Father Tierney fortress remains unbreached

Senior Football Division 3
18 April 2014
Aodh Ruadh 3-13
Milford 0-10
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park

Aodh Ruadh maintained their 100 percent home record with this win on a sun-soaked Good Friday evening, but not before Milford gave them a thorough test of their mettle.

The northerners got off to a bright start with Cian Barrett splitting the posts, followed by Padraig Curley shooting over shortly after to double the visitors lead. Aodh Ruadh opened their account in the fourth minute with David McGurrin wrangling possession and curling over a neat effort.

There was a delay shortly after as Anthony Boyle went in strongly for a ball and took a heavy hit which saw him having to leave the fray, Johnny Gallagher stepping in.

Milford made the next impression on the scoreboard, Cathal McGettigan flighting over the first of a series of beautiful frees from distance. Aodh Ruadh's response came once again courtesy of the boot of David McGurrin.

Milford however were enjoying the better of the exchanges and were unlucky not to find the back of the net in 16th minute, with Christopher Barrett drawing a fine save from Boyle.

In the 19th minute Ryan Granaghan thought he had his first score of the game only for the attempt to be signaled wide. There was no doubt a minute later when Granaghan swung over from out on the right to level matters at 0-3 apiece.

Still, the Blues were having the better of the play and in the 21st minute it took two brilliant reaction saves from Peter Boyle to keep a clean sheet with the ball going out for the 45. Once again Cathal McGettigan stepped up and fired over an impeccable placed ball. That was followed three minutes later by another McGettigan laser guided free to take the scores to 0-3 to 0-5 in favour of the visitors.

Aodh Ruadh were having to rely on inspired play to stay in touch and they got some from Donagh McIntyre with two minutes left in the half when he hoisted over a fine point, which landed on the roof of the net.

Then, five minutes into first half injury time, came what could justifiably be described as the key score of the game. Ballyshannon were on the attack and got the ball into David McGurrin in the Milford area. He shipped a couple of heavy tackles and perhaps had a decent shout for a penalty, but Jimmy White held his counsel. McGurrin shipped the ball out to Ronan Drummond whose snap shot was blocked, but Jamie McDonald was on hand for the rebound and finish clinically past Caolán McGettigan. That goal took the half time scores to 1-4 to 0-5, a scoreline that the homesters ill-deserved after enduring a disciplined first half challenge from the Fanad men.

Milford started the second half as they did the first, with Cathal McGettigan slotting over an elegant free. However Aodh Ruadh were more tuned in than they had been at the start of the game and responded with a super point from David McGurrin who then proceeded to add a free couple of minutes later.

McGettigan answered promptly with a free to make it 1-6 to 0-7, but when it came to raising a green flag Milford just couldn't buy a break. In the 38th minute Christopher Barrett raced through on their third decent goal chance only to see his shot rattle back off the base of the post. Aodh Ruadh added insult to injury by going straight up the pitch and winning a free which David McGurrin converted.

Then the homesters were lucky not to give away a penalty in the 40th minute, Jimmy White whistling for a close range free which McGettigan made short work of. David McGurrin registered a score before the next turning point in the game arrived. Ronan Drummond athletically intercepted the kick out after McGurrin's point and fed in on to the Abbey Isle man who slipped the ball out to Jamie McDonald on the edge of the area. McDonald still had work to do but he placed his effort sweetly to Caolán McGettigan's left to give the Ernesiders a two goal cushion.

That only lasted a minute as Cathal McGettigan swept over his seventh free of the game to take the scores to 2-8 to 0-9. But a few moments later Peter Boyle smashed over a beautiful free from the 45 metre line to restore the six point advantage as the game moved into the final quarter.

Aodh Ruadh were starting to show signs of getting on top of the game and had a number of options to chose from when Ronan McGurrin collected possession and rifled over from close range shortly after.

David McGurrin chipped over a free before Ronan Drummond capped a typically industrious outing in the 53rd minute, drifting over a beauty from an acute angle out on the right.

Padraig Curley got a point for Milford with five minutes to go, but it had the air of a consolation score at that stage and it was cancelled out shortly after by a fisted effort from David McGurrin.

The coup de grace came with two minutes left on the clock as Conor Patton engineered his way into the Milford area and teed up the ball for Diarmaid McInerney to palm to the net.

The final score on Jimmy White's long whistle read Aodh Ruadh 3-13 Milford 0-10. Ballyshannon were value for that win on their second half performance, but they rode their luck at times. Milford will be disappointed they were unable to raise at least one green flag, and will rue in particular the rapid reactions of Boyle.

Once again Aodh Ruadh's cutting edge shone with David McGurrin and Jamie McDonald working well off each other and running up 2-8 between them. The last line of Peter Boyle, Michael Ward, Ciron Whoriskey and Damien Cleary deserve credit for keeping the Ernesiders in the game when Milford were in the ascendancy for long stretches. For the visitors Cathal McGettigan's haul might have come entirely from dead ball, but he was very much a live threat from open play too.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle (0-1f); Michael Ward, Ciron Whoriskey, Damien Cleary; Michael Dolan, Eamonn McGrath, Conor Patton; Ronan McGurrin (0-1), Donagh McIntyre (0-1); David Dolan , Anthony Boyle, Ronan Drummond (0-1); Ryan Granaghan (0-1), David McGurrin (0-8, 3f), Jamie McDonald (2-0).
Substitutes: Johnny Gallagher for Anthony Boyle: 8 minutes; Diarmaid McInerney (1-0) for Ryan Granaghan: 35 minutes; Johnny Gethins for Jamie McDonald: 51 minutes; Kerry Ryan for Donagh McIntyre: 52 minutes; Daniel Kelly, Kieran Keown, James O'Donnell.
Wides: First half: 4; Second half: 4; Total: 8.
Burt
Caolán McGettigan; Oisín Barrett, Conor McNulty, Sean Black; Manus O'Boyle, Gary Merritt, Johnny Logue; James Doyle, Luke Barrett; Padraig Curley (0-2), Cathal McGettigan (0-7f), Dean Burgess; Cian Barrett (0-1), Christopher Barrett, Paddy Peoples.
Substitutes: Paul Greer for Paddy Peoples: 50 minutes; Enda McHugh, Ciaran Sheridan, Anthony Fisher.
Wides: First half: 2; Second half: 1; Total: 3.
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).
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Last modified: Saturday, 19 April 2014 at 1:53pm