Aodh Ruadh exit under 21 championship

Under 21 Football Championship
7 December 2014
Aodh Ruadh 1-6
Saint Eunan's 0-12
Chris McNulty reports from Convoy

Saint Eunan's made hard work of it, but the Letterkenny side proved the more efficient in a tepid under-21 quarter-final in Convoy on Sunday.

Six points from Sean Hume were key as the black and amber survived when Aodh Ruadh went in search of salvation. Conor Patton did managed to breach Sean Daffan's rearguard for a 59th minute goal, but it was too little and too late for the Erne side.

Maurice McLaughlin's outfit could have sent the cat among the pigeons, but passed up three goal chances in the second half before Patton got ahead of Daffan to flick Ryan Granaghan's long ball into the net.

Eunan's led by the minimum, 0-4 to 0-3, at half-time and Aodh Ruadh were a lick of paint from turning that on its head in the early moments of part two. Johnny Gethins found himself in the clear, but the wing-forward struck the outside of the post with a thumping effort.

St Eunan's were able to stay in front, with Jordan McBride and Philip Patton swapping points before Hume coolly slotted over a '45. Hume stepped up with a free soon after and the three-point gap was restored by Conor Parke after David McGurrin pulled one back.

Saint Eunan's just couldn't close the game off and the longer it went on the more it seemed as if Aodh Ruadh might sneak something. Twelve minutes from the end, they gave Eunan's another fright. After a fine turnover, Eamonn McGrath sent Philip Patton away. Having lost possession momentarily, Patton improvised and sent a soccer-style ball across the goal's face where sub Oisin Roper attacked, but Eunan's managed to turn it away for a '45.

Gethins kept Aodh Ruadh in the mix, but Hume drilled over and a second score by the influential Parke had Eunan's four in front by the 53rd minute. Those pressure points proved crucial for the Cathedral towners by the end and it could have been a different ending had Aodh Ruadh managed to make more hay with those goal chances that presented themselves.

It took a strong save by Daffan to keep McGurrin at bay after he'd broken the shackles, the county minor panelist doing well to make a block, while David Tyrell also stood tall to prevent another opening at the edge of the square.

A Hume point from play was followed by a '45 following a goal-mouth scramble. Midfielder Conor Patton touched Granaghan's teaser into the net, but by then it would go down as a consolation.

Eunan's had had the better of a low-scoring first-half, but only just.

Dara McMonagle swung over a seventh-minute opener after a move that started with Conor Morrison bursting out of the back line. McGurrin (free) responded, but Eunan's clicked with Hume (free) and Daragh Mulgrew putting them two in front.

Immediately, Granaghan responded and Aodh Ruadh were level in the 23rd minute when Niall Murray boomed over from distance. In between, the Ballyshannon boys had a slight sniff of goal, but Barry McGeehan made a brave block to thwart Philip Patton's advances.

Lee McMonagle curled over St Eunan's first point in ten minutes to put them ahead at the changeover and they did just enough during the second period to book a spot in the semi-finals.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Daniel Kelly; Eugene Drummond, Ryan Patton, PJ Gillespie; Callum O'Halloran, Eamonn McGrath, Eddie Lynch; Conor Patton (1-0), Niall Harley; Johnny Gethins (0-2), Ryan Granaghan (0-1), Niall Murray (0-1); Philip Patton (0-1), David McGurrin (0-1f), Jason Gallagher.
Substitutes: Oisin Roper for Murray (half-time), Tom Hope for Gallagher (40 mins), Thomas Anderson for Gethins (58 mins).
Saint Eunan's
Sean Daffan; Odhrán McGinley, John Foley, Conor Morrison; Jordan McBride (0-1), Conor Parke (0-2), Dara McMonagle (0-1); Conor O'Donnell, Oisin Carr; Barry McGeehan, Lee McMonagle (0-1), Darragh Mulgrew (0-1); Sean Hume (0-6, 2f, 2 '45), Jordan O'Dowd, Kevin Meehan.
Substitutes:Rory Carr for Meehan (half-time), Darragh McWalters for O Carr (52 mins), David Tyrell for Foley (53 mins).
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).
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Last modified: Monday, 8 December 2014 at 11:14pm