Gut-wrenching defeat for Ernesiders

Senior Football Divison 3
6 September 2014
Urris 0-10
Aodh Ruadh 0-8
David McLoone reports from Crampsey Park.

Aodh Ruadh made their fifth and final trip to Inishowen for this division three league campaign to play their penultimate game at Urris. Both teams had much to play for but for very different reasons, Aodh Ruadh looking to win promotion out of the league, and Urris needing the points to make sure they avoided the drop down from it.

The Aodh Ruadh team took on a different look to the team that defeated Red Hugh's last weekend, with Johnny Gallagher returning to defence, and Eddie Lynch and Pauric Patton coming into the half forward line. It was however to be the home side's day, no doubt benefitting from a string of poor decisions from the referee and were lucky to keep their men on the field for a series of fouls for which under the new rules this season, they should have seen the line.

Urris' midfielder Kevin McLoughlin was superb from the placed kick, ultimately proving the difference as he converted the majority of free kicks presented to him, ending the game with eight of the ten Urris scores.

The Urris men were lucky not to have a black card shown in the first minute of the game, as David McGurrin was pulled to the ground whilst bursting through the defence. The referee saw fit to only award a free, with no card of any colour shown. Aodh Ruadh failed to capitalise on the free kick as David Dolan saw his effort go wide off the upright. This spurred on the Urris men, who were clearly in the mood to play a tough physical game. They managed the first two scores of the match, both from frees off the boot of McLoughlin.

Peter Boyle converted a free from distance to get the Erne men off the mark. Urris replied with another point, which could easily have been worse as a goal looked likely. David McGurrin converted his own free to keep Aodh Ruadh in touch. McLoughlin added another free to put two points between the teams again at 4-2. Then came the big talking point of the game on the 25th minute. As David McGurrin tore in on goal, the Urris keeper wrapped himself around the Aodh Ruadh man to drag him to the ground for a penalty. Again, the referee decided the penalty was to be punishment enough, as the Urris keeper should have been shown the line. To add insult to injury, the keeper then saved McGurrin's spot kick. David Dolan settled the visitors again when he registered his first point before the break to leave just a point between the sides.

Aodh Ruadh started the second half like a new team. Diarmaid McInerney levelled from a free on the left, before Johnny Gallagher scored a sweet point as his reward for a superb support run from deep, to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the match at 4-5. Our lads were in the ascendancy, and should have added a goal, but the shot was blasted across the goal and wide. McLoughlin converted yet another free to level the game again shortly after. Anthony Boyle restored Aodh Ruadh's lead with a lovely point from a tight angle on the right. David Dolan got his second point of the game after McGurrin fed a great ball across the 21 to find him in space, to extend the lead to 2 points.

Yet again, the referee was to play a key part, awarding firstly a soft free to Urris, which was then followed by a most spurious free to the bemusement of both sets of supporters. McLoughlin made no mistake with either free kick to level the sides again with 10 minutes to play. The black card was finally shown as the Urris corner forward was shown the line. Another McLoughlin free put Urris ahead again, followed by a blazed goal attempt which went over the bar to put two points between the sides.

Much of the second half was played at near boiling point, with a series of late Urris challenges going unnoticed. A foul by Barry Mulligan outside his own 45 resulted in the Aodh Ruadh man being also shown the black card, which at this stage was more of a late attempt by the referee to restore some order. McLoughlin again punished from the resultant free, to extend the Urris lead to three. As time ticked away, a goal was the only score that could rescue the game for the visitors. The tight Clonmany pitch made this an almost impossible mission, as Urris poured their men deep to defend the goal. Aodh Ruadh kept knocking on the door, and when the goal chance finally fell to McGurrin his effort to bury the ball high into the roof of the net to beat the men on the line ended up going just over the bar for the final score of the game, leaving it a 10-8 defeat for the visitors.

Despite the defeat, there were some solid performances, especially in the third quarter when the lads turned the game and were on top, during which we also saw two goal attempts come off the woodwork. Kerry Ryan did particularly well in the middle, as did Johnny Gallagher and Mickey Dolan at the back. The lads must now pick themselves up to make sure they can finish out the league campaign with a win in the final game at home to Naomh BrĂ­d. Aodh Ruadh can still finish top of the league to ensure automatic promotion, but this defeat means we now need other results to go our way.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle (0-1); Johnny Gallagher (0-1), Damien Cleary, Mickey Dolan; Anthony Boyle (0-1), Eamon McGrath, Conor Patton; James O'Donnell, Kerry Ryan; Eddie Lynch, David McGurrin (0-2 (1f)), Ronan Drummond; Pauric Patton, David Dolan (0-2), Jamie McDonald.
Substitutes: D.McInerney (0-1 f) for J.McDonald, B.Mulligan for E.Lynch, N.Murray for R.Drummond, Ryan Patton for B.Mulligan (black card), M.Ward, R.Granaghan, C.O'Halloran
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Last modified: Tuesday, 9 September 2014 at 12:00am