Aodh Ruadh book County final place

Under 16 Hurling Championship
24 September 2006
Aodh Ruadh 2-8
McCumhaill's 2-7
Dennis Doherty reports

In a great match with each side battling hard, McCumhaills lost due to a last minute goal scored by Aodh Ruadh's Paul Hughes, playing in his first match back after breaking his collar bone in the Ulster under 16 hurling final. McCumhaill's had a final chance to grab a draw with a free in the dying seconds from the 45 yard line but unfortunately for them it went wide. The fairer result would have been a draw as neither side deserved to lose.

The first two scores of the game were by Aodh Ruadh lads, Paul Hughes and Kieran Kilgannon with a point apiece but from then on McCumhaill's notched up sevral frees, and also missed some! At one stage McCumhaill's were four points ahead after scoring a goal. Luckily for Aodh Ruadh, Kieran Kilgannon took a well taken goal which meant that only a point separated the sides at half-time.

The signs were looking extremely ominous for Aodh Ruadh, when with seven minutes to go McCumhaill's scored the 'score of the match' when their centre forward doubled on a high ball which ended up in the net. This was quickly followed by a point by Leigh Henderson AKA 'Trout', with four minutes on the clock. Kieran Kilgannon's efforts were rewarded when his shot at goal went over the bar with two minutes to go! At this stage a goal score would have meant a draw and Kieran Kilgannon's point meant it looked as if McCumhaill's would win by two points! However, a twenty-one yard lobbing free from the 21 yard line near the sideline taken by Paul Hughes went all the way to the net much to the shock of the entire McCumhaill's team and spectators alike. In fariness to McCumhaill's, they went back upfield immediately from the puckout and when given a dubious free, contrived to send it wide. The Carndonagh referee John Joe Doherty then blew for full-time.

Apart from the first few minutes this game was 'nip and tuck' all the way through with McCumhaill's looking the slightly sharper side. They were also more determined with many of the more established Aodh Ruadh players not performing. With hindsight the several missed frees by McCumhaill's, despite the change of freetaker, proved the difference between the sides.

Best for Aodh Ruadh were Paul Hughes, Ashley Mulhern, Brian Fox, Darren Gillespie, Liam Cullen, Kieran Kilgannon. Best for McCumhaill's was their full back, who marked three Aodh Ruadh players throught the course of the game!, and Dean McDevitt, Leigh Henderson and the full back P.J. Browne.

The County Donegal Under 16 Championship final is against Burt at a venue and date to be confirmed. Next weekend (Saturday) the Aodh Ruadh minors are due to play Slaughtneil (County Derry) on Saturday next in Fr. Tierney Park. The last match against Kevin Lynch's of Dungiven, Co. Derry was deferred due to the McCumhaill's U16 semi-final.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Ryan O'Brien; Declan Downey, Ashley Mulhern, Brian Fox; Liam Gallagher Darren Gillespie, Stephen Ryan; Paul Hughes (1-3), David Dolan (0-1); Peader O'Keefe (0-1), Richard McDevitt, Damian Cleary; Gavin Croghan, Liam Cullen (0-1), Kieran Kilgannon (1-2).
Substitutes
Shane McNulty for D. Downey, Gerard Kelly, Donal O'Keefe; Jack Matthews and Patrick Faherty.

Report Filed: 25 September 2006