Ten out of ten for Ballyshannon

Senior Division 3
4 June 2016
Aodh Ruadh 2-15
Naomh Ultan 2-7
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park

The Rory Gallagher festival might have been in progress, but the big action in Ballyshannon on Saturday evening was in Father Tierney Park where Aodh Ruadh had the place rocking with a dominant performance to see off a game Naomh Ultan outfit and make it nine wins in nine games in division three.

It was the visitors who came out of the traps quickest, an attacker was allowed to coast through Erneside defence before laying off to Daniel Gallagher who raked forward another five metres before blasting a well placed shot to Peter Boyle's left for the first of three first half goals.

Aodh Ruadh responded well though with David Dolan firing over a brilliant answering point.

Dolan was in the wars for the next meaningful action of the game, taking a rap from Alan Lyons who barely had the blow dealt before Jimmy White had the red card hoisted in front of him. Diarmaid McInerney doubled the punishment by easing over a well struck free.

It was all square with 12 minutes on the clock when Niall Murray connected with a superb strike under pressure to make it 0-3 to 1-0.

The spaces were starting to show in the Dunkineely rearguard and two minutes later David McGurrin was bearing down in goal, but he opted to fist over rather than attempt to place past Donal Murrin.

The lead was quickly extended when David Dolan turned Murrin's kick out and dished off to Michael 'Sticky' Ward who powered over a divine strike from the right.

Three minutes later Aodh Ruadh again turned the ball over in the Naomh Ultan defence and caught them exposed, however Sticky Ward opted to pop over and put a goal in it.

With seven left until the interval Naomh Ultan got their second score of the half, with Cian Kennedy tapping over after a charitable award.

That didn't interrupt the Aodh Ruadh groove though as David McGurrin guided over a lovely effort after Peter Gallagher's men again forced a turn over from the kick out

Naomh Ultan had a scoring spurt just before the interval though which set the hosts back on their heels. First Cian Kennedy dinked over after another handy free award. Then Kerry Ryan was fouled on the kick out allowing Dunkineely to turn the ball and rip through the Aodh Ruadh rearguard before Kennedy came on to the ball and rifled home a quality finish to take Naomh Ultan back into the lead.

However the last three scores of the half would go the way of Ballyshannon.

First Diarmaid McInerney sent over well after David Dolan was strong to win the ball. Then came the half's third goal. Again Aodh Ruadh found Dunkineely exposed and despite being closed down Sticky Ward flicked a canny pass across the face of goal. Diarmaid McInerney met it with a palm which came off the crossbar, but fortunately for the hosts David McGurrin was on hand to gather and blast home from point blank range.

The final say off the half went Kerry Ryan who got on the end of a phase of patient recycling by the hosts to send over a beautiful effort and leave it Aodh Ruadh 1-9 Naomh Ultan 2-2 at the turn over.

Aodh Ruadh picked up where they left directly after the break with Pauric Patton slipping over after Kerry Ryan won the throw in.

Naomh Ultan opened their second half account four minutes in with Damian Quigley driving over when there was potentially a goal on.

However Aodh Ruadh extended their lead further two minutes later when David McGurrin forced turn over in the Dunkineeely defence and laid off to David Dolan who picked out the run of Niall Murray. The half back did well to steer his shot home to Donal Murrin's left and set the green flag flying.

With 42 minutes gone Peter Alvey hit back with a point, but Niall Harley did well to distract him and thwart another possible goal chance.

A minute later Niall Murray restored Ballyshannon's seven point cushion, staying calm and composed to split the posts.

There then followed an eight minute stoppage in play for treatment to Conor Shovlin following an accidental clash with Niall Harley.

Harley was back in action straight after the resumption slotting over well as he shipped a heavy tackle. Pauric Patton then turned the kick out and sent through to David McGurrin who fisted over to put three goals between the sides.

A minute later it was Jason Granaghan who was haring through on goal, he was fouled as he pulled the trigger, but Jimmy White called the free and David McGurrin made no mistake from the placed ball.

Naomh Ultan continued to battle and the visitors had the better of the game's closing minutes. First Cian Kennedy sent over a 45, then Niall Murray took a black as a stopped a drive through on goal. That saw Murray become the second man to leave the fray and Kennedy tapped over with a minute left of normal time.

Aodh Ruadh's final score came courtesy of a smart bit of play from Peter Boyle three minutes into added time. He shaped up to hit a long range free, but instead kicked to David Dolan who swung over a lovely shot with his back to goal.

Final say went to Joe Alvey a minute later as he drilled over from 30 metres, but Jimmy White's full time whistle went a minute later to give the Ernesiders an eight point win and extend their faultless start to their division three campaign.

Considering this was an Aodh Ruadh team shorn of a number of regular starters, it was an impressive display by the hosts. Niall Murray and Jason Granaghan were superb at half back while Conor Patton, Kerry Ryan and Niall Harley all put in serious shifts in the middle third with Pauric Patton offering excellent support. Again the calm influence of Sticky Ward was a decided asset while David Dolan's continues to be a joy to watch play football. David McGurrin and Diarmaid McInerney ensured that Aodh Ruadh never lacked for scoring outlets.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle; Michael Ward, Eamonn McGrath, Callum O'Halloran; Jason Granaghan, Niall Murray (1-2), Paddy Gillespie; Conor Patton, Kerry Ryan (0-1); David McGurrin (1-4, 1f), Michael Ward (0-2), Diarmuid McInerney (0-2, 1f); Oisin Roper, David Dolan (0-2), Pauric Patton (0-1).
Subs: Ryan McKenna for Diarmaid McInerney 36m; Niall Harley (0-1) for Kerry Ryan 39m; Cian Dolan for Oisin Roper 64m.
Yellow cards: Niall Murray 16m; David McGurrin 39m; Niall Harley 43m.
Black card: Niall Murray 59m.
Red card: Niall Murray 59m.
Wides: 4
Frees conceded: 21
Kickouts won: 12
Own: 6
Opposition: 6
Naomh Ultan
Donal Murrin; Andrew Blaine, Jonathan Cassidy, Michael McGlynn; Conor Shovlin, Dermot Gallier, Paul Murrin; Daniel Gallagher (1-0), Aidan Duddy; Danny Shovlin, Cian Kennedy (1-4, 3f, 1 45), Damien Quigley (0-1); James Byrne, Alan Lyons (0-1), Peter Alvey.
Subs: Joe Alvey (0-1) for Danny Shovlin 51m.
Red card: Alan Lyons.
Wides: 3
Frees conceded: 13
Kickouts won: 14
Own: 13
Opposition: 1
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs)
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Last modified: Monday, 6 June 2016 at 10:37pm