Search the site >

Club Notes Archive - 2020

Box. September
1 September

Football
The senior regional league game between Aodh Ruadh and Saint Eunan's last Saturday was postponed, so attention now turns to Saturday's Intermediate Championship quarter-final in Father Tierney Park. Naomh Muire are the visitors to Ballyshannon with throw-in at 12 noon as the sides face off for a place in the IFC last four. Donegal County Board are in charge of this event and, unfortunately, as with all adult fixtures, spectators will not be admitted to this game. The County Board will be live-streaming the game and access will be available to purchase priced €3 at donegalgaa.ie later this week.

We also ask that members note the regulations concerning access to underage games. Only one parent per player is permitted to attend games or training, and unfortunately no additional children are allowed entry. We appreciate your understanding in what are very difficult and trying circumstances for all concerned. Aodh Ruadh take no pleasure in enforcing these rules. However, the health of our community is always our foremost priority. Other clubs may not apply these regulations rigorously, however the Aodh Ruadh club believe they are being implemented for the long term good of our community and to help halt the spread of coronavirus. We want to help the GAA family show Government that we take our responsibilities seriously. Bear with us, and hopefully with strict compliance we will be able to have supporters back in our grounds sooner rather than later.

It was much improved display last Tuesday from our reserves, but unfortunately the end result was another defeat. It was Glenfin who grabbed the opening score of the game a couple of minutes in. However, Jamie McDonald answered that with a point on nine minutes, before Eoin Doherty put Aodh Ruadh into an early lead with a fine score. Just before the water break Doherty turned provider, fielding a long ball in from Jamie McDonald before fisting across the face of goal for Harry Howarth to palm home. Shortly after the intermission Damian Houston finished a good move to the net in reply following a quickly taken free kick to bring the visitors back to within a point of the Ernesiders. Aodh Ruadh came back with a well worked move of their own from a placed ball by Niall Murray, Donagh McIntyre coming up on the end of things to pop over. A Glenfin free cut the hosts' lead to a point again as the teams turned around. Aodh Ruadh started the second half in sprightly fashion with Harry Howarth keeping the ball alive for a score finished off the left boot by Jamie McDonald to make it 1-4 to 1-2. It was advantage Glenfin in the 36th minute though as Kyle O'Mara finished a breakaway move to the back of the net. That was followed up seconds later by a Shane McGinity green flag which handed the impetus to the visitors in no uncertain fashion. Eoin Doherty perhaps could have levelled matters shortly after, but his shot blazed over rather than under the bar. Jamie McDonald did trim the deficit back to two points with a lofted point after some patient Ballyshannon build-up play. However, after the second half water break Glenfin's cause received a huge boost when Jamie McDonald and Donagh McIntyre were both dismissed on black cards. A free for the visitors then opened up a one goal gap between the sides once more as time ran down. With four minutes remaining Eoin Doherty was chopped down on his way through and Odhran McGarrigle tapped over the free to set up an exciting finish. Donagh McIntyre did have a chance to put his name up in lights with a late goal, but he couldn't keep his shot down and had to be satisfied with just a point. Unfortunately Aodh Ruadh couldn't fashion the scores needed for a share of the points or a win in the time remaining and it was visitors who emerged victorious, Aodh Ruadh 1-9 Glenfin 3-4 the final score. Best for Aodh Ruadh on the night were Michael Ward in the defence, Paddy Gillespie and Gary Carty in the half back line, Niall Murray who got on a lot of ball in the middle third, and Harry Howarth, Jamie McDonald and Eoin Doherty who were all lively in the attack. Best wishes to Ryan McKenna for a speedy recovery after sustaining an injury following a beautifully executed block towards the end of the game. The Aodh Ruadh starting team was Karl O'Brien; Michael Ward, Calum O'Halloran, Dan Warnock; Ryan McKenna, Paddy Gillespie, Gary Carty; Kerry Ryan, Donagh McIntyre; Ryan Granaghan, Darren Gethins, Niall Murray, Jamie McDonald; Eoin Doherty, Harry Howarth. Substitutes: Odhran McGarrigle, Ciaran Slevin, Tiernan Flood Dolan.

Our minors came out on the wrong side of a 4-14 to 2-10 scoreline in Donegal town last Wednesday. The squad has been badly hit by injuries to key players, and in that context the team battled well throughout with every member of the panel getting good game time. We had stand out performances from Damian Weber and Aaron Neilan, while Harry Howarth was lively as always and Kyle McCaffrey scored 1-1 off the bench. All our players made a great contribution to what was an excellent team performance against a very strong Four Masters team who made the most of all their opportunities. The squad are now awaiting word on their next opponent with games to still remaining to be played in the Northern section.

Under 16 training continues on Wednesdays and Mondays at 4.30pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

It was a tough day at the office for our under 14s in Tir Chonaill Park last Tuesday. Despite their best efforts they were overwhelmed by a strong Four Masters outfit who ran out 7-18 to 0-3 winners. The lads now face Saint Naul's on Tuesday evening in the Regional Shield final. Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh is the venue with throw-in at 6.15pm.

The under 12s had two great games against Pettigo and Grange on Saturday morning. The full squad of 30 players got a good run out and it very enjoyable day for all with a lot of good football on show. Thanks to Diarmaid McInerney and Shane Toolan for refereeing. We have the short trip to Bundoran this Saturday morning. Training continues on Tuesdays at 7pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

The under 10s had two outings over the last week. On Thursday evening Naomh Bríd were the visitors, contesting two very enjoyable games. Then on Saturday morning we hosted three teams from Letterkenny Gaels in Father Tierney Park with strong performances in all three games. This week training continues on Tuesday at 5.45pm. On Thursday evening we are scheduled to host Four Masters at 6pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

The under 8s will be training as normal this Friday from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. On Saturday afternoon we will be hosting Saint Naul's under 8s in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. Times and details to be confirmed, and will be sent to parents and guardians through the WhatsApp group.

Under 6 training continues this Friday on the top field in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh at 6pm.

Aodh Ruadh Academy
There will be a rescheduled academy meeting on Monday 7th September, at 7pm, outdoors in the stand of Father Tierney Park. All underage managers are asked to attend. All coaches and mentors within the club are also invited and encouraged to attend. This will be followed by the monthly Bord na nÓg meeting at 7.30pm.

Ladies
Senior ladies training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8pm to 9pm.

The minor county final between Aodh Ruadh and Saint Naul's has been confirmed for Saturday 12th September. Training for minors and under 16s continues on Mondays and Wednesdays at 7pm.

The under 14s had their final training session of the year on Monday, but they will be bringing the curtain down on the season with a flourish this weekend. They are staging the Joe Roper Memorial Cup this Saturday in a blitz style format in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh with the action getting under way at 4pm.

The under 12s made it two wins from two after an evenly contested clash with Naomh Bríd / Pettigo last Saturday. An early goal from Megan Murphy helped Aodh Ruadh into an early lead and two more from Niamh Duffy helped extend the advantage. The visitors continued to give as good as they got over the course of the game, but further scores from Hannah Downey, Emily McNamee, Faye Gillespie, Lucy Byrne, Ciara Larkin and Rachel Gillespie ensured Aodh Ruadh took the points. Rebecca Downey was once again very strong between the posts with Katie McGowan and Áine Neilan continuing to forge an impressive defensive partnership. Elsewhere Nessa Warren was fantastic in the middle third, while Cora McGowan McGinley, Saoirse Gallagher, Caitlin McGuinness and Sarah O'Brien all had excellent outings. The under 12s are back in action this week when a strong Saint Naul's side are the guests in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh this Saturday at 11am. Training continues this week Tuesday at 7pm.

The under 10 ladies train on Wednesdays at 7pm at the top field in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. The under 8 ladies train on Wednesdays at 6pm at the top field in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

Hurling
It was pretty much one way traffic as Aodh Ruadh booked their place in the Junior Hurling Championship semi-finals with a convincing 16 point win over a brave Saint Eunan's II outfit. The homesters opened the scoring four minutes in with a point from Martin Larkin and from there to the half-time break they were dominant in every area of the pitch. Rory Cullen raced in for goals in the sixth and ninth minutes and Stephen Connolly pointed to give Aodh Ruadh a 2-2 cushion before Saint Eunan's managed to hit their only point of the first half 11 minutes in. Further points from Rory Cullen (3), Martin Larkin and Ciaran Kilgannon (3) had the Ernesiders 2-8 to 0-1 to the good at the interval. The third quarter continued in a similar vein with Mark Larkin, Ryan Ayres, Eugene Drummond, Adam Rami and Cian Duffy all on target. John Rooney ran his bench in the final quarter and Saint Eunan's got some deserved scores for their endeavour. Aodh Ruadh continued to add to their tally though and scores from Brendan Gillespie, Brian Patton and Rory Cullen saw it end 2-17 to 0-7. Aodh Ruadh had excellent performances from every man who took to the pitch. Keeper Ryan O'Brien was very cool with any ball that came his way. The Ramis, Ciaran and Adam, were rock-like in a defence well-marshalled by Jack Matthews. Brendan Gillespie, Eugene Drummond and Conor McNeely gave the hosts a great platform in the middle third. In the attack Rory Cullen, Martin Larkin and Ciaran Kilgannon had a real field day. We have a full match report, pictures and a link to the live stream for this game up on aodhruadh.org. Our thanks to Maurice McLaughlin and Thomas Gallagher who did a great job of calling the action on Sunday.

The Aodh Ruadh under 16s enjoyed a good win over Saint Eunan's last Thursday, an Aaron Horan goal helping the lads to a 1-17 to 1-12 victory. This was a feisty, well contested affair and the Letterkenny lads pushed the Ernesiders every inch of the way. It was only in the final quarter when Aodh Ruadh started to put some distance between the sides and secure the victory. We have a great gallery of images from this game live on aodhruadh.org.

The under 12s beat Manorhamilton in a challenge on Sunday afternoon. This was a great team performance, with every man from goalkeeper out playing his part and winning their individual battles. Special mention to Dylan Owens who made his first appearance on an Aodh Ruadh hurling team.

In fixtures news this week our under 14s play Dungloe / Gaoth Dobhair in the county semi-final on Thursday, while the minors are up against Buncrana in Killygordon on the same evening. Best of luck to both sides.

Training schedule
With some teams coming to the end of their competitions, changes to training and coaching arrangements should be notified to Tom Daly as there is constant pressure for slots due to the high volume of activity across the codes and age groups.

Tournaments
Units of the club with plans for tournaments need to finalise their plans a soon as possible. Given the current high level of activity on all of our pitches on week evenings, it is likely that Saturday and Sundays offer the best option for running these competitions. An early start, say 4pm may also work, on some evenings. Since last week we have been able to allocate times and dates for both the Colman Kerr Memorial Tournament and the Joe Roper Memorial Tournament. We would like to agree times and dates for other local tournaments before it gets too late in the season, so please contact Tom Daly to make any arrangements.

Health and Safety notice
The Park / Development Committee has commenced work to bring forward a further phase of spectator terracing on the Town side of Father Tierney Park and to further advance pre-construction works for the laying of a new playing surface on Father Tierney Park in the second quarter of 2021. These current works will continue over the coming months and will involve heavy transport moving in and out of the grounds and heavy machinery working within the grounds. All are asked to observe site safety notices and avoid entering the works area.

Golf Classic proves swinging success
The Aodh Ruadh gold classic took place last Friday and was a very enjoyable and successful event with over 50 teams participating on the day. Due to coronavirus restrictions we did not have an official presentation. All winners have been contacted already, but a special congratulations to the overall winners on the day, Jimmy Gethins, Christy Barry, Dave Ruane and Gary Morris. Thank you to all involved and who helped out with organising the Classic. To our main sponsor Daikin and Northern Refrigeration Services, especially Gerald McGloin, and all our tee and team sponsors. Thank you for your continued support to our club in these uncertain times. To the small band involved in the background over the last few weeks, thank you so much. Philip McLoone Diarmaid McInerney, Donagh McInerney Diarmaid Keon, and John Meade. To Bundoran Golf Club for being so easy to work with throughout the organisation of this event. To Bundoran Golf Club Captain Donagh Keon, David Robinson, Matthew and Mason. Also to our past chairman Terence McShea and team for the great shape the course was in. To all club members and players who played. It was great to see so many out and it added so much to the atmosphere and fun. To all the Realt na Mara players and members who played and supported us. Big thanks to Ronan Matthews who took some great photos on the day, everyone was looking very natural. Thanks to Peter Gallagher, Johnny Gallagher and John Meade for set up and help. Thanks to Sean Crawford and Jim Gavigan for doing the cards. Thanks to Eva Breen Brosnan for helping on the day with photos and booking in people. Thanks also to Barry Sweeny, Michael Naughton and Michael McMahon, our three local councillors for their support. Very little gets done without the hard work in back ground. Without Lisa McTernan, Sabrina Brosnan and their continued hard work and dedication this fundraising would never happen.

The full results of the Classic were as follows:
1st Dave Ruane, Gary Morris, Christy Barry and Jimmy Gethins - 89pts.cc 2nd Pauric O'Flaherty, Fiachra O'Flaherty, Ferdia O'Flaherty and Cian Doherty - 93pts.
3rd Pauric Murphy, Michael Condron, Jim McCafferty and Seamie Granaghan - 93pts.
4th Maurice McLaughlin, Jamie Brennan, Stephen McLaughlin and Thomas Gallagher - 90pts. 5th Darragh Crawford, Mark Crawford, Peter Muldoon and Daniel Breslin - 90pts.
6th Niall Carr, Cian McEniff, Peter McIntyre and Timmy Govorov - 90pts.
7th D McDermott, Gerry O'Brien, Martin McLaughlin and Declan Green - 89pts.
8th Patrick Owens, Peter McGowan, Darragh Owens and Eamon Owens - 89pts.
9th Barry McLaughlin, Aiden Murray, David Dolan and Niall Murray - 86pts.
10 Liam McLaughlin, Brian McLaughlin, Maurice McLaughlin and Douglas Faughnan - 86pts.
Nearest the pin. Ladies, Paula McCann. Men, Daniel Breslin.
Longest drive. Ladies, Rebecca Moore. Men, Ferdia O'Flaherty.

Back to school
We would like to wish all those heading back to school this week all the very best of luck. Special good wishes go to all those starting school for the first time, and those making the move from primary to secondary. It is always a nervy and exciting time, and never more so than in the midst of the current pandemic. However, we know our local schools and all their staff have worked hard to make the return as easy and enjoyable as possible. We hope you all have an awesome year.

Donations for Danny
Further to Sunday's successful Dander for Danny McLoone in Glenties last Sunday, Aodh Ruadh are collecting a €1 per player at training this week, with the club matching all contributions. Danny is a member of the Naomh Conaill under 8s and a son of Johnny and Geraldine McLoone. Danny has been diagnosed with Leukemia and is currently undergoing treatment. Your support would be much appreciated.

Back to the top Back to top.
8 September

Football
With three minutes of normal time left to play in Saturday's Intermediate Championship quarter-final there were just two points in it and the verdict was still very much in the balance. However a quickfire salvo of points from Philip Patton, Shane McGrath and Michael McKenna in the space of 90 seconds ensured it was Aodh Ruadh who booked their place in Sunday evening's semi-final draw. The breeze had a major say in proceedings in this unusually early throw-in, and it was driving to the Mart end of the ground. Aodh Ruadh faced it in the first half, but made light of it in an energetic first quarter. Three points from Philip Patton made it 0-3 to 0-1 by the first water break. Naomh Muire came back with 1-3 in the second quarter and further points from Philip Paton and Shane McGrath meant it was the visitors who led by two as the sides turned around. Ballyshannon had a magnificent third quarter. David Dolan, Shane McGrath, Philip Patton and Nathan Boyle all split the posts to leave the Ernesiders four points to the good going into the last 15 minutes. Naomh Muire came with a late surge, but Aodh Ruadh responded with that flurry of points to seal the victory. Aodh Ruadh had a simply phenomenal performance from Philip Patton. Eight points, four from play, four from dead ball, were only part of the story in a display which saw him picking up ball in his own defence and making some telling passes. His contribution was immense. Man of the match Michael McKenna had another stylish outing and could perhaps consider himself unfortunate not to have finished with two points to his credit, one effort which looked good being chalked off by the referee. Colm Kelly and Conor Patton did well against a Naomh Muire attack which took a bit of handling. Nathan Boyle and Eamonn McGrath had a very effective 60 minutes in the middle third with Donagh McIntyre also getting through a good amount of work. The relentless Johnny Gethins was once again everywhere in this game and didn't waste a ball. We have a full match report and pictures from the game up on aodhruadh.org. Now it is the challenge of Naomh Columba which stands between Aodh Ruadh and a place in the county intermediate final. That game takes place this Sunday in Killybegs at 1pm, the other semi-final between Cloich Cheann Fhaola and Buncrana throwing in at the same time in O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny.

Best of luck to our under 16s who commence their competitive season this Saturday with a trip over Finner hill to take on the neighbours in Gaelic Park in a 1pm throw-in. Training continues on Wednesdays and Mondays at 4.30pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

It was a disappointing end to the competitive season for the under 14s as Saint Naul's took the plate honours in Father Tierney Park last Tuesday. The Mountcharles lads ran out 4-13 to 2-9 winners in what was a hard-fought and high-scoring decider.

The under 12s were in Bundoran last Saturday for a well-contested tussle. We had a panel of 28 in Gaelic Park for this encounter and all players got good game-time with some excellent displays from the lads. Next up is the visit of Saint Naul's to Ballyshannon this Saturday at 11am. Training continues on Tuesdays at 7pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

The under 10s enjoyed a good competitive match last Thursday when Four Masters were the visitors to Ballyshannon. This week the squad are training on Tuesday at 5.45pm and then on Thursday the team have a game in Pairc Aoidh Ruaidh against Melvin Gaels at 6.30pm.

Our under 8s train as normal this Friday from 6.15pm to 7.15pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. We play Four Masters at home on Saturday, and all boys are to be at the pitch for at 12 noon.

Our under 6s enjoyed their last session of the year last Friday and the future certainly looks bright. Such an enthusiastic and committed group of boys. Huge thanks to all the parents and guardians involved in supporting their sons progress in moving well and moving often. It was a pleasure to be involved with so many coaches happy to develop these young athletes. Thank you to Michelle Gillespie, Dermot Slevin, Martin Larkin, Philip O'Reilly, Gerard Ferguson, Darren McGuinness, Darren McNulty, Damien Cleary, Michael Roper, and David McLoone. Thanks also to Packie McGrath and the those involved with the Academy for their contributions to raising standards within club at all ages including the under 6s. Manager Ivan O'Mahony is already looking forward to another season with the same age group next year.

We once again ask that members note the regulations concerning access to underage games. Only one parent per player is permitted to attend games or training, and unfortunately no additional children are allowed entry. We appreciate your understanding in what are very difficult and trying circumstances for all concerned.

Ladies
Senior ladies training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays in anticipation of league action in the coming weeks.

The minor county final between Aodh Ruadh and Saint Naul's takes place this Saturday. Keep an eye on the Aodh Ruadh CLG Facebook page for details on venue and time. We extend the very best of luck to our girls as they bid to retain the title they won for the first time in the club's history last year.

Under 13 training will commence this week. Management will be in touch with parents and guardians directly with session details.

The under 12s winning run came to an end against Saint Naul's in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh on Saturday afternoon. The visitors had the swirling wind at their back in the first half and made maximum use of it. Aodh Ruadh's sole score in that period was a Ciara Larkin point. The second half was much better from the homesters with another early point from Ciara Larkin followed by a goal from the tenacious Rachel Gillespie. Aodh Ruadh's best football came in the third half where Cadhla Gillespie hit three points and Saoirse Gallagher fired over a brace, while Sophia McGuinness and Ellen Monaghan were both very lively. Aodh Ruadh's player of the match was probably Megan Murphy who played literally very position on the pitch in this game. She was in the defence in the first half, goals in the second and hit a goal when she went into the attack in the third! The under 12s play their last game of the group stages this Saturday when they travel to take on Four Masters in Tir Chonaill Park, throw-in at 2pm. Training continues this week Tuesday at 7pm.

Our under 8 and under 10 girls take to the field for their last game of the season this Wednesday at 7pm when they'll be facing off against their counterparts from Four Masters in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

Hurling
The semi-final of the Junior Hurling Championship is a repeat of last year's final where Aodh Ruadh will be up against Carndonagh. In the group stage of the Championship the Carn men had a comprehensive 17 point victory over us in Father Tierney Park in July. However Aodh Ruadh have got the bit between their teeth since then and come into this game on the back of a convincing win over Saint Eunan's in the quarter-finals. We now have pictures from that game available on aodhruadh.org. Nevertheless, the lads have a big task ahead of them if they are to hold onto their title. The semi-final will take place on the weekend of 19th / 20th September.

Last Thursday night was a good night for underage hurling in the club. A very young under 14 team made the long trip to Dungloe to take on a strong Dungloe / Gaoth Dobhair amalgamation in the A semi-final. The lads played out of their skins and had a thrilling win 4-7 to 3-4 to set up a meeting with MacCumhaill's in the final. This much anticipated final will take place in Tir Conaill Park Donegal Town on Thursday 17th September.

Meanwhile the minors travelled to the Centre of Excellence in Convoy for a meeting with Buncrana. Injuries meant we only had 14 players with the majority of the team under 16. It was a game of two halves due to the strong breeze. The Ernesiders were against the wind in the first half and were only a point down at the interval. Ballyshannon dominated the second half and ran out comfortable winners 5-15 to 3-10.

Many thanks to the parents who drove to Dungloe and Convoy your support is much appreciated.

Club kit for Christmas
The club is hosting sizing sessions for club kit over the coming weeks and we have a super-stylish range of gear on offer. The first sessions take place this Saturday from 10am to 2pm and on Wednesday 16th September from 6pm to 9pm. Among the items available to purchase is the new Aodh Ruadh Academy 2021 jersey which is available in sizes from 3 to 4-years-old up to adult. There will also be ladies gear available with the LGFA crest and pink Aodh Ruadh crest. Ladies leggings from 12-years-old to adult are sure to attract a lot of demand. Chris will also have quarter-zip tops, hoodies, tracksuit tops and bottoms, and club bags. This is all top quality kit and would make great gifts for Christmas. Payment will have to be made in full on order. We will be able to take card payments via Klubfunder.com at each sizing session. Check out the Aodh Ruadh CLG Facebook page for further information and some images of the gear we have available.

Tournaments
Units of the club with plans for tournaments need to finalise their plans a soon as possible. Given the current high level of activity on all of our pitches on week evenings, it is likely that Saturday and Sundays offer the best option for running these competitions. An early start, say 4pm may also work, on some evenings. Since last week the Joe Roper Memorial Tournament has been played we have been able to allocate times and dates for both the Colman Kerr Memorial Tournament and the Willie Rogers Tournament. We would like to agree times and dates for other local tournaments before it gets too late in the season, so please contact Tom Daly to make any arrangements.

The Billy Finn Sessions
The Billy Finn Sessions, part of Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival, take place on Saturday 26th September in the Abbey Centre at 8pm. Billy, a true stalwart of the Aodh Ruadh club, was also a founding member of the Phil Rooney Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Ballyshannon. An accomplished uilleann piper and flute player, his various sets of pipes and chanters have been generously loaned by his family to the Billy Finn Trust, whereby many young Donegal uilleann pipers are now learning to play the instruments. There will be an amazing line up of talent on show on the night. Robbin Hannan, Shauna Mullin, Damien McGeehan, Dara Gallagher and Caoimhin MacAoidh will all take the stage in the Abbey Arts Centre. Admission is €15 and pre-booking is essential. Call Ailis or Linda on 071-9851375.

Magnificent memorial marker
A big shout out and many thanks to dedicated club member and all-round number one fan in Canada, KJ Graham, for commissioning a number of beautiful Aodh Ruadh pucks to commemorate the recent Billy Finn / John Larkin Memorial Challenge.

New Gaels
Keep an eye out for New Gaels this Thursday at 10.15pm on RTE2. The programme looks at the experiences of new emigrants through the lens of their participation in the GAA and is produced by our own Eavan Mulligan.

Leaving certificate
Best of luck to all those who received leaving certificate results this week. We hope that you are happy with your grades. Remember, these results, while important, will not define you or how life will unfold. These results are a beginning, not an end.

Back to the top Back to top.
15 September

Football
Pride of place this week belongs to our senior footballers who booked their place in the county final with an immensely hard-fought victory over Naomh Columba in Fintra on Sunday. It was clear even before the throw-in that the gale driving in from the sea would have a major say in proceedings. Aodh Ruadh faced it in the first half, and so damage limitation looked like the priority. Naomh Columba duly went into a four point lead before David Dolan did really well to win a free which Philip Patton converted for Aodh Ruadh's first score of the game 17 minutes in. Glen hit three answering points, interspersed with some poor wides, to go in at the break leading 0-7 to 0-1. Given the strength of the breeze that looked unlikely to be adequate. Nevertheless, Naomh Columba really upped their game and were as good in the second half as they were indifferent in the first. Diarmaid McInerney got Ballyshannon's first point on the resumption and then he fired over a free after a foul on Shane McGrath. Glen hit a point in reply and then had their keeper to thank for denying a thumping shot from Eamonn McGrath. Diarmaid McInerney eased over the 45 to make it double scores after 40 minutes 0-8 to 0-4. Coming up to the second half water break it looked like the game was slipping away from Aodh Ruadh, but Oisin Rooney got on the end of a ball in and smashed to the back of the net to bring his side right back into it. The Ernesiders had their tails up now and restarted with the score of the game. A sensational 40 metre pass from Nathan Boyle was flighted in on a low trajectory to David Dolan who fielded superbly and hoisted over a glorious point. Cian Dolan then followed up with a fine score to leave the minimum between the sides with seven minutes of normal time remaining. Naomh Columba answered that in with a sucker-punch goal, but the reintroduction of Philip Patton was to prove decisive as he first pulled back a point before powering a shot to the net to make it 2-7 to 1-11. Aodh Ruadh managed play well over the closing stages to create a levelling opportunity for Diarmaid McInerney, which he seized with both hands to the delight of the small but vocal support in Killybegs. Aodh Ruadh faced the wind again in the first half of extra-time and although Naomh Columba landed the opening score they were clawed back when Nathan Boyle won and converted a priceless free. In the second half there was only one further score and, thankfully from a Ballyshannon perspective, it came from the boot of Shane McGrath. Later Cian Dolan seemed to rather unjustly get the line, but the sending off of two for Naomh Columba shortly after mitigated the impact of that decision somewhat. There was jubilation at the final whistle and now Barry Ward and his men can start planning for a county final against Cloich Cheann Fhaola. It was a display of serious grit from Aodh Ruadh, with Darren Drummond's display emblematic. He was in fearsome form in a defence which was littered with eight and nine out of ten performances. For a young man, Nathan Boyle has established himself as a real leader in this team and he did a great job in setting the tempo. Up front David Dolan looked to be in pain at times, but he didn't let that stop him giving a performance which will rank as among his best. Diarmaid McInerney and Philip Patton made telling contributions in the attack, while Shane McGrath had the Glen defence at sixes and sevens all day. This Sunday Aodh Ruadh return to regional league action, when they are in Ballybofey to take on MacCumhaill's at 3.30pm.

The reserves championship opener against Burt on Saturday fell by the wayside when the Inishowen men failed to field. The squad await confirmation of their next fixture.

It proved a bad day at the office for our minors in the regional final against Dungloe. We started brightly, with our full forward line of Cian Rooney, Harry Howarth, and Kyle McCaffrey setting the tone with plenty of energy and high pressing pinning Gaeltacht boys back. The sides went tit for tat with the scores level pegging at three points apiece early on. Aodh Ruadh had chances to go into the lead, but just forced a couple of balls when Harry Howarth had made clever runs in behind. The Ernesiders probably didn’t make the most of the opening quarter and a second quarter surge from Dungloe aided by a strong breeze was damaging. Everything Dungloe touched seemed to come off. While Aodh Ruadh dominated possession, they were unable to make it count in attack. Trailing 1-9 to 0-3 at half-time the lads really stepped up and came back to within four points of the leaders in the second half and looked increasingly like being able to rescue something from the evening. Unfortunately, a sloppy pass coming through midfield on a counter attack allowed Dungloe to charge through to hit an outstanding goal from all of 21 yards into the top corner. That was a bridge too far and Ballyshannon struggled to shake off the impact of that blow. Dungloe only scored twice in the second half and Aodh Ruadh dominated the ball for the entire game, but poor decision making proved costly and it just didn’t happen for the lads in attack. The main damage was done in the last 15 minutes of the first half, a costly lesson. Despite a disappointing evening there were some positives in the form of top performances. Credit to Ryan Keenaghan, who is developing into a really promising full back who never threw in the towel and was always trying to drive his team on. Daire Gallagher is a tigerish corner back who never let his man get anything easy, the assured Kyle Murray, and Mark McGlynn who played through the pain barrier on more than one occasion for the team this year. The management would like to thank all the minor players for their positive attitude, commitment to training, and willingness to work on their game. The improvement the minors have made in the past two years under Peter Boyle’s tutelage should be noted and although there is no silverware to show for it all those players eligible for adult football have made the step up, be it with the seniors or the reserves. This should be commended and we look forward to seeing the next crop of these minors representing the club at adult level next year and into the future. We have gallery of pictures from the game up on aodhruadh.org.

The under 16s got their season off to the perfect start with a convincing win over Bundoran. The hosts were quick out of the blocks and clipped over the first score, ironically from Kyle McNulty. The Aodh Ruadh lads responded with three unanswered points from Damian Weber before bagging the game's first goal. Drew Ryan was out around the middle helping out and put in a fine shift. He fielded a number of kick outs and finished with a goal and a point. Keeper Aaron Cullen kept on top of his back line and ensured everything was nice and tight in that sector. He hit an Aodh Ruadh jersey every time with his precision kick outs. Shane Delahunty put in his usual all-action performance and linked up with Jack Gallagher for a score. Robbie Murphy hit the net, getting on the end of a ball which fell short and popped out of the keeper's hands. Like any good full forward, Murphy pounced and flicked the ball to the net. There were polished outings from Séimí Campbell and James Gallagher who kept their forwards quiet. All-in-all this was a good team performance by the full Ballyshannon squad, the subs introduced helping to keep the score board ticking over as it finished Bundoran 0-8 Aodh Ruadh 5-12. Next up for the under 16s is the visit of Saint Naul's to Father Tierney Park this Wednesday with the throw-in at 6.15pm.

The under 12s had a terrific duel with Saint Naul's on Saturday morning in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. The visitors just about edged the first two thirds, but the Ballyshannon boys pulled out all the stops and in a fabulous final third they came out on top. The squad of 28 players all enjoyed what was a real tough test and a great game of football. This Saturday it will be Four Masters who are making the trip down the N15 to Ballyshannon for an 11am throw-in. Under 12 training continues on Tuesday evening at 7pm.

Under 10 training continues this Tuesday at 5.45pm. There is no training this Thursday as the squad will be travelling to Donegal town on Friday evening to play neighbours Four Masters. All players are asked to be down at Tir Chonaill Park for 6.15pm at the latest, with the games throwing in at 6.30pm.

Our under 8s train as usual this Friday from 6.15pm to 7.15pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. Our match against Four Masters last Saturday was postponed, and will now be played this Saturday, players to be up at the Park for 11.45am.

Ladies
It promises to be a real feast of ladies football this Saturday as close on 60 players will take part in the Colman Kerr tournament. The matches will get under way at 1pm with the first round of the group stage games and will continue until the cup and shield finals bring the curtain down on the action. The teams are as follows.

Team 1: Captain: Sara Gallagher, Vice-Captain: Rionach Sheerin, Dearbhla O'Moore, Cáit Gillespie, Sarah Daly, Eva Moore, Roisin Maguire, Caitlin McGarrigle, Caoimhe Hughes O'Brien, Orla Keon, Danielle Gallagher, Ciara Gillespie, Fódhla Sheerin, Niamh McGloin.
Team 2: Captain: Sara Patton, Vice-Captain: Hannah Doherty, Terri Gallagher, Shauna Dolan, Bridín Maguire, Sarah Jane Keon, Eilish Gallagher, Niamh Hughes, Katie O'Brien, Hannah Gallagher, Cara O'Loughlin, Cara Davitt, Lauren Foy, Orlaith Toland.
Team 3: Captain: Áine Gilmore, Vice-Captain: Amanda Mahon, Dearbhla Hughes O'Brien, Bronagh Kelly, Gráinne Maguire, Meadb McCloskey, Ella Clancy, Lauren McHugh, Saoirse McDevitt, Erin O'Loughlin, Chantelle Timoney, Dairín Sweeny, Katie Gallagher, Síofra Hughes.
Team 4: Captain: Anna Rafferty, Vice-Captain: Kate Cunningham, Elaine Dorian, Orla Gallagher, Ciara Caldwell, Clodagh O'Connor, Andrea McGlynn, Caoimhe Keon, Ana Keon, Leah O'Brien, Aoibheann McGarrigle, Caoimhe McCauley, Jodie Meade, Annie Keon.

It just wasn't to be for Aodh Ruadh on Saturday morning as they came up short against Saint Naul's in the minor county final. Played at a windy Páirc Naomh Bríd in Ballintra, the elements had a considerable impact in how the game unfolded. Saint Naul's had the wind behind them in the first half and that was a big plus for the Mountcharles side who favour a defensive approach to the game. Aodh Ruadh probably played their best football in the first half, containing Saint Naul's attack, and contriving to mount a number of forays into the final third themselves. One of those ended with a reaction goal from Aoibheann McGarrigle, a major which looked like it might prove a crucial score in the prevailing conditions. Saint Naul's had been restricted to 1-5 for much of the first 30 minutes, but with half-time closing in they grabbed two more goals to give themselves a more substantial cushion to defend as they turned to face the breeze. The Ballyshannon girls had to go on the offensive in the second half, but it was the Saint Naul's girls who were able to make the most of their scoring chances. Although Bridín Maguire hit 2-1 in the second period, Mountcharles scored freely and claimed the county title on a 5-11 to 3-6 scoreline. Katie O'Brien was probably Aodh Ruadh's player of the match, taking some excellent scores and kept carrying the game to the opposition right through, while Tia McFarland was another who could be very happy with her individual display in the final, and Síofra Hughes really played her heart out in the attack. The Aodh Ruadh team and scorers were as follows: Bridin Maguire (2-1, 1 pen); Ciara Caldwell, Grainne Maguire, Eva Moore; Erin O'Loughlin, Lucy McGlynn, Ella Clancy; Caitlin McGarrigle, Caoimhe Keon; Niamh Hughes, Aoibheann McGarrigle (1-0), Tia McFarland; Orla Keon, Síofra Hughes, Katie O'Brien (0-5, 2f). Subs: Áine Hill, Cara O'Loughlin, Sarah Jane Keon, Katie McMullin, Eilish Gallagher. Not the way we wanted the season to end, but a big thank you to the management, players and mentors for all their hard work this year.

The under 16s get their season underway this Sunday with a trip to Bundoran, throw-in at 10.30am in Gaelic Park. The following Sunday the girls are away to Saint Naul's. On Sunday 4th October they are home against Naomh Bríd / Pettigo. On Sunday 11th October they entertain Four Masters, before wrapping up the group stages with a trip to Ballybofey to take on MacCumhaill's on Sunday 18th October.

Under 13 training continues this week on Thursday. Anyone interested in playing under 13 football should contact John Hughes.

The under 12s had a real ding dong battle of game on Saturday against Four Masters. In the first half the attack of Niamh Duffy, Rachel Gillespie, Megan Murphy and Emily McNamee combined beautifully and the end product came in the shape of goals for the Duffer (2) and the Red Rocket. Ciara Larkin also raided up from midfield for a lovely point to leave it 3-1 to 1-3 at half time in Tir Chonaill Park. It was defences on top in the second half and on that score Katie McGowan and Áine Neilan were both immense once again. Ciara Larkin added another point to her tally, but credit to Four Masters who kept plugging away and got a goal with the last kick of the game to leave it honours even at the final whistle. The girls played some of their best football of the season here, with Lucy Byrne covering every blade of grass while Ellen Monaghan, Saoirse Gallagher, Caitlin McGuinness and Sarah O'Brien all put in eye-catching displays. We now await confirmation of our opponents in the knock out stages. Training continues this week Tuesday at 7pm.

Our under 8 and under 10 girls finished the season on a high with a mini blitz last Wednesday against Four Masters. We fielded two teams in both age groups and the girls played extremely well considering it was their first competitive game of the year. For some of our under 8s it was their first ever game in the Aodh Ruadh jersey and they all had great fun. Our under 10s are a more serious outfit and are extremely competitive. We put out two equally matched teams and they were both victorious in their respective matches. We have to extend a massive thanks to the Four Masters club for bringing their two teams up. Like ourselves, they are the only club in the area who have under 8 and under 10 squads. The future looks bright for the Aodh Ruadh girls' football. There's a lot of potential and interest among the under 8s and the under 10s are an exceptional team. There are a lot of girls underage again next year and for those moving up to under 12 the transition will be an easy one for them if they put in the same effort as they did this year, even though it was a fractured season. We have a lovely gallery of shots from the games up on aodhruadh.org.

Hurling
The senior hurlers take on Carndonagh in the Junior Championship semi-final this Sunday in Burt, with the throw-in at 1.45pm. This is a repeat of last year's final, and the lads will be up against it to retain their title as they suffered a 17 point defeat against the Inishowen men earlier in the season. We wish the management and players the very best of luck.

The under 14s are up against MacCumhaill's in the county A final in Tir Chonaill Park, Donegal Town, this Thursday. In their group game MacCumhaill's won a keenly contested game by two points. There has been little between these teams over the years, and our young squad, have trained hard all season. They are really looking forward to this game. On the same evening in The Cross the minors are up against Letterkenny Gaels, and the lads will be hoping to build on their recent victory over Buncrana.

We offer our sincere sympathy to Pat Haran and his family on the death of his Dad, Seamus. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all at this very difficult time for them.

Club kit for Christmas
The club is hosting sizing sessions for club kit over this Wednesday from 6pm to 9pm in the changing rooms at Father Tierney Park. Social distancing will be in place and please wear your mask. Here is what we have available. Half zip top: adult €40, youth €35; Crew neck top: adult €40, youth €35; Hoodie top: adult €40, youth €35; Academy jersey: adult €31, youth €27; Club jersey: adult €31, youth €27; Skinny bottoms: adult €33, youth €29; Leggings: adult €43, youth €35; Gear bag: €28; Bobble hat: €15. All prices include club crest and initials, ladies gear will also include the LGFA logo. We also have a multi-buy special on offer. if you buy three items you can get a €15 bobble hat free! This is all top quality kit and would make great gifts for Christmas. Payments will be taken in dressing room three and will have to be made in full on order. Where paying in cash we would appreciate correct change is brought to reduce handling required. We will be able to take card payments via Klubfunder.com. Check out the Aodh Ruadh CLG Facebook page for further information and some images of the gear we have available.

Tournaments
With the Joe Roper tournament successfully completed, the Colman Kerr Tournament taking place this Saturday and the Willie Rogers tournament set for Saturday October 10th we are making good progress on getting these important local competitions played in what has been a challenging year. If there are plans for further tournaments the weekends of September 26th and 27th and October 3rd and 4th should be considered. Plans for all outstanding tournaments need to be finalised without delay and contact should be made with Tom Daly to confirm arrangements.

The Billy Finn Sessions
The Billy Finn Sessions, part of Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival, take place on Saturday in the Abbey Centre at 8pm. Billy, a true stalwart of the Aodh Ruadh club, was also a founding member of the Phil Rooney Branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann in Ballyshannon. An accomplished uilleann piper and flute player, his various sets of pipes and chanters have been generously loaned by his family to the Billy Finn Trust, whereby many young Donegal uilleann pipers are now learning to play the instruments. There will be an amazing line up of talent on show on the night. Robbin Hannan, Shauna Mullin, Damien McGeehan, Dara Gallagher and Caoimhin MacAoidh will all take the stage in the Abbey Arts Centre. Admission is €15 and pre-booking is essential. Call Ailis or Linda on 071-9851375.

Back to the top Back to top.
22 September

Football
Both scheduled adult football fixtures fell by the wayside last weekend. Now all eyes turn toward the intermediate championship final in O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny on Saturday at 4pm. Due to the limited availability of tickets for this game, they will be allocated on a random draw basis. Any member who wants to enter their name into the draw should please text Lisa McTernan on 086-2338636 by 5pm on Tuesday, 22nd September. Texts received after deadline will not be entered. It is a curiosity of club history that Aodh Ruadh have never won the Cathal McLaughlin trophy, and claiming it would write this group of players a unique page in the annals of Ballyshannon GAA. It certainly won't be easy. Aodh Ruadh and Cloich Cheann Faola have played three championship games in the past 12 months with the Gaeltacht side coming out on top twice and the first game ending in a draw. Nevertheless, Barry Ward and his squad are sure to have left no stone unturned ahead of Saturday's clash and we wish them all the very best in what is a huge game for the club.

The under 16s made it two wins from two with a hard-fought victory over Saint Naul's in the Park last Wednesday. It was a low scoring first half with Aodh Ruadh only two points ahead thanks to some good scores by Damian Weber and Darragh Owens. Saint Naul's had a gilt-edged chance to take the lead early in the second half, but Aaron Cullen pulled off a penalty save which was right out of the top drawer. Saint Naul's did chip back a point, but a score from Aaron Neilan and a Weber free ensured the hosts sustained their narrow lead. Slowly the Ernesiders began to find a bit more rhythm and a brilliant Robbie Murphy free put a goal between the sides. Damian Weber converted two further frees before Aaron Neilan hoisted over a lovely point to put two goals between the sides. The coup de grace arrived in the closing stages, a superb ball in from Ryan Keenaghan found Aaron Neilan and he slammed past the Naul's net minder to leave it 1-11 to 0-5 at the final whistle. As the scoreline probably indicates, this was a game where the Ballyshannon defence arguably won the game. Well marshalled by Ryan Keenaghan they kept Saint Naul's scoreless for practically the entire second half. All the same, the lads will know they have plenty more in the tank and will be hoping for a more fluent performance on Saturday morning when they entertain Naomh Bríd / Pettigo for an 11am throw-in.

On a glorious Saturday morning in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh our under 11s played Erne Gaels while our under 12s took on Four Masters. Both matches were very tight contests. We finished both games very strongly in the last 20 minutes to leave nothing between the teams. Thanks to Chris Kelly and Barry Travers who took care of the refereeing duties. We have a great gallery of pictures from both games up on aodhruadh.org. Training continues on Tuesday at 7pm ahead of the lads next outing, which is against Naomh Bríd in Ballintra this Saturday at 11am.

The under 10s travelled to Donegal town last Friday evening for two exciting battles with our neighbours Four Masters. The A team put in one of their best performances of the season against very strong opposition. The B team also had a terrific duel and showed great progress especially the younger members of the team. The squad hosted Melvin Gaels in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh on Saturday morning, again two very competitive games on display. We have a great selection of pictures from the blitz on Saturday up at aodhruadh.org. Training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5.45pm.

Our under 8s played Four Masters at home on Saturday. We had five teams out at a very busy Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, with a great effort by all, and some great football played. Thanks to Damian Conlan, Stephen Ward, Aaron Brennan, Brian Gillespie and Philip O'Reilly for reffing. The under 8s train this Friday as normal from 6.15pm to 7.15pm. The squad play Four Aasters again this Saturday, in Donegal town. Players are to meet down at Tir Chonaill Park for 12.30pm.

Ladies
Colman Kerr came through with the goods and organised glorious weather last Saturday for the tournament run in his memory. This year the competition drew together the club's under 16, minor and senior ladies teams. Four teams were drawn and a round robin competition was played before Shield and Cup finals brought the day to a close. Anna Rafferty's team got off to an impressive start and carried that form through the group stages, going undefeated in all three games. They defeated Amanda Mahon's team in that opening match, but Amanda's side won their second round game ensure that their meeting with Sara Gallagher's side in the last round of games would decide who would progress to the cup final. After a high-scoring and entertaining clash it was Mahon's girls who were looking to break Rafferty's winning run. In the Shield Final Hannah Doherty's side put a winless run through the group stages behind them to reach the break leading. Sara Gallagher's charges upped the ante in the second half though to emerge as Colman Kerr Shield champions. In the final Anna Rafferty's team saw off a gallant challenge from Amanda Mahon's girls to be crowned the overall Colman Kerr tournament champions. Deirdre Kerr and Oisin Kerr were present to oversee the presentations and Deirdre pointed out that Colman had been managing the club's under 16 girls in the year of his untimely passing. Sara Gallagher collected the Shield from Clare Flood, an old managerial colleague of Colman's while Anna Rafferty picked up the beautiful Colman Kerr trophy, a real work of art. Colman's old employers at the ESB very kindly sponsored medals for the competition and the club express their gratitude for this lovely gesture. Thanks to the ageless John McGlanaghey and Sylvester Maguire for reffing on the day, thanks also to Patricia Hill for her organisation of matters pitchside, and to Donagh Keon for sorting out a timely delivery of ice cream and ice pops. With Deirdre Kerr also laying on a wonderful spread of post-match refreshments and bakes the players were all royally catered for after a wonderful day of football which did great credit to the memory of a dedicated club man.

After a sluggish start in Gaelic Park, Aodh Ruadh under 16s got their season off to a winning beginning against Bundoran on Sunday morning. The hosts played their best football in the opening half and showed that they have the ability to trouble plenty of other teams in this section. Bundoran got the opening and closing scores of the first quarter and it took Evelyn Rose Gallagher to set up Chantelle Timoney for a goal to send the visitors into the first water break with the lead. The Seasiders continued to give as good as they got in the second quarter and had pulled themselves back within a point of Ballyshannon when Aoibhinn McGarrigle teed up Ciara Gillespie to slip home the visitor's second goal of the game. Cara O'Loughlin found the net a minute later and after that Aodh Ruadh played with something approaching their usual verve. They pulled away in a withering third quarter of football where Katie O'Brien was on fire with a sustained volley of clever scores. In the final quarter Aodh Ruadh continued to play well, with a number of the younger players making the step up from under 14 catching the eye. The Shamettes had 11 scorers in all with Caoimhe Hughes-O'Brien, Niamh Hughes, Dairín Sweeny, Niamh McGloin, Hannah McGuinness and Annie Keon all getting in on the scoring act. Further back captain Ciara Caldwell got good assistance from Lauren McHugh and Fódhla Sheerin on her introduction. Next up for the under 16s will be an away clash with Saint Naul's on Wednesday, 30th September.

Under 13 training continues this week on Thursday. Further details will be circulated via the team WhatsApp group.

Good luck to our under 12s who will be facing Killybegs in the under 12 Shield semi-finals in Ballyshannon this Saturday at 11am. Training continues this Tuesday at 7pm.

Hurling
It was a much improved display from their championship opener against Carndonagh, but in the end it wasn't enough to claim the Aodh Ruadh senior hurlers a place in the junior county final. It was a real championship match with some hard hits and very little between the teams. It was the motivated Ernesiders edged who matters in the first half. Some clinicial score taking from Oisin Rooney had them three points clear at one point, only for the Inishowen men to rally and send the sides in with the half-time scores reading Aodh Ruadh 0-7 Carndonagh 0-8. Carn got the perfect start to the second half when John O'Donnell hit the net, but now it was Ballyshannon's turn to show their grit, and points from Stephen Connolly and Oisin Rooney levelled matters up once again at 1-8 to 0-11. That was as good as it was to get for Aodh Ruadh though, as Carndonagh hit six unanswered points over the closing 13 minutes to run out 1-14 to 0-11 winners. The Aodh Ruadh team and scorers were as follows: Ryan O Brien; Peter Horan, Jack Matthews, Adam Rami; Conor McNeely, Paul Sheridan, Stephen Connolly (0-1); Brendan Gillespie (0-1), Eugene Drummond; Gareth Sheerin (0-1), Oisin Rooney (0-7, 3f), Ciaran Kilgannon (0-1); Micky Bowering, Martin Larkin, Rory Cullen. Subs: Ciaran Rami for Adam Rami HT; Stephen Anderson for Rory Cullen 40 minutes; Adam Rami for Paul Sheridan 45 minutes.

Good luck to the under 16s who take on Saint Eunans in the county A semi-final in O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny on Thursday.

It hasn't been a good year for the club when it comes to bringing home silverware, but our under 14s set that record straight in spectacular fashion as they romped to the under 14 A County Hurling title with a 2-7 to 1-2 victory over MacCumhaill's. Not only is it Aodh Ruadh's first county title this year, it is the first time the club has won a county title at this grade since 2010. Played in Indian Summer conditions in Donegal town Aodh Ruadh were clearly up for this encounter having been beaten by the Ballybofey lads by two points earlier in the season. The defence was in unforgiving mood and contained MacCumhaill's to just three scores over the course of the game. At half-time though it was still anyone's game with Aodh Ruadh holding the slim advantage on a scoreline of 1-4 to 1-1. It was the Ballyshannon lads who went up through the gears in the second-half though, Corey Sheridan in particular putting on a scoring exhibition as Aodh Ruadh ran out victors on an eight point margin at Marc Brown's long whistle. Fittingly it was our own Denis Daly, on behalf of the hurling board, who made the presentation to captain Tommy Clyne after first extending commiserations to a gallant MacCumhaill's side. Congratulations to Paul Sheridan, his mentors and squad who delivered this much-needed boost for the club. Hopefully it will help inspire our senior footballers this weekend as they also bid to overturn an early season defeat. We have reproduced Michael Daly's magnificent report on the triumph on aodhruadh.org, where you will also find an equally fabulous gallery of pictures from a victory which will live long in the memory.

Bingo is back!
Not to be beaten by the coronavirus, the club held its very first drive in bingo last Friday night at the Market Yard. Novel to most in attendance, the evening was a great success and the weather couldn’t have been kinder. The €250 jackpot was shared three ways. It is planned to hold the drive in bingo for the next number of weeks, so we will go again this Friday night at the Market Yard, Ballyshannon. Please note we will have an earlier start time of 7pm, so books will be sold from 6pm onwards. Look forward to seeing you there!

Coaching position
The club’s Park / Development Committee has recently received approval to continue the Community Employment Scheme (CES) which it will run for a further three years up to the Autumn of 2023. The Aodh Ruadh managed scheme is a major one with over 30 participants assigned to a variety of voluntary organisations in south Donegal. The Development Committee have again received approval to appoint a Gaelic Games coach to work in the club area. This position is open to men and women who meet the CES criteria. Applicants from outside the Aodh Ruadh club area are equally entitled to apply. For further information or to express an interest in the position please contact Tom Daly by email at tom.daly@ulstergaa.ie. Full training towards accredited GAA coaching qualifications will be provided and funded. Several past holders of this position have gone on to gain full time employment in a variety of spheres.

Tournaments
With the Colman Kerr and Joe Roper tournaments successfully completed and the Willie Rogers tournament planned for next month, we want to finalise all tournament bookings by this weekend. Please contact Tom Daly on this so that the schedule going forward makes provision for all club units. We would expect that all tournament activity will be completed by the second half of October.

Condolences
The club extends its condolences to the family of Anthony Browne following his tragic and untimely passing. Our thoughts are with Majella, Neil, Catherine, Hugh and all their family circle and friends at this sad time. We also extend our sympathies to our senior goalkeeper Ryan O'Brien and his family on the passing of his grandmother Mary O'Brien, Falcarragh. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Back to the top Back to top.
29 September

Football
When Liam Brown sounded the final whistle at the end of the 1998 senior county final, few could have thought that it would be 22 years before Ballyshannon would claim championship silverware again. It has been a long, long road back, but on Saturday evening Aodh Ruadh finally savoured the sweet taste victory once more. There's been so many hard days since '98, the odd bad trouncing, a few near misses.
For a while the club was in the doldrums at underage, but a corner was turned in 2007 when a promising under 12 team won the county title in a memorable tussle with Termon in Convoy. Seven of the players on that team were members of the panel on Saturday, Johnny Gethins, Eamon McGrath, Colm Kelly, Eddie Lynch, David McGurrin, Philip Patton and Paddy Gillespie. That group enjoyed success up through the grades with men like Enda McGurrin, Jim Kane, Niall McCready, Shane Ward and Maurice McLaughlin managing their progress up through the ranks.
In 2013 the club won their first under 21 title in 20 years. It was a B title, but as Shane Ward said, Jim McGuinness credited winning an under 21 B title as the trophy which helped turn Naomh Conaill around. The golden under 12s of 2007 were supporting actors in that victory, but for men like Peter Boyle, Conor Patton, Niall Murray and Ryan Granaghan it was a vindication of their burgeoning talent.
In 2016 the story was of a final lost, but redolent with promise. Aodh Ruadh under 21s slaughtered all in front of them as they romped to the county showpiece. The decider against Gaoth Dobhair would go down as one of the best games of football played in Donegal in recent memory at any level. Aodh Ruadh had Sean Taylor between the posts, Cookie O'Halloran and Jason Granaghan had established themselves as defensive speed merchants. Up front Oisin Rooney supplied an imposing physical presence, while the terrible twosome of Shane McGrath and Nathan Boyle already looked every inch the real deal.
The hard work at underage was coming to fruition. The first fruits came with promotion from Division 3 after six tough years, Peter Gallagher the man at the helm for that one, with experienced operators like Seamus Kane, Michael Ward, Diarmaid McInerney, and David Dolan scoring heavily. In retrospect the presence of Kane and Ward was particularly important in helping to bring through the new breed of Ballyshannon brats as they cut their teeth in adult football.
James O'Donnell took over in 2017 and after a free-wheeling festival of a season Aodh Ruadh found themselves back in Division 1 for the first time since 2007. The team picked up where the left off in 2018 playing without doubt the most free-flowing and entertaining brand of football purveyed by any club in the county. Alas the cavalier enthusiasm of youth, while not the worst sin in the world, cost us on occasion and we returned to Division 2 in 2019. We also lost the intermediate final in 2018, but the pieces of this jigsaw weren't far off falling into place. Practically every member of the 2018 panel was in O'Donnell Park last Saturday.
We made it back to the intermediate semi-finals in 2019 only to be denied a final place by a last-minute goal in extra-time in a replay against Cloich Cheann Fhaola. it was a real sucker punch and a few leaving Convoy that night might have had dark thoughts about this side being nearly men. Meanwhile a four day turnaround seriously and unfairly undermined the Gaeltacht side's chances against a fresh and well-prepared Saint Naul's side.
And so 2020 dawned, a year when the fates made a mockery of blithe complacency and all the best laid plans. Some things did pan out as expected though. Cloich Cheann Fhaola and Aodh Ruadh came through the pack to claim their places in the county intermediate final, just as the pundits had predicted.
The pundits had also predicted that Cloich Cheann Fhaola would be the team playing senior football in 2021. Hard to argue with that. They were an established Division 1 side in their second successive championship final. In the group stages they had already come from behind to get the better of Aodh Ruadh in Father Tierney Park without their talisman, Jason McGee.
However, after previously going into IFC finals against Termon and Glenfin as warm favourites, the switch to underdog status seemed to suit Aodh Ruadh. In the week running up to the final town was decked out like never before. However, it was a relaxed build up which was reflected in the fair degree of freedom the Ballyshannon lads played with in the decider.
Not that they got anything handed to them on a plate in an eerily quiet O'Donnell Park, a phase three coronavirus lockdown seeing this game being played behind closed doors. Cloich Cheann Fhaola, in the words of Aodh Ruadh captain Johnny Gethins, "Never lay down."
The Gaeltacht men led by two points at the first water break, a smashing Paul Sweeney goal on the swivel propelling them ahead. They still led by a point at half-time and at the second water break it was all square. Now it was a case of luck and who wanted it more.
Aodh Ruadh obliged on both counts. Pressing up on the Cloich Cheann Fhaola restart Shane McGrath was able to capitalise on an incredible error by Shaun McClafferty on his kick out. Two quick points then meant Aodh Ruadh were five clear with ten minutes remaining.
Memories of the sides' clash in the group stages came flooding back. That day Cloich Cheann Fhaola had come back from six points down to win by two. Aodh Ruadh knew there was no way this one was over just yet.
True to form the Blues patiently chipped away at the Ernesider's lead, and a minute into added time the gap was down to just two points.
But two minutes later the Ballyshannon boys could finally start to believe as Cloich Cheann Fhaola had their pocket picked as they were on the attack and Aodh Ruadh broke at speed. David and Cian Dolan bore down on the marooned McClafferty and Cian rounded him before slipping home a left footed shot to seal the deal for Barry Ward's men.
Speaking after the match Nathan Boyle said the squad were asked at the start of the year if they wanted the title or if they needed it. That question had been answered resoundingly, and answered in style.
It was a shame the game had to be played behind closed doors, but when Siobhan Coyle, the first ever woman to take charge of a senior men's championship final, sounded the final whistle, the sparse Ballyshannon support in O'Donnell Park did their level best to greet the victory in fitting fashion.
And fitting it was that Johnny Gethins should receive the cup from the County Chairman, our own Mick McGrath. A special touch on a special day. Johnny's speech after lifting the McLaughlin Cup, magnanimous and heartfelt, made your heart swell with pride to call yourself an Aodh Ruadh supporter.
It was a sweet win for the club, all the sweeter for having been won against such doughty and able opponents. Nathan Boyle was selected as man of the match and was full value for that award. He took some superb scores and Cloich Cheann Fhaola struggled to contain his combative, high energy style of play.
The whole defence excelled themselves and keeping a vaunted Cloich Cheann Fhaola attack to 1-12, 1-8 of that from play was testament to the quality of their efforts.
Elsewhere Darren Drummond made a number of telling contributions to the game and, when his semi-final contribution is factored into the equation, he more than played his part in bringing the intermediate title back to Ballyshannon. Meanwhile Shane McGrath was in simply electric form, rising to the occasion when it counted most.
Barry Ward would also have been pleased with the impact of his subs, a return of 1-2 neatly matching the final margin between the teams.
A wonderful day for Ballyshannnon football. It is a pity this group of footballers won't get the opportunity to showcase their considerable talents on the provincial stage. However, when you think that as recently as 2013 the club was flirting with relegation to Division 4 it is just great to have Aodh Ruadh back in the senior championship, back where we belong.
A thought too for Cloich Cheann Fhaola. Firstly everyone will be hoping John Fitzgerald makes a full and rapid recovery. More broadly, while the club will obviously be bereft at losing a second final in succession, it is clear that their day is coming. They will doubtless already be installed as title favourites for 2021. They can also take some comfort in the fact that they more than played their part in an entertaining, high-quality game which served as a great advertisement for Donegal football.
It takes a village to raise the child and that is true of this Aodh Ruadh team too. Parents, partners, sponsors, supporters, mentors, managers and club officers over the years have all done their small bit to help get Ballyshannon back into the top tier of Donegal football. A few examples to stand for the many. Think of Lisa McTernan who has served five years as club secretary, never stinting herself at any point, Gregory Sweeney who has known and worked with many of these lads for a decade now, or Owen Roe O'Neill, who in his 80th year greeted the cup's homecoming with all the impish glee of a cub. Think of the likes of Pat Malaniff and what this would have meant to him. We can't all kick the ball over the bar, but the town feels no less part of this marvellous achievement for that. Indeed, we hope it is but the first of many.
We have a full match report, a link to the final match programme and a glorious, glorious gallery of pictures from the game live on aodhruadh.org.

The under 16s training on Mondays and Fridays at 4.30pm.

Under 10 training continues on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5.45pm.

The under 8s train this Friday as normal from 6.15pm to 7.15pm.

Ladies
Under 12 training continues this Tuesday at 6.15pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. Under 13 training continues on Thursday, also at 6.15pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.

Bingo is back!
Last Friday saw the second installment of the drive in bingo. Again it was a very enjoyable night on another fine evening. We are delighted to announce that following advice given to other bingo providers from the relevant authorities, Drive in Bingo can continue during level 3 Covid restrictions, provided that public health guidelines are followed. We are therefore looking forward to holding our next installment of drive in bingo this Friday night. First game will be at 7pm at the Market Yard car park. Books will be sold from 6pm. Spread the word and we look forward to seeing you there!

Coaching position
The club’s Park / Development Committee has recently received approval to continue the Community Employment Scheme (CES) which it will run for a further three years up to the Autumn of 2023. The Aodh Ruadh managed scheme is a major one with over 30 participants assigned to a variety of voluntary organisations in south Donegal. The Development Committee have again received approval to appoint a Gaelic Games coach to work in the club area. This position is open to men and women who meet the CES criteria. Applicants from outside the Aodh Ruadh club area are equally entitled to apply. For further information or to express an interest in the position please contact Tom Daly by email at tom.daly@ulstergaa.ie. Full training towards accredited GAA coaching qualifications will be provided and funded. Several past holders of this position have gone on to gain full time employment in a variety of spheres.

Back to the top Back to top.