Derby disappointment for Aodh Ruadh

Intermediate Football Championship
3 October 2015
Aodh Ruadh 2-7
Bundoran 1-11
Tir Chonaill Park, Donegal Town

Having played second fiddle in the middle third for much of the game Bundoran took control of the central zone as this IFC semi-final moved into its final quarter and that, essentially, was that.

After a superb first half Aodh Ruadh only managed to add two further points in the second while Bundoran kept the score-boarding ticking over to take the win with a Jamie Brennan point a minute into added time.

Aodh Ruadh got off to the perfect start when Seamus Kane popped over after 20 second from the first attack of the game. Five minutes later Kane won a free and Diarmaid McInerney tapped over the placed ball from close range.

Another free from McInerney left Aodh Ruadh three to the good with ten minutes gone, but that lead was to be erased with Bundoran's first meaningful attack of the game, Jamie Brennan hitting the net.

The Ernesiders were well up for this game though and straight from the kick Shane McGrath advanced up the left wing and lashed over a superb point to underline that fact.

Bundoran started to get a bit more of a grip on the game after that. Three points from Gary Clancey and another from Tommy Hourihan put the Seasiders into a one goal lead with ten minutes left in the half.

Ballyshannon rallied well though with Nathan Boyle the instigator. He picked out Seamus Kane with a class ball and Kane cut in up along the endline, he faked to pass inside before drilling home a rasping left foot shot past Johnny Keenan.

Then four minutes late a Diarmaid McInerney free fell wide and short of the Bundoran posts only to be tapped down into the path of David McGurrin who swiftly dispatched the chance to the net to give Ballyshannon back their one goal cushion.

It got better just before half time when Seamus Kane won another free and Diarmaid McInerney slotted over from mid-range to leave it Aodh Ruadh 2-5 Bundoran 1-4 at the break.

Bundoran cut into the lead with a Tommy Hourihan free two minutes after the restart, but that was cancelled out on 38 minutes when Callum O'Hallaron put in some great work before feeding off to Shane McGrath who picked out Seamus Kane with a lovely ball. Kane still had work to do, but he split the points with a beautiful effort to put four in it once more.

Niall Dunne was introduced as a sub for Bundoran at that stage and he had an immediate impact, pointing from 30 metres out. Two minutes later two golden chances for Bundoran to raise a green flag went a-begging. The first was bravely denied by Micky Dolan, the second saw Christy Keeney dragging his shot wide of Peter Boyle's left upright.

Bundoran got a break after 44 minutes though. JameisBrennan's shot looked wide and Ocean FM's commentator said as much too, but Jimmy white let it stand and Ballyshannon's lead was cut to two with the game moving into the final quarter.

Tommy Hourihan put the minimum in it with a free, but shortly after Aodh Ruadh had a brilliant chance to end the game as a contest. Nathan Boyle's penetrating running drew an inspired piece of instinctive play from Philip Patton and suddenly David McGurrin was behind the Bundoran blacket with the goals at his mercy. His shot however blazed wide of the right upright and you could tell from his reacion that McGurrin couldn't believe he had missed it himself either.

With Aodh Ruadh finding it increasingly difficult to put their hands on primary possession Bundoran slowly inched closer to the finishing line. Gary Clancy got a free over from range before Tommy Hourihan added another placed ball with eight minutes left to take Bundoran in front.

Nathan Boyle whipped over a screamer with for minute left to set the game up four a cliff-hanger ending, but the last say went to Jamie Brennan, his point a minute into added time enough to take the win.

Packie McGrath would be within his rights to be annoyed by how little added time was played, given that Bundoran players spent much of it lying down after Brennan's point. He could also raise legitimate questions about the point awarded to Jamie Brennan after 44 minutes. However, losing grip in the middle of the field as the game moved into its decisive stages was to prove a crucial factor in Bundoran's victory.

A gut-wrenching defeat, but there were a lot of great performances from Ballyshannon men to reflect on. Mickey Dolan was a real tiger at corner back and Pauric Patton was extremely effective in his deep lying role. Meanwhile Nathan Boyle at wing back would have been a good shout for Aodh Ruadh's man of the match. Johnny Gethins was excellent in midfield until going off late in the first half. Up front Seamus Kane was superb in the role of point man and he won his duel with James Keeney well over the 60 minutes. Philip Patton also contributed well on his introduction from the bench.

The superb travelling Ballyshannon support also deserves a word of praise for coming out in big numbers and really getting behind the team.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle; Michael Dolan, Johnny Gallagher, Callum O’Halloran; Eamonn McGrath, Conor Patton, Nathan Boyle (0-1); Johnny Gethins, Damien Cleary; David Dolan, Diarmuid McInerney (0-3f), Shane McGrath (0-1); David McGurrin (1-0), Seamus Kane (1-2), Pauric Patton.
Substitutes: Philip Patton for David Dolan 6m; Kerry Ryan for Johnny Gethins 26m; Michael 'Sticky' Ward for David McGovern 47m; Niall Harley for Callum O'Halloran 51m, Michael Ward for Mickey Dolan 57m.
Yellow card: Seamus Kane 54m.
Frees conceded: 13.
Wides: 4.
Bundoran
Johnny Keenan; Diarmaid McCaughey, James Keeney, Padraig Rooney; Shane Moohan, Shane McGowan, Paul Brennan; Ciaran McCaughey, Gary Clancy (0-4, 1f); Peter McGonigle, Diarmaid Spratt, Jamie Brennan (1-2); Tommy Hourihan (0-4, 2f), Christy Keeney Daragh Hoey.
Substitutes: Johnny Boyle for Shane Moohan HT; Niall Dunne (0-1) for Jamie Spratt 38m.
Yellow cards: Diarmaid Spratt 29m; Barry McGowan for Paul Brennan 48m; Ciaran McCaughey 53m; Niall Dunne 55m.
Black card: Paul Brennan 48m.
Frees conceded: 20.
Wides: 4.
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).
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Last modified: Saturday, 3 October 2015 at 11:04pm