Club Notes Archive - 2019

1 October

Aodh Ruadh powered their way into the IFC semi-finals with a comprehensive 2-19 to 0-8 victory over Naomh Muire in Glenfin on Saturday. Both sides took time to settle into the game, with the Annagry men opening the scoring 12 minutes in, Johnny Gethins cancelling that out shortly after. That was followed an almost uninterrupted run of points from Philip Patton (3), Cian Dolan, Oisin Rooney, Niall Murray, Shane McGrath and Shane Gillespie which saw Ballyshannon taking a 0-9 to 0-3 lead in at the break. The sides swapped points at the start of the second half before a clever ball from Philip Patton put Nathan Boyle through to slam to the net. Naomh Muire continued to battle, but when Nathan Boyle netted his second goal nine minutes from time the writing was well and truly on the wall. A great all-round team performance from the Ernesiders and they will look ahead to this weekend's IFC semi-final against Cloich Cheann Fhaola with a quiet sense of optimism. Aodh Ruadh's team and scorers against Naomh Muire were as follows. Peter Boyle; Callum O'Halloran, Colm Kelly, Johnny Gethins (0-1); Shane Gillespie (0-1), Johnny Gallagher (0-1), Sean Taylor; Cian Dolan (0-1), Conor Patton (0-1); Nathan Boyle (2-2), Philip Patton (0-5, 1f), Oisin Rooney (0-2); Diarmuid McInerney (0-2), Niall Murray (0-2), Shane McGrath (0-1). Subs: Ryan McKenna for S McGrath (BC); Darren Drummond for N Murray; Paddy Gillespie for S Gillespie; Michael Ward for O'Halloran.

Aodh Ruadh reserves recovered from a shaky opening period in their quarter-final clash with Gaeil Fhánada on Saturday to run out comfortable 2-18 to 1-9 winners with Michael 'Sticky' Ward and David McGurrin sharing 15 points between them while JJ Cassidy provided two cool finishes in either half to raise the green flag.
The famous old lighthouse in Fanad will have guided many a vessel through choppy waters over the years, but it looked like Aodh Ruadh's reserve championship title defence had hit the rocks as they shipped 1-4 in the opening 15 minutes in Killygordon. Sean Friel in particular was causing problems for the Ballyshannon defence, pointing in the third minute before drawing two frees soon after which were clipped over by Seamus Martin while Brendan McClafferty found space to put the Gaels four up by the 10th minute. A Ward free and a point from Dermot Slevin should have settled Aodh Ruadh but McClafferty pounced at the other end to fire past Karl O'Brien putting the Fanad men right back into the ascendancy once again.
Aodh Ruadh's previous outing saw them succumb meekly to Saint Naul's and it looked like it might be more of the same here, but there is nothing like the white heat of knock-out football to focus minds. It also helped having four recently crowned All-Ireland champions running through the spine of the team in the form of Ward, Slevin, Kerry Ryan and Packie McGrath. Ward was the standout performer of the Masters' winning quartet; firing over five points with his customary class during the remainder of the first half while Slevin probed for gaps and was involved in the move that saw Cassidy find the back of the net after good work by McGurrin.
Meanwhile, playing in a sweeping role in front of the full-back line McGrath's experience began to rub off on his younger partners either side, with Daniel Warnock in particular having a superb game making some telling interceptions and tackles. However, experience and nous will only get a team so far, you also need running power and the ability to carry the ball and with the likes of Eoin Doherty, Conal Sweeny and McGurrin, Aodh Ruadh had this in spades.
A Doherty score and three points from McGurrin saw the Ballyshannon men reach the break six points to the good on a scoreline of 1-10 to 1-4. McGurrin's ability to take on his man and ride tackles makes him a formidable opponent, particularly at reserve level, and he demonstrated this to the full as the second period swung into action reeling off three quality scores after Fanad had threatened to stage a mini revival through Ciaran Mac Giolla Colla and a Martin free. However, the Gaels began to run out of power and ideas as the game entered its final third and two from Friel and an Oisin McFadden point were the last of their scores.
At the other end Aodh Ruadh continued to keep the umpires busy and again it was Ward and McGurrin to the fore, knocking over two and three more points respectively after Anthony 'Waddle' Coughlin had found the mark. Sandwiched between that flurry of points was Ballyshannon's second major as Cassidy again fired coolly to the bottom corner following great work by the marauding Sweeny.
The Aodh Ruadh team was: Karl O'Brien; Adam Clarke, Patrick McCaffrey, Packie McGrath; Chris Goan, James O'Donnell, Dan Warnock; Kerry Ryan, Conal Sweeny; JJ Cassidy (2-0), Dermot Slevin (0-1), Eoin Doherty (0-1); David McGurrin (0-7), Anthony Coughlin (0-1), Michael Ward (0-8). Subs: Ronan Drummond for Packie McGrath HT, Odhran McGarrigle for JJ Cassidy; Ryan O'Brien for Adam Clarke; Mark O'Brien for Anthony Coughlin; Caolan Drummond for Dermot Slevin; JJ Goan for James O'Donnell; David McLoone, Raymie Granaghan, Niall McCready.

Glenfin provides the venue for both our seniors and reserves semi-final outings this Saturday. The reserves will be taking on Red Hugh's at 3pm with the seniors locking horns with Cloich Cheann Fhaola at 5pm. We hope it will be a great day for the club and we urge all the Ballyshannon faithful to get down to Glenfin in big number and really get behind both the teams.

The under 13s are in action this Wednesday at 6pm when they take on Dungloe in a play-off for a place in the county quarter-finals. Venue details have yet to be confirmed.

The Bord na nÓg AGM will take place on Friday 1st November at 8pm in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh. Anyone with an interest in underage football in Ballyshannon is warmly invited to attend.

The minor ladies are in action this Sunday against Ardara in Father Tierney Park at 11am, players are to be at the dressing rooms for 10.15am.

Aodh Ruadh girls claimed a first ever under 16 a grade county title with a deserved win at a damp Tir Chonaill Park on Sunday afternoon. Conditions made handling and shooting difficult, but Aodh Ruadh and Saint Naul's managed to serve up an enjoyable decider with good spells of quality football from both sides. The scores were slow to come and Aodh Ruadh lead by 0-3 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter saw goals from Caitlin McGarrigle and Tia McFarland, but Saint Naul's got a goal just before half-time and were well in the hunt at 2-3 to 1-2. The third quarter saw both sides giving it everything, but with Saint Naul's missing a penalty and Caoimhe Hughes O'Brien hitting Aodh Ruadh's third goal there was six points between them going into the last 15 minutes. Ballyshannon outscored Mountcharles 1-2 to no score in that closing period to collect a fully-merited win and claim a historic county title for the club. It was an excellent team performance from the Aodh Ruadh girls. Áine Hill was superb between the posts and her kicks from turnover ball were noticeably effective in putting Aodh Ruadh on the attack. The full back line read play well all day, while the half backs threw up a wall which Saint Naul's had huge problems trying to penetrate. Midfielders Caoimhe Hughes O'Brien and Niamh Hughes were both excellent. Hughes O'Brien a truly masterful reader of the game while her centrefield partner harried relentlessly and was enthusiastic in the attack. Up front everyone took on their share of the responsibility, reflected in the fact that five of the starting forwards scored while Orla Keon was unlucky not to net what would have been goal of the season. Important also to recognise the important contribution of the substitutes, not just in this game, but across the course of the season. It takes a panel to win a county title and every single one of the 25 players in the squad played their role in bringing this title back to Ballyshannon, whether it was in games or ensuring high standards of competition training. They should take real pride in that contribution. We have a full match report and pictures up on

The under 13 girls winning streak came to an end when they came up against a strong Dungloe side in the second last game of the league series. It was a game in which the Ballyshannon girls never really got on top. We looked fatigued and sluggish and we found it difficult to break down the opposition. On the occasions when we did find a way through we didn't capitalise on our opportunities and the break saw us going in well down to the home side. The second half began much brighter for us and we competed and won many of the individual battles across the pitch. Aodh Ruadh produced some fine patches of support play and defended heroically, but it wasn't Ballyshannon's day and we left ourselves too much work to do and Dungloe ran out comprehensive victors in the end. The Ernesiders are scheduled to play our last league game against Ardara this Saturday in Father Tierney at 3pm. It's a very important game and we would love to see a good home support to help us try and bring this over the line and reach the semi-final stages. Thanks to Dungloe for their hospitality, and a special thank you to the parents for driving and providing some welcomed vocal support on the sidelines.

The under 16s season ended last Thursday with the A championship final against Setanta. Despite being played in horrendous conditions in Donegal town with torrential rain at times, both teams served up a thriller. The sides were level at half-time. There was great intensity in the second half and every ball was fought for ferociously. At the end of such a great game it was a pity there had to be a loser, but it was the lads from the Cross who won by the minimum, 2-9 to 0-14 . This young under 16 team had a great season, winning the league, the Ulster Óg Sport and the Seamus Grimes Trophy. This was a hard defeat for them to take, but there is no doubt they will come back even stronger in 2020.

On Sunday we held the Aodh Ó Dálaigh under 12 hurling tournament in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. This tournament has been going since 1982 and honours the contribution the late Hugh Daly and his family have made to the GAA locally and throughout the county. The following clubs took part in this year's event Ballinascreen (Derry), Dungannon (Tyrone), Abbeyknockmoy (Galway), MacCumhaill's and Aodh Ruadh. The Galway lads were able to field two teams. The tournament was staged in a round robin format with loads of hurling for all the players taking part. At the end of the league section Ballinascreen and Dungannon qualified for the Aodh Ó Dálaigh Final and both Abbeyknockmoy teams met in the Primary League Final. The Aodh Ó Dálaigh Final was a classic game where two very skilful and committed teams tore into each other from the very moment the ball was thrown in. It was end to end stuff where the intense rivalry that exists between Derry and Tyrone was plain for all to see. It was without doubt one of the best games of hurling at any grade ever seen in Ballyshannon. At the full time whistle it was the Derry boys who claimed the title by five points. All teams made their way to the Aras where there was a feast of food for everyone prepared by the parents of our under 12 squad. John Rooney welcomed all to the presentation. He thanked all the clubs who had attended and thanked the Daly family for their support for the tournament. Hugh Daly's daughter Anne, a former primary school teacher spoke of the links between the local primary schools and the Aodh Ruadh club and underlined the importance of these links. She spoke of the recent successes of the Aodh Ruadh hurling teams at all grades. She then went on to present the Primary Shield to the Abbeyknockmoy captain she was assisted by her two nephews Ben and Joey. John Rooney thanked all who had helped organising the tournament. He thanked all who helped on the day especially the referees Peter Horan, Chris Kelly and himself. Michael Daly then spoke of his late father and how proud the Daly family are of this tournament and complimented all the teams on the quality of hurling on display at the tournament. He presented the runner-up medals to Dungannon before presenting the Aodh Ó Dálaigh Shield to the delighted joint captains from Ballinascreen. We have a great gallery of pictures from the tournament up on

Pitch bookings
All remaining fixtures for October including blitzes and tournaments should be notified to Tom Daly without delay as planned maintenance work on the playing surfaces will commence this month as we approach the closed season.

Confirmed pitch bookings this week are as follows.
Father Tierney Park, 3pm. Under 13 ladies football league - Aodh Ruadh v Ardara
Father Tierney Park, 11am. Minor ladies football league - Aodh Ruadh v Ardara

Youth Matters conference
CLG Dhun na nGall are hosting a Youth Matters conference on the health and well-being of our youth on Saturday, 12th October in Letterkenny IT. Jason Quigley will be guest speaker and a number of county players from both ladies and men's football and hurling teams will also be in attendance. The event will run from 9.30am to 2pm. Clubs are asked to send delegates from age groups 12 to 15, and 15 to 18. Each delegate will get a courtesy pack sponsored by O'Neill's. If interested in attending on behalf of Aodh Ruadh please contact club secretary Lisa McTernan.

Building mental resilience
Thank you to Connect Mental Health for partnering with us to host an excellent talk on Bouncibility and building resilience by Psychologist Shane Martin on Thursday night in Ballyshannon's Aras Aoidh Ruaidh. This was an excellent event which saw a great turn-out from the local community.

Diary dates
Dates have recently been confirmed for a couple of the club's big annual social events. The club dinner dance will take place on Saturday, December 7th, while the underage football awards evening for boys and girls takes place on Saturday, 26th October, in the Abbey Centre.

Abbey Centre Bingo
Kathleen Flanagan of Belleek is the September bingo thousandaire after scooping the €1,000 jackpot, well done Kathleen. Mary Fletcher of Sligo won the stand-up game prize of €165. Celia Byrnes took a €40 line and a €150 house on the same game. The other €150 houses were shared. Winners of the €100 houses were Paddy Kane, Felicity Byrne, Della von Bock, Peggy Coughlin and Mary Gallagher. The snowball again survived so it rolls on to a mighty €1,450 on 51 numbers this week, it's sure to be won soon! Bingo as usual this Friday at the Abbey Centre at 9pm, books priced just €10.

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8 October

Extra time couldn't separate Aodh Ruadh and Cloich Cheann Fhaola in Saturday afternoon's IFC semi-final at Glenfin. Conditions weren't exactly conducive to great football, but both side's served up an entertaining encounter which finished at 0-14 apiece. The sides went score for score over the course of the first half with Philip Patton, Oisin Rooney, Shane Gillespie and Diarmuid McInerney on the mark for the Ernesiders, but Cloich Cheann Fhaola nicked the last score of the half to take a slim one point advantage in at the break. Four more Philip Patton points kept Aodh Ruadh in the game over the course of the second half. Then as the game moved into added time Peter Boyle landed a free to put Ballyshannon into the lead, only for the Gaeltacht men to grab an equaliser three minutes later from another dead ball. Aodh Ruadh carried their momentum into extra-time and two points from Philip Patton and one from Oisin Rooney put them three clear. Cloich Cheann Fhaola owned the ball in the second half of extra-time though and went into a one point lead with two minutes left to play. It looked like curtains for Barry Ward and Philip O'Reilly's men, especially when Cloich Cheann Fhaola passed up a great goaling chance. However Aodh Ruadh got the lifeline their efforts deserved after a silly foul. Up stepped the superb Philip Patton to loft over the tricky late free to tie the game up and send this semi-final to a replay. Sean Taylor had an absolutely magnificent game for Aodh Ruadh and was a contender for man of the match. Elsewhere Nathan Boyle was a real a hive of positive energy and Philip Patton was cool when it counted. The Aodh Ruadh team and scorers were Peter Boyle (0-1f); Johnny Gallagher, Colm Kelly, Johnny Gethins; Shane Gillespie (0-1), Conor Patton, Sean Taylor; Cian Dolan, Eamonn McGrath; Nathan Boyle, Philip Patton (0-8, 7f), Oisin Rooney (0-3); Shane McGrath, Niall Murray, Diarmuid McInerney (0-1). Subs: Darren Drummond for Niall Murray 44m; Niall Murray for Johnny Gallagher 70m; Paddy Gillespie for Shane Gillespie 75m.

The semi-final replay will take place on Wednesday evening in Convoy at 7.30pm. This is a huge game for the club. We know the massive prize on offer, and we know how narrow the differences are. With that in mind we would really urge everyone who can make it down to Convoy on Wednesday evening to make a special effort to make the trip and get behind our lads.

Earlier on Saturday the reserves bowed out at the championship semi-final stages against Red Hugh's. The weather was atrocious even at that early stage of the day, the rain not relenting at all during the reserve fixture. The first half started with two early David McGurrin points being answered by Red Hugh's frees to level it at 0-2 apiece. Further points from Michael 'Sticky' Ward and Dermot Slevin sent Aodh Ruadh in with a 0-4 to 0-3 lead. There was little separating the sides over much of the second half too, points from James O'Donnell and Conal Sweeny just about helping to keep Ballyshannon's noses in front. Heading towards the last ten minutes Sticky Ward pointed again to put the Ernesiders into a 0-7 to 0-6 lead. It was at this stage Red Hugh's went up through the gears and hit an unanswered 1-3 to book their place in the reserve decider. This brings the reserve season to an end. It has been a relatively successful one and we pay tribute to the players for their efforts and to the diligent work of Anthony 'Waddle' Coughlin and Aidan Murray in ensuring that Aodh Ruadh not only fielded consistently, but chalked up some impressive results over the course of the year. Not forgetting Anthony Donagher who provided first rate logistical support to the team.

The under 14 season came to an end with the 2019 Bakery Cup Final on Friday evening as Kian Duncan's team prevailed in a tight final against Cian McKenna's team. The game was nip and tuck the whole way and finished with a single point between the teams on a final score of 10-3 to 9-5. The semi-final teams who lost out were captained by Drew Ryan and Eoghan Kelly. Over the group stages and on Friday's finals the standard of football was very high and played with great sportsmanship. Many thanks to everybody who helped with organising this year's tournament and to those who brought goodies and helped with the hospitality during the presentations. Well done to all players who were involved.

The under 13 season came to an end last Wednesday when the lads lost out in their play-off against Dungloe by a narrow margin, 2-8 to 3-7. It was a hard fought game the whole way through, but perhaps the pivotal moment came ten minutes in. Aodh Ruadh had hit an early 1-2 to take a good lead, but Ted O'Donnell, who had been magnificent at full back, had to go off with an injured knee. Dungloe were able to rally and lead at the break 2-3 to 2-2. Ballyshannon battled manfully over the second half, but they just couldn't reel Dungloe back in. Barry Campbell was probably man of the match, capping a fine performance with two lovely goals. Oran Gillespie wasn't far behind with a big haul of points to his credit. Brothers Rian and Caolan McCauley did well, mopping up a lot of ball and counter-attacking with real purpose, while Jun Hui Lin was powerful once again around the centre of the field. Find of the season for the under 13s has been Killian Bradshaw who has really found his calling in nets. He was a great foundation to build the team on and a fine shot-stopper too. Thanks to Paul Gillespie, Diarmaid McInerney, David O'Donnell, Rory McGloin and Ken Monaghan for all their work with the team over the course of the season.

Aodh Ruadh minors claimed a hard earned win against Ardara on Sunday morning in their last game of the league stages. Played 13-a-side with the going soft in Father Tierney Park, it was a challenging 60 minutes for both teams. There was little between the sides at any stage, Ardara getting a couple of early points, but Aodh Ruadh coming back with a Roisín Daly goal. Tia McFarland added a point shortly after, but Ardara continued to chip away and it took a brilliantly taken individual goal from Caoimhe Keon to send Aodh Ruadh in with a slight lead at the break, 2-2 to 0-6. Ballyshannon worked the bench over the second half, but still found it difficult to get on top of a determined and persistent Ardara side. Further points from Tia McFarland, Andrea McGlynn and Cáit Gillespie helped the Shamettes keep their noses in front, but there was just three points between the sides going into the last five minutes. It was only when Cáit Gillespie finished a well worked goal that Aodh Ruadh were really able to breathe easy. If finished Aodh Ruadh 3-6 Ardara 0-8, a results which puts the Shamettes into an A county semi-final. It was a real hard-working shift from the Ernesiders, Caoimhe Keon probably the stand-out performer on show. Her goal was superbly engineered and taken, and she flogged herself for the cause around the middle third. As ever the defence put in a massive amount of work. Ana Keon, Eva Moore and Síofra Hughes were really steady and helped keep Ardara chances to a minimum, especially in the second half. Bridín Maguire dealt well with the dropping ball and was clever with her kick outs. Caitlin McGarrigle and Andrea McGlynn were both effective links between defence and attack and McGlynn scored a great point. Up front Tia McFarland lead the line tirelessly. There is minor training this Tuesday from 4.30pm to 5.30pm.

The under 13 girls game against Ardara has been rescheduled to this Saturday at 12 noon. The team train this Tuesday from 5.30pm to 6.45pm.

Pitch bookings
Confirmed pitch bookings this week are as follows.
Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, 9am to 1pm. Cumann na mBunscol seven-a-side hurling.
Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, 7.15pm. Under 10 boys Ballyshannon Shoe Company football league.
Father Tierney Park, 1.30pm. Under 16 colleges football - Coláiste Cholmcille v Saint Columba's College.
Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, 7.15pm. Under 10 boys Ballyshannon Shoe Company football league.
Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, 12 noon. Under 13 ladies football - Aodh Ruadh v Ardara.
Wednesday, 16th October
Father Tierney Park and Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, 10am to 2pm. Senior Colleges Ladies Football Blitz - Coláiste Cholmcille, Magh Ene and Abbey VS.
Saturday, 19th October
Father Tierney Park and Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, 10.30am to 3pm. Mick Shannon Memorial under 10 football tournament.

Diary dates
The underage football awards evening for boys and girls takes place on Saturday, 26th October, in the Abbey Centre. The Bord na nÓg AGM will take place on Friday 1st November at 8pm in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh. The club dinner dance will take place on Saturday, December 7th.

Christmas Quiz
The annual club Christmas Quiz which has proved a great meeting point over the years for locals at home and away will take place in Dicey Reilly's on Friday, December 27th. This is a quiz format that everyone can enjoy. Organised by the club's Park / Development Committee the proceeds will help defray the heavy costs incurred in developing the new Fitness Trail / Walking Track at Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh which is being so well used since it was completed earlier this year.

Abbey Centre Bingo
Last week's €400 bingo jackpot was shared by Anne Granaghan of Bundoran and Breege Barrett of Ballyshannon. The snowball again survived so rolls on to a massive €1,500 this week on 51 numbers. Karl O'Loughlin won the stand-up game prize of €130. Winners of the houses included Rita McGullion, Celia Byrnes, Sinead Watters, Monica Quinn, Eileen Maguire and Kevin O'Connor. Bingo as usual this Friday at 9pm at the Abbey Centre with a monster €3,200 prize fund. Books just €10.

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15 October
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22 October
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29 October
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