Super second half sends Aodh Ruadh into championship decider

Under 16 B football county semi-final
Aodh Ruadh 3-17
Malin 2-6
5 November 2017
Páirc Aodh Rua, Killygordon

After a cat and mouse first half in Killygordon, Aodh Ruadh put in a superb 30 minutes of football to power their way into the county final against Red Hugh's.

There was little to separate the teams in the first half with Malin punishing Aodh Ruadh in the final third with some high quality free taking. Aodh Ruadh got off to the perfect start with Shane Gillespie rattling to the back of the net with just seconds on the clock. A minute later Eoin Doherty added a point as the Ernesiders settled quickly.

Malin got off the mark five minutes in with a point from play by their dangerous wing back. Then two well struck frees in the eighth and ninth minutes made it a one point game.

As the game moved into the second quarter points from Eoin Doherty and Senan Rooney helped give Ballyshannon a bit more breathing space, but again the Malin midfielder trimmed back the deficit with another good placed ball strike.

The final 14 minutes of the half saw only three further scores. Cian Rooney restored the Ernesider's one goal cushion with a neatly worked point before another dead ball put two between them.

With three minutes to the break Senan Rooney floated over a nice shot to leave it 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval, with the game there for either side in the second half.

Aodh Ruadh came out with a real sense of purpose for the restart and four points in four minutes from four different scorers showed they meant business. Senan Rooney, Shane Gillespie, Cian Rooney with a free and Eoin Doherty from play were the men on the mark.

Still Malin weren't about to give up now and won a penalty 36 minutes in. Matt Gillespie got a hand on the ball, but there wouldn't have been too many keepers in the country capable of stopping the Malin number 17's rocket of a spot kick.

Two minutes later Aodh Ruadh got the response they needed with Eoin Doherty pinging over to put five between the sides at 1-10 to 1-5. That set off another run of scores from Ballyshannon. Two Shane Brady frees sandwiched a Senan Rooney point, to make ut 1-13 to 1-5.

Once again though Malin grabbed themselvdes a lifeline. With 13 minutes to run to full time they raided for a goal and that was followed two minutes later by a free to leave just four between the sides.

Aodh Ruadh played superb controlled football in that closing ten minutes to secure the result. Once again Eoin Doherty stood up to the mark, hitting two points. Then Shane Brady showed outstanding technique to rifle home an incredible right footed goal into the top right corner coming in from the right.

Shane Gillespie followed that up three minutes later with a deserved goal and Shane Brady concluded the scoring two minutes into added time.

The defence were magnificent throughout and the attacking performance in the second half in particular was one most teams would have struggled to live with. A magnificent display from every one of the Aodh Ruadh lads and a day where it really wasn't possible to pick out any one man for special mention. A real 19 man display. Fair play also to Malin who played the semi-final in a great spirit.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Matt Gillespie; Kyle Murray, Adam Clarke, Nathan Owens-Kelly; Tiernan Flood-Dolan, Eugene Doherty, David Doherty; Senan Rooney (0-4), Shane Gillespie (2-1); Odhran McGarrigle, Mark McGlynn, Harry Howarth; Cian Barden, Eoin Doherty (0-6), Shane Brady (1-3, 2f).
Subs: Cian Rooney (0-2, 1f) for Harry Howarth, Aaron Neilan for Cian Barden, Marty McGarrigle (0-1) for David Doherty; Jack McCaffrey for Nathan Owens Kelly, Ryan Keenaghan, Frankie McGinley, Colm McGloin, Niall Monaghan, JJ Goan.
Referee: Tony Gallagher

Last modified: Sunday, 5 November 2017 at 5:47pm