Aodh Ruadh clinch crucial league points

Senior Football Division 3
15 June 2013
Aodh Ruadh 0-13
Naomh Pádraig, Lifford 1-7
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park

On a wretched day for football Aodh Ruadh did just about enough to earn the win in this relegation four pointer in Father Tierney Park.

The omens for a dominant Ballyshannon first half performance were laid down when David McGurrin won his ball well before feeding Michael 'Sticky' Ward to loft over on four minutes. A minute later and Ward won and converted his own free to double Aodh Ruadh's advantage to two points

McGurrin opened his account with a routine 30 metre free on 11 minutes. While that might have been a no-fuss score, there was nothing pedestrian about Aodh Ruadh's next point, a swift, slick interpassing move which featured quick hands from Diarmaid McInerney and Michael Ward with David McGurrin applying a cultured left foot finish to clip over from 25 metres.

Eamonn McGrath was on the mark three minutes later lofting over from 40 metres in front of the post to leave Aodh Ruadh five points to the good and well in charge. It was good running from Ronan McGurrin which set up Aodh Ruadh's next score. He forged through the Lifford defence to set up Sticky Ward who took a solo to shake of his man before hoisting the ball over bar.

Diarmaid McInerney was getting on plenty of ball and he it was good ball carrying from him which set up David McGurrin for his next chance and he screwed over a good shot. A minute later with five minutes remaining in the half David Dolan got his first score of the game with a characteristic left footed effort.

It fell to Brian Breslin to get Naomh Padraig's opening score in the 28th minute, after Aodh Ruadh indiscipline saw a free brought forward and 0Lifford's attack were the more alive to the quick ball in.

The closing action of the half saw a speculative effort into the Lifford area palmed out for a 45. Diarmaid McInerney miscued his subsequent placed ball effort, but David Dolan collected and slotted over from close range to send the homesters in leading by 0-9 to 0-1.

As the second half commenced the steady rain worsened, making for deterioriating underfoot and handling conditions. That was a contributory factor as Aodh Ruadh coughed up a cheap free in the first minute which Gary McGirr duly converted. McGirr was on the mark six minutes later with a much superior effort a right foot driven point from the left wing. Lifford's revival was given further fuel, appropriately, by an excellent Paul Given effort which took the scores to 0-9 to 0-4 with 40 minutes gone.

Ronan McGurrin stemmed the tide somewhat with a low trajectory shot over the bar. However another minute later and Gary McGirr, by far Lifford's most dangerous attacking outlet at this stage, slipped his marker on the edge of the area and was favourite to hit the back of the net. However Peter Boyle delivered a Match of the Day save, tipping the ball over the bar, that would have done Shay Given proud.

McGirr was undeterred though and was back in on the scoring act as the game moved into final quarter, lofting over a decent effort to put four points between the sides with 14 minutes remaining. Three minutes later and McGirr, single handedly carrying the fight to Aodh Ruadh, had cut the deficit to just the goal with a close range point.

With nine minutes remaining McGirr found himself stepping up to a penalty shot after Andrew Mullin called a foul in the Lifford area. He cooly sent Peter Boyle to his right while slotting to the left, leveling the game at 1-7 to 0-10.

The next score was goint to be vital, and it came to Aodh Ruadh directly after the penalty, with Sticky Ward hitting over a pressure free from close range. The closing stages were frenetic and error-strewn from both sides. Lifford hit a couple of wides, but it was the old dog for the hard road who was to have the next say in proceedings, Brian Roper calming sticking the ball over the bar.

Roper's shot put two points in the game and Aodh Ruadh seemed to have weathered the storm. However Gary McGirr once again was set loose on the Aodh Ruadh goal and with his marker not able to get near enough even to drag him down, such was the Naomh Padraig man's speed, McGirr let off a rasping shot which screwed off his footand went well wide and with it a golden chance for Naomh Padraig to grab a one point lead in the dying embers of the game.Aodh Ruadh collected themselves after that near miss and worked the ball pitch and engineering a close range free which was tapped over by Sticky Ward to leave the homesters nerves a little easier in the closing seconds.

Among the most influential performers for Aodh Ruadh were Damien Cleary who put in an all-action stint at full back, Ronan McGurrin who got through a lot of ball and took an important score, the industrious Diarmaid McInerney and forwards Sticky Ward and David McGurrin who both served as good outlets on a poor day for attacking football.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle; Ryan Patton, Damien Cleary, Michael Ward; Anthony Boyle, Ronan Drummond, Eamonn McGrath (0-1); Ronan McGurrin (0-1), Conor Patton; David Dolan (0-2), Diarmaid McInerney, Colm Kelly; Kerry Ryan, Michael 'Sticky' Ward (0-5, 3f), David McGurrin (0-3, 1f) Substitutes: Niall McCready for Colm Kelly: 36 minutes; Brian Roper (0-1) for Anthony Boyle: 54 minutes, Kieran Keown for Damien Cleary: 55 minutes, Christopher Goan..
Yellow cards: Damien Cleary: 9 minutes; Michael Ward: 36 minutes.
Wides: 4.
Naomh Pádraig, Lifford
Sean McBreary; Matthew Carlin, Patrick McNamee, Martin McHugh; Brian Breslin (0-1), Micheal Ferry, David Gettins; Conor Catterson, Darren Gillespie; Paul Lynch, Paul Given (0-1), Seamus Breslin; David Friel, Laurence Crossan, Gary McGirr (1-5, 1 pen, 1f). Substitutes: None used.
Yellow cards: Laurence Crossan: 9 minutes; Paul Lynch: 22 minutes.
Wides: 13.
Referee: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs)

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Action from the division 3 senior game against Naomh Padraig, Lifford.

Last modified: Sunday, 23 June 2013 at 10:08pm