0 to 1-0 with just five minutes played.
However when the Inishowen men raided for a second goal nine minutes in it was evident these sides weren't going to be separated easily.
The first point of the game only arrived in the 11th minute. Cian Rooney was the man who split the posts, sending the hosts back into the lead. He added further points in the 13th, 15th and 18th minutes to put some daylight between the sides.
It didn't last long though as Malin entered their best phase of the game.
It began ten minutes from the break when they struck for a third goal. They added a point six minutes later, but Cian Rooney answered that with his fifth point of the day to keep Ballyshannon narrowly ahead. However, heading into half-time a fourth goal for the Northern outfit sent them in leading on a scoreline of Aodh Ruadh 2-5 Malin 4-1.
The visitors quickly extended their lead with a point two minutes after the restart
Aodh Ruadh clawed the deficit back raising a white flag six minutes into the new half. But again Malin struck back, quickly smashing over two points to push back out into a four point lead.
However if Malin had shown their resilience, the Ernesiders were now about to show they had reserves of their own to draw on. Goals in the 38th minute by Marty McGarrigle and in 44th minute by Cian Rooney put them two points ahead and the excitement and anxiety levels began to climb among the large crowd on the Rock.
An extended stoppage for treatment to an knee injury to the Malin goalkeeper, Ben Miller, left things in suspended animation for a spell. When play resumed it saw the Inishowen men laying seige to the Aodh Ruadh posts, with the host unable to keep the ball past the halfway line for any extended period of time.
More than once goalkeeper Aaron Horan had to come out with the ball, while Kyle Murray also called upon to make relieving runs.
Malin managed one more point, but a display of defensive heroics saw this game end with Aodh Ruadh the victors by the narrowest of margins.
Aodh Ruadh don't have much time to back in their victory with the county semi-final taking place on Monday at 6.30pm in Convoy against Saint Eunan's. Aodh Ruadh wish the Malin keeper Ben Miller all the very best for a full and speedy recovery.
Aaron Horan; Calum Doherty-Craig, Matt Gillespie, Daire Gallagher; Colm McGloin, Kyle Murray; Darragh Food-Dolan; Aaron Neilon, Corey Ryan; Jake Foley, Cian Rooney, Kyle McCaffrey; Mitch McLaughlin, Diarmuid Food-Dolan, Marty McGarrigle. Subs: Danny Breen, Séamí Campbell, Conor Foy, Conal Bradshaw, Jamie Gilmore, Daire Warren, Shane Delahunty, Ryan Daly
Ben Miller; Sean McGrenaghan, Daragh McGeoghegan, Oliver McCaffrey; Finn Ward, John McLaughlin, Conor Murray Gallagher; Conor O'Neill, Niall Gallagher; Keelan Hegarty, Adam Duffy, Daniel McLaughlin; Jamie 'Fildara' McLaughlin, Fergal Doherty, Sean O'Kane
|Referee: Gabriel O'Donnell|
Last modified: Sunday, 3 September 2017 at 3:38pm