Gaels get the better of reserves

Intermediate Reserve Football Championship
12 October 2014
Gaeil Fhánada 2-15
Aodh Ruadh 1-8
David McLoone reports from Páirc Uí Shiail

Fanad came into this game looking to build on the back of a big win over Naomh Bríd in their first match of the championship. Aodh Ruadh were still in limbo as to what the outcome of their match at Naomh Bríd would be, following the debacle that ensued at the end regarding the final score. Whatever the outcome, Aodh Ruadh knew that only a win would do in Portsalon to be sure of progression to the quarter-final stage, and also knew they would have to do it without the help of the suspended Sticky Ward.

The match couldn't have started any worse for the visitors as a harmless high ball into the square was dropped over the line to gift the Fanad men a first minute goal. Within seconds Fanad added their first point. Niall Thomas eventually settled the visitors with a well taken point from distance.

Fanad added another two scores before Dermot Slevin pulled another score back with a routine free kick. The Aodh Ruadh cause wasn't helped when Cookie O'Halloran was forced off with injury early in the 1st half having endured a couple of late tackles as he ran at the Fanad defence. Fanad continued to press, and added another five points before the break. The only answer from Aodh Ruadh was a single score from Nicky Sheerin, leaving the score at 1-8 to 0-3 at half time.

Fanad restarted the second half as they ended the first, putting another two points on the board. Ryan Granaghan was introduced to add some firepower to the attack, and the visitors started to play much more direct football, which yielded immediate results. Anthony 'Waddle' Coughlin won the ball out by the sideline and pumped a high ball into Jason Gallagher, who spotted the in rushing Dermot Slevin and played a low ball across the square for Slevin to side foot into the empty goal at the far post.

Nicky Sheerin added his second and Ryan Granaghan pointed to reduce the deficit to five points at 1-10 to 1-5 with 13 minutes to go. The lead should have been reduced to even less during the same spell of good Aodh Ruadh pressure, only for some wayward shooting which yielded three wides, and a great goal chance by Jason Gallagher which was brilliantly saved by the Fanad keeper.

Fanad responded with two points of their own to put daylight between the sides again. Dermot Slevin put over a free for the visitors after Waddle was pulled down, which was cancelled out immediately by the hosts.

A fine Niall Thomas free kick and a point from Waddle brought the deficit again to five points, with four minutes of normal time remaining. As Aodh Ruadh pressed for a much needed goal, the gaps started to appear and with Murray shown the line at this stage, the gaps through the defence simply weren't pluggable.

Fanad finished out strongly with 1-2, the goal which put the icing on the cake was a screamer into the top corner. All in all a very disappointing day for the reserves, who just left themselves with too much to do in the second half. The best performances on the day came from Ryan Patton, Nicky Sheerin and captain Dermot Slevin as he tried to rally the troops throughout. With both Carndonagh and Downings withdrawing from the 2014 reserve championship, the lads need to wait and see what happens in the other groups to know their fate for the rest of the season.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Paul Kane, Ciaran Slevin, Ronan Matthews, David McLoone, Daniel Kelly, Eugene Drummond, Calum O'Halloran, Ryan Patton, Niall Thomas (0-2, 1f), Nicky Sheerin (0-2), Anthony Coughlin (0-1), Mickey McNeely, Joe Watson, Dermot Slevin (1-2, 2f), Jason Gallagher.
Subs: David Finnerty for C O'Halloran, Aiden Murray for D McLoone, Ryan Granaghan (0-1) for D Kelly, Chris McCabe for Joe Watson, Jack Dolan for N Sheerin, David Dorrian, Jason Granaghan, Raymie Granaghan.
Wides: 8
Referee: Michael McShane (Kilcar)
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Last modified: Monday, 13 October 2014 at 11:19pm