Club Notes Archive - 2010

Box. SEPTEMBER
7 September

~ FOOTBALL ~
A score line of 1-8 to 2-13 doesn't do justice to a very good team performance by Aodh Ruadh's under 21s against a bigger and stronger Fanad outfit. The Gaels weathered their trip down the road well and started the game brightly before the homesters came more into the game to only trail by two points at half time. The sides remained well matched until the turning point came midway through the second half when Fanad struck their second goal. After that the visitors were able to keep Ballyshannon at arm's length until the final whistle, although Aodh Ruadh battled every inch of the way. There was a great performance from Peter Boyle in the Ballyshannon goals. Ronan Drummond was excellent at centre back, while Barry Leonard also shone in his defensive duties. The midfield combination of Matthew Thompson and Donagh McIntyre soldiered gallantly, while up front PJ McGee was in excellent form, bagging himself a fine goal. It's also worth mentioning that the fact the game was an absorbing, flowing spectacle had a lot to do with sensible refereeing of Michael McShane. There is a team list and pictures from the game up on aodhruadh.org.

The thirds notched up another big win on the road when they defeated Glenswilly by 1-6 to 4-10 at Páirc Naomh Columba last Wednesday. Having travelled up the road with a strong team, the Ballyshannon boys were comfortable all through. Barry Gallagher put in a dynamic display at full forward, capped with a goal, while Damian Conlon did a fine job of pulling the strings at centre forward. The half back line put in a great 60 minutes with centre back, Stephen Bradley in uncompromising form and Ronan Matthews causing havoc on his roving commission. Also among the goals were the ever impressive Steven Perry and Liam Devanney.

There were no senior, reserve or third team fixtures available at time of mailing. These will be mailed to the newsletter subscribers and published on aodhruadh.org when they come to hand.

After accounting for Ardara, Aodh Ruadh next opponents in the under 14 championship are Four Masters. The game takes place on Tuesday, 7th September at Naomh Bríd's grounds, throw-in at 7pm. A big showing of Aodh Ruadh support would be greatly appreciated and should be rewarded with a great game from this promising side.

~ HURLING ~
The senior hurlers slipped to a 5-11 to 1-8 defeat against Saint Eunan's in the senior hurling league last Wednesday. They'll be hoping for better fortune in their next senior hurling league encounter which is against Four Masters in Donegal town this Wednesday at 6.30pm. Some pictures and an a match report from the Aodh Ruadh hurlers junior championship triumph are now up on aodhruadh.org.

The under 16s lost out away to MacCumhaill's in the championship on Thursday last by two points. They put in a good effort but just came up short against the Twin Towns men. They are away to Burt in the semi-final of the 'B' championship this Thursday.

The under 14s played a very competitive challenge game away to Naomh Eoin in Sligo on Monday night. In atrocious conditions the lads did well to grind out a two point win. This game saw Chris Kelly do quite well making his debut as a referee. The Fermanagh under 14 final takes place this Sunday, venue and time to be confirmed. We have pictures from Donegal's All-Ireland C win at Annyalla on Saturday 28th August which featured a very strong Aodh Ruadh contribution. A little earlier in August, we have new pictures from the trip of Aodh Ruadh's underage hurlers to the All-Ireland semi-final between Tipperary and Waterford. Also, we have some extra pictures from the under 14s Féile odyssey have been added.

Preparations are well underway for the annual Aodh Ó Dálaigh under 12 tournament which is being hosted by Aodh Ruadh on Sunday 26th September. There are at least five visiting teams coming with the hope of one or two more.

The under 10s play Four Masters at home this Tuesday in a challenge game.

The under 8s are taking part in an all-county blitz in Letterkenny this Saturday. Details will be circulated during the week.

It is hoped to have some of our local skills competitions this Sunday. Training resumes as normal at 12 noon this Sunday.

~ LADIES ~
The Aodh Ruadh Ladies embark on their Ulster Intermediate club championship odyssey this Saturday when they travel to Lavey, County Cavan, to take on the Cavan Intermediate county champions at 2.30pm. Any Ballyshannon support that can make the trip down the N3 would be greatly appreciated by all the girls.

~ MEETINGS ~
There is a meeting of the club's Finance Committee in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh on Thursday, 9th September at 8.30pm.

~ VOTES OF SYMPATHY ~
The following votes of sympathy were made at the July and August Aodh Ruadh senior board meetings. For the family of Peter O'Keefe, Bundoran; the family of Anthony Molloy whose mother passed away recently; Ann Rushe, Patsy Quinn's sister-in law; the family of Denis Clooney, Erne Street; the family of Pat McGettigan, Drumshanbo, formerly the Donegal Road; the family of Mabel Tunney, Main Street, Ballyshannon; and for Roisín O'Rourke sister of the late Barney Mangan, The family of Pat Gallagher, Doobally, The family of Annie Kelly, Ardlongfield, The family of Johnny Dolan, The Knather and the Gilroy family of Garrison.

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8 September

~ FOOTBALL ~
Aodh Ruadh’s seniors and reserves travel to Fintra this Saturday for the third last fixture in division two 2010. The reserve game throws in at 4.30pm and is followed by the seniors at 6pm. The thirds play host to Saint Michael’s in Father Tierney park this weekend, day and time yet to be confirmed.

On Tuesday evening Aodh Ruadh’s under 14s booked their passage into the Southern Divisional Board final thanks to a rare slice of luck in the dying moments of their ding-dong battle with Four Masters. Aodh Ruadh started the game very poorly with support play non-existent and a lot of passes going astray. The Donegal town lads capitalised on Ballyshannon's lacklustre start when they got a penalty ten minutes in, which was duly dispatched. Philip Patton hit three frees to keep Aodh Ruadh in contact and the half time score was 1-4 to 0-3 in favour of Four Masters. The sides swapped points at start of second half and then Aodh Ruadh hit the next point to make it 1-5 to 0-5. The sides swapped points once again before substitute Gareth Ferguson hit a fine goal with his first touch to level the game. The Ernesiders then raided in for another quick-fire goal to make it 2-6 to 1-6. Four Masters rallied well after the double goal blow and struck a goal to level matters before picking off two lovely points. However Aodh Ruadh displayed really battling qualities and deep into injury time Ballyshannon were awarded a free. Colm Kelly hit the ball into the danger area and after a big scramble the ball ended up being poked into the Four Masters net. Some reports indicate that Nathan Boyle might have been the man who got the decisive touch, but the result was indisputable. Donegal town only got time for the kick-out before the referee blew the whistle and Aodh Ruadh celebrated a memorable win on a score line of Aodh Ruadh 3-6 Four Masters 2-8. Aodh Ruadh's man of the match was half back John Ward. He put in an exceptional display particularly in the first half when Aodh Ruadh were somewhat at sea and in danger of being over-run. His uncompromising tackling and foraging kept Ballyshannon in the game. A close contender was Matthew Maguire who was immense at full back. Philip Patton's role in keeping the score board ticking over was also vital and Colm Kelly was as polished as ever in midfield. The substitutes all made important contributions, particularly Gareth Ferguson with his goal and Daniel Mannion who struck a point on his introduction.
Aodh Ruadh lined out as follows: Gavin McDaid; Callum O'Halloran, Matthew Maguire, Eddie Lynch; John Ward, Jason Gallagher, Ellis McGuinness; Niall Harley, Colm Kelly; Oisín Roper, Philip Patton, Shane McGrath; Ryan Gallagher, Conor Kennedy, Stephen Thompson. Substitutes: Gareth Ferguson, Nathan Boyle, Daniel Mannion and Conor McShea.
The team won't have long to reflect on their achievement as they must now prepare for the Southern Regional Board final next Monday, 13th September, against Dungloe. The throw in for that game is 6pm with the venue either Saint Naul's or Dunkineely, that detail is yet to be confirmed. This team has really had a great year and they deserve the club's best support, so please come out on Monday and get behind the lads as they bid to bring some silverware back to Ballyshannon.

~ MEETINGS ~
The Finance Committee meeting in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh has been put back from this Thursday until Thursday, 16th September at 8.30pm. We would ask that Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh promoters put in a big effort between now and then and bring whatever forms they have completed with them to the meeting.

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14 September

~ FOOTBALL ~
Aodh Ruadh travelled to Fintra last Saturday and defeated the almost full-strength county finalists, Killybegs. The first half was a nip and tuck affair, but Aodh Ruadh still held a slender advantage after the break of 0-7 to 1-3. Then two factors swung the game decisively in the Ernesiders favour in the second half. Firstly Michael 'Sticky' Ward began to find his range after an anonymous first half and then Barry Mulligan hit a left thunderbolt of a goal from an extremely acute angle that seemed to extinguish the Fishermen's appetite for the game. Sticky Ward ended up with 7 points to his credit, four frees, while Barry Mulligan also picked off a couple of points to add to his goal of the month. Kerry Ryan and Stephen Ward both had superb games in the centre of the field and it was their dominance that provided Aodh Ruadh a great platform to run at Killybegs. Ward and Ryan also got on the score sheet, Stephen with two points on target and Kerry with a well-taken point. Aodh Ruadh dominated the second half and their efforts were further gilded when Fiachra McIntyre fisted a goal just on the final whistle to make it 2-13 to 1-5 and two points heading up the road to Ballyshannon. Despite those two points Aodh Ruadh's division two situation remains parlous. We are mid-table with 13 point from 14 games, but the teams below us all have games in hand and much depends on results yet to come. Our last two games are away and penciled in for 9th/10th October when we face MacCumhaill's and 16th/17th October when Malin are the opposition. In the meantime the seniors are on their way to the annual Kilmacud All-Ireland sevens competition in south Dublin this weekend. There they are placed in group eight along with reigning championship Clonduff of Down, Clonguish of Longford and Galway's Claregalway. Best of luck to the lads in that prestigious tournament. The latter stages are televised so hopefully we'll be seeing their exploits broadcast to the nation!

The reserves put in a battling performance against the Fishermen, but were edged out in the last ten minutes when Killybegs pushed on to win by five points.

The thirds recorded their third division five win on the bounce when they defeated Saint Michael's by 4-5 to 1-1 in Father Tierney park on Sunday afternoon. The Ballyshannon boys were dominant throughout and Dunfanaghy/Creeslough side could simply never get going. Martin Gallagher reckoned he was carrying a bit of an injury, but it didn't seem to knock much out of him as he slotted away four goals in a super 60 minutes. Sean Boyle was in good form too up front hitting a wonder point. Diarmuid Slevin and Martin McGlynn also proved very troublesome for the Michael's rearguard. Paddy Kelly and Barry Gallagher were well on top in midfield while Brian Dorrian was very sold in defence and Raymie Granaghan also had a fine performance in the backs. The result puts Aodh Ruadh third in the league, four points of Naomh Conaill in fourth. With away games against Malin and Naomh Conaill remaining and the top four teams in line for the division five semi-final Aodh Ruadh have booked their place in the semi-final stages, it just remains to be decided whether it is MacCumhaill's or Glenfin the Ernesiders face.

There was no third team fixture available at time of mailing.

On Tuesday evening Aodh Ruadh's under 14s booked their passage into the Southern Divisional Board final thanks to a rare slice of luck in the dying moments of their ding-dong battle with Four Masters. Aodh Ruadh started the game very poorly with support play non-existent and a lot of passes going astray. The Donegal town lads capitalised on Ballyshannon's lacklustre start when they got a penalty ten minutes in, which was duly dispatched. Philip Patton hit three frees to keep Aodh Ruadh in contact and the half time score was 1-4 to 0-3 in favour of Four Masters. The sides swapped points at start of second half and then Aodh Ruadh hit the next point to make it 1-5 to 0-5. The sides swapped points once again before substitute Gareth Ferguson hit a fine goal with his first touch to level the game. The Ernesiders then raided in for another quick-fire goal to make it 2-6 to 1-6. Four Masters rallied well after the double goal blow and struck a goal to level matters before picking off two lovely points. However Aodh Ruadh displayed really battling qualities and deep into injury time Ballyshannon were awarded a free. Colm Kelly hit the ball into the danger area and after a big scramble the ball ended up being poked into the Four Masters net. Some reports indicate that Nathan Boyle might have been the man who got the decisive touch, but the result was indisputable. Donegal town only got time for the kick-out before the referee blew the whistle and Aodh Ruadh celebrated a memorable win on a score line of Aodh Ruadh 3-6 Four Masters 2-8. Aodh Ruadh's man of the match was half back John Ward. He put in an exceptional display particularly in the first half when Aodh Ruadh were somewhat at sea and in danger of being over-run. His uncompromising tackling and foraging kept Ballyshannon in the game. A close contender was Matthew Maguire who was immense at full back. Philip Patton's role in keeping the score board ticking over was also vital and Colm Kelly was as polished as ever in midfield. The substitutes all made important contributions, particularly Gareth Ferguson with his goal and Daniel Mannion who struck a point on his introduction.
Aodh Ruadh lined out as follows: Gavin McDaid; Callum O'Halloran, Matthew Maguire, Eddie Lynch; John Ward, Jason Gallagher, Ellis McGuinness; Niall Harley, Colm Kelly; Oisín Roper, Philip Patton, Shane McGrath; Ryan Gallagher, Conor Kennedy, Stephen Thompson. Substitutes: Gareth Ferguson, Nathan Boyle, Daniel Mannion and Conor McShea.
Unfortunately the team's Southern Regional Board final against Dungloe was rained off on Monday. The details for the rescheduled game have not yet been confirmed, although it is expected to take place this weekend. The web site will be updated and a text to club members will be sent when the details come to hand. This team has really had a great year and they deserve the club's best support, so please come out on Monday and get behind the lads as they bid to bring some silverware back to Ballyshannon.

There is under 12 training in Father Tierney park this Friday evening at 4.30pm. Out of that training one player will be picked as Aodh Ruadh's representative to the county under 12 skills competition which will be held in Convoy on Friday 24th September at 5.00pm.

~ HURLING ~
Aodh Ruadh under 14 hurlers completed a wonderful season on Sunday last by winning the Fermanagh league. The lads made the trip to Maguiresbridge to play Fermanagh kingpins, Lisbellaw. Both these teams performed very well at Féile na nGael 2010 in Clare, so a very close game was expected. In perfect conditions for hurling the large crowd present were treated to a very competitive game full of passion and commitment. The first half started at a very hectic pace and there were some very physical exchanges. After a slow start Aodh Ruadh gradually got into the game and began playing some very stylish hurling. The Ballyshannon boys led at half time 2-4 to 1-1. The second half turned into a very physical and hard-hitting affair with referee Jason McManus having to brandish a number of yellow cards. The Fermanagh men buoyed up by the large home support battled back and were determined that Aodh Ruadh were not going to follow up on their under 12 success with the under 14 title heading to Donegal also. Lisbellaw got the first couple of scores of the second half to close the gap to 2-4 to 2-2. The Donegal boys, after a very long season, dug deep and the characteristics of team work and determination for which they are well known came to the fore, and they got the last five scores of the game to run out convincing winners 2-9 to 2-2.
The final whistle was greeted with a mini pitch invasion as our loyal supporters congratulated these great lads who gave them a year to remember. Fermanagh Hurling Board chairman Peter Bogue presented the Fermanagh League cup to winning captain Ciaran Rami who made a great acceptance speech. So 2010 came to an end for this very dedicated and special panel claiming something that was even beyond the great Kilkenny team - the five in a row! Our version consisted of the Donegal League, Donegal Championship, Donegal Féile, Ulster Féile and finally the Fermanagh League. This team have put in a tremendous effort over the last number of years. They began training at the start of March and continued twice a week. They have done all that was asked of them and have represented their club proudly on a county, provincial and national stage. Their commitment, dedication and discipline are a credit to them and their families. They are great ambassadors for the Aodh Ruadh club. Well done to the entire panel and management team. After the game the Fermanagh cup headed across the border into Donegal where it received a great welcome in Ballyshannon. After a tour of the town the lads and their fanatical supporters made their way to Aras Aoidh Ruaidh for some very well deserved refreshments. Keep an eye on aodhruadh.org over the next week for pictures from the final.

The under 16 hurlers also had a great win away to Burt on Thursday last winning 2-7 to 2-4 and qualified for the under 16 B championship final. That is due to be played this Saturday with the venue and time to be confirmed.

Training for all ages continues on Sunday at 12 noon.

~ LADIES ~
The Aodh Ruadh ladies lost out to Lavey in the Ulster club intermediate football championship by 3-16 to 1-4 last Saturday. The Cavan girls were an impressive outfit and got off to a business like start. Donna Martin got a goal against the run of play to bring Aodh Ruadh back into the match, but Lavey just eased away with the game in the end. Tara Khan had a great battle with her opposite number, while Sarah Patton and Tanya O'Shea both tried hard at midfield, but Lavey just had too much. It's a tough way to end a season, but well done to the girls on achieving so much this year with their Donegal intermediate championship title victory and to the management too for their work with the team. Thanks also to the great support that followed the girls down the N3. We have over 40 pictures from the ladies outing in the Ulster club competition.

Donegal take on Waterford on Sunday 26th September in Croke Park. Tickets for the final are available from Eavan Mulligan. Prices are as follows: Adults - €25; Student and OAP - €10; Children under 14 - €5; Family tickets (two adults and two under 14s) €50. Group discounts are available for schools and clubs. If a child has received a letter from their school or club coach and parents wish for them to travel with their school/club they should order the tickets through the teacher/coach. To order ticket from Eavan Mulligan contact her on 086-6074197.

~ MEETINGS ~
There is a Finance Committee meeting in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh this Thursday, 16th September at 8.30pm. We would ask that Cairde Aoidh Ruaidh promoters put in a big effort between now and then and bring whatever forms they have completed with them to the meeting.

~ CONGRATULATIONS ~
Well done to Bundoran on their victory in the county Intermediate Football Championship final over Cloughaneely on Sunday.

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21 September

~ FOOTBALL ~
It was a quiet week last week on the adult football front with the reserves and thirds on an All-Ireland final weekend lay-off. The seniors sent a sevens side down to the Kilmacud sevens, though. They rattled up a good 1-10 against the hosts, Kilmacud Crokes, but the Crokes were better at finding the net and their 4-6 gave them the first win of the group stages. Next up were Kilcoo, from the spiritual home of sevens football, Down. Kilcoo ran out 4-8 to 2-8 winners in that one. Aodh Ruadh's best display of the day came against the team that would ultimately top the group and go on a run to the Kilmacud sevens semi-finals. Caherlistrane of Galway had only a single point to spare over the Ernesiders at the final whistle. Ronan Matthews took some shots of the day's action.

There were no adult fixtures available at time of mailing.

Aodh Ruadh lost out to Dungloe by 1-7 to 1-5 in the Southern Regional Divisional final last Wednesday. The Ernesiders played into a strong breeze in the first half and put up a magnificent defensive performance to ensure that Aodh Ruadh were only a point or two behind at the break. The half back line of Matthew Maguire, Eddie Lynch and John Ward in particular were outstanding in the first 30. Playing with the wind in the second half it looked like the game was there for Aodh Ruadh. Indeed Ballyshannon enjoyed the lion's share of possession in the second half, but struggled to get quality ball into the forward line with the Dungloe defence playing valiantly. Daniel Mannion bagged Aodh Ruadh's goal. The Aodh Ruadh team lined out as follows: Gavin McDaid; Callum O'Halloran, Conor Kennedy, Jason Gallagher; John Ward, Matthew Maguire, Eddie Lynch; Niall Harley, Colm Kelly; Oisín Roper, Philip Patton, Stephen Thompson; Ryan Gallagher, Daniel Mannion, Shane McGrath. Substitutes: Gareth Ferguson, Conor McShea. The county semi-final against Saint Eunan's takes place on Friday 6pm in MacCumhaill park. This is another big game for our under 14s and we appeal for the club to get behind them and give them some deserved support.

Congratulation to Shane McGrath who was picked as Aodh Ruadh's representative to the county under 12 skills competition which will be held in Convoy on Friday 24th September at 5.00pm. Best of luck to Shane at that event.

~ HURLING ~
The curtain came down on our weekly underage training last weekend when we held our annual underage skills competitions in all 60 young hurler took part in the various age groups and all performed very well. The results in the various categories were as follows
Under 8: 1st Senan Rooney, 2nd Jack Monaghan, 3rd Shane Brady, 4th Ryan Keenaghan, 5th Troy Killiea, 6th Aaron Neilan.
Under 10: 1st Owen Doherty, 2nd Shane Gillespie, 3rd Seosamh McGee, 4th Adam Rami, 5th Bronagh Kelly, 6th Darren Sharpe.
Under 12: 1st Oisín Rooney, 2nd Stephen Anderson, 3rd Garrett Sheerin, 4th Ryan Ayres, 5th Shane McGrath, 6th Cian Duffy.
Under 14: 1st Eddie Lynch, 2nd Colm Kelly, 3rd Eugene Drummond, 4th Jamie Brennan, 5th Bryan Ward, 6th Niall Harley.
Many thanks to all the parents who helped out in the running of the event and who helped with the refreshments afterwards.

The annual Aodh O Dálaigh under 12 hurling tournament takes place this Sunday with play beginning at 11am. Six teams have confirmed their attendance so far and a great day of hurling is assured. All members of under 12 panel to be at Father Tierney park for 10.30am. There will be refreshments for all afterwards.

The under 16B championship final due to be held last Sunday was postponed because of an unplayable pitch. A new date and venue have yet to be confirmed.

~ LADIES ~ The Aodh Ruadh Ladies club are organising a bus to travel to the ladies All-Ireland finals in Croke Park on Sunday where Donegal take on Waterford in the All-Ireland intermediate decider. All underage players and club members wishing to travel to Croke park on Sunday to cheer on Donegal should contact Claire Flood on 087-6229351.

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28 September

~ CLUB MEETINGS ~
The monthly senior club meeting takes place on Thursday 30th September in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh at 8.30pm. All committee members are asked to attend.

The monthly Bord na nÓg meeting takes place on Tuesday 5th October in Aras Aoidh Ruadh at 9pm. All committee members are asked to attend.

~ FOOTBALL ~
There was no adult football action last weekend. There were no adult fixtures available at time of mailing.

The PJ Roper Tournament this weekend promises to be a very competitive affair. Crossmaglen Rangers of Armagh, Killyclogher of Tyrone and Belcoo of Fermanagh are confirmed as attending while we are awaiting final confirmation from Sligo champions St Mary's and Kilcar. The action gets under way at 12 noon this Saturday in both Father Tierney Park and Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. Aodh Ruadh players are asked to each bring a loaf of sandwiches as a contribution to the tournament catering.

Well done to Shane McGrath put on a good show at the county under 12 skills competition last Friday, running up 130 points, unfortunately he finished just outside the places in what was a very strong field.

~ HURLING ~
The final of the Donegal under 16B championship was played in Tir Chonaill park, Donegal town on Monday night. It brought together Aodh Ruadh of Ballyshannon and Letterkenny's Saint Eunan's. On a splendid evening for hurling on a perfect pitch these two teams provided the large crowd with a very exciting and entertaining clash. The Ballyshannon men were quickly out of the blocks and got the first couple of points of the game before Saint Eunan's clawed their way into the game with a goal against the run of play. Aodh Ruadh sped up their hurling and got another few points before the Eunan's boys fought their way into the game with a goal and a point. The Letterkenny team were growing in confidence and were beginning to match the Ernesiders, before the boys in green and white notched over another few well-taken points to go two points up, but the game young Eunan's boys showed they were going to be no push-over by grabbing a goal before half time to go in leading 3-3 to Aodh Ruadh's 0-11.

Aodh Ruadh manager Kevin Loughlin gave his boys a stern talking to at half time and urged them to play more direct hurling and to cut out their short game. Ballyshannon were more direct this half and hit 1-2 shortly after the resumption but yet again Dan O'Connor's Letterkenny outfit showed great battling qualities and got a brace of good points. Another Ballyshannon goal had the boys thinking of winning the title, but the men from beyond the gap had other ideas and fought back and showed real never-say-die spirit before a late goal gave Aodh Ruadh a deserved 2-15 to 3-8 win over a very pugnacious Eunan's team.

The match was played in a very sporting manner and very well reffed by Four Masters John McGlanaghey who played his part in making this a very enjoyable contest.

After the game plan B came into operation as the delighted Aodh Ruadh supporters made their way onto the pitch and Four Masters' Fergal McAllister, on behalf of the Donegal Hurling Board, presented the shield to victorious Aodh Ruadh captain Aaron Fannon. From Donegal Town it was back to Ballyshannon for a victory cavalcade through the town which was enjoyed by young and old. Then it was on to Aras Aoidh Ruaidh for some richly deserved refreshments for the newly crowned county champions. Well done to the management and the lads on bringing yet another county hurling title to the banks of the Erne. Eddie Lynch was on hand to take some shots of the presentation and we have those pictures.

The annual Aodh O Dálaigh under 12, 11-a-side hurling tournament was hosted by Aodh Ruadh juvenile hurling committee on Sunday last. In ideal conditions five teams took part in this very competitive days hurling. The sides in attendance were Naomh Eoin (Sligo), Coolera/Strandhill (Sligo), Lisbellaw (Fermanagh), Letterkenny Gaels and host club Aodh Ruadh. The tournament was played on a round robin basis with all teams playing four games in the group section with the top two teams qualifying for the Aodh O Dálaigh final and the third and fourth placed teams qualifying to play in the primary league final. Play began at 11am with the clashes of Aodh Ruadh v Coolera/Strandhill and Naomh Eoin v Letterkenny Gaels. It was the two Donegal teams who emerged victorious. The games continued hard and the fast and the standard of hurling was very high, with the games very competitive and close fought. When the group phase was concluded the stage was set for our two finals, the primary league final had the novel pairing of Coolera/Strandhill against Letterkenny Gaels while the Aodh O Dálaigh final saw a renewal of the rivalry between Aodh Ruadh and Fermanagh kingpins Lisbellaw.

The primary final had two very evenly matched teams and the exchanges were tough and fair, there was very little between the two teams all through till a few late scores allowed the Sligo boys to hold onto their primary shield for a second consecutive year.

The stage was now set for the Aodh O Dálaigh final. This was a rematch of the Fermanagh under 12 league final. A large crowd had gathered for this eagerly awaited clash. Play was very nervous early on as both teams tried to get on top, Aodh Ruadh had more of the play early on but found scores hard come by due to poor shooting and some great defending by Lisbellaw. As the game wore on the stronger Donegal team began to get on top and began to find range with their shots and ran out comfortable winners on a 5-7 to 1-7 score line and claim the Aodh O Dálaigh shield to go along with the Fermanagh League title. Aodh Ruadh had a panel of 17 players and the most pleasing thing from the winner's perspective was the fact that all players played in every game.

From Fr Tierney Park it was up to Aras Aoidh Ruaidh for great refreshments that the mothers of the Aodh Ruadh under 12 hurlers had prepared for all. Everyone was fed and nobody went home hungry following the hospitality for which our mothers are well renowned. Then it was onto the presentation ceremony. Aodh Ruadh Juvenile Hurling Chairman John Rooney acted as MC and welcomed all the visiting teams to Aodh Ruadh, he thanked all the teams for making their annual visit to Ballyshannon. He spoke of the late Hugh Daly in whose honour this tournament is run and of the great GAA man he was and how his love of the GAA was passed on to all his family and the important role they all have played in the GAA. He thanked Tom Daly, former Ulster Council President for attending as always.

He then spoke of the local National Schools of the important role they play in promoting hurling within the Aodh Ruadh catchment area. He singled out the achievements of Holy Family National School who won the Cumann na mBunscoil nine-a-side competition this year and Creevy National School's Brendan Gillespie who took part in the INTO exhibition game in Croke Park during the All-Ireland Semi Final between Tipperary and Waterford. He called on Conor Carney to present the Primary Shield to the winning Coolera/Strandhill captain. Conor spoke of the great interest and passion the young lads in Ballyshannon have for the game of hurling. He spoke of his pride of winning the Cumann na mBunscoil competition and he praised the great work being done by the Aodh Ruadh Juvenile Hurling Committee. He presented medals to the Coolera/Strandhill team and runners up medals to members of the Letterkenny Gaels team.

John Rooney thanked the referees Peter Horan, Chris Kelly and Eddie Lynch and spoke of the importance of having qualified referees and the need to respect referees. He also thanked under 14 hurlers Eddie Lynch, Conor Kennedy and Garrett Ferguson who acted as umpires. He also thanked the Aodh Ruadh Park committee for the use of the splendid facilities and Pat Melaniff for having everything ready for them all year.

He then called on Tom Daly to address the gathering, Tom began on behalf of the Daly family by thanking the Juvenile Hurling committee for organising this annual event. He welcomed all the teams, he commented on the high skill level he had witnessed throughout the day and on the commitment of the young players and the dedication of their mentors. He also thanked and complimented the referees.

He called on the defeated Lisbellaw captain Eoin Cleary to come forward with his team for the runners up medals. Then came the moment the crowd had been waiting for as joint Aodh Ruadh captains, Brendan Gillespie and Oisín Rooney, made their way forward to accept the Aodh O Dálaigh Shield from Tom, and proudly one by one the entire panel came forward to accept their medals.

John Rooney finished proceedings by thanking all the Aodh Ruadh under age hurling managers and mentors for their dedication to their teams and all their support and help to him and thanked Billy Finn, who was present, for all his efforts over the years. He thanked the panel and their parents for their commitment to training and matches throughout the year and concluded proceedings by saying he was looking forward to seeing everyone again next year. Ronan Matthews took some great shots of the day's action which we have up.

~ LADIES ~
Congratulations to the Donegal Ladies team who captured the All-Ireland intermediate title with a fine victory over Waterford on Sunday afternoon. Ballyshannon gave the girls a rousing welcome on their triumphant return to Donegal. We have pictures from the homecoming up

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