Aodh Ruadh earn tough win in the sunshine

Senior Division 2
28 May 2017
Aodh Ruadh 3-14
Buncrana 3-8
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park

Aodh Ruadh came into this game the form team in the county. That notwithstanding, fellow division 3 graduates Buncrana gave them a right game of it in the first half.

However James O'Donnell's men landed 2-7 in the second half and restricted Buncrana to four points and penalty with the last kick of the game as they powered to two more league points.

Aodh Ruadh had nine scorers across the course of the game as they once again played some scintillating football.

The first half was an evenly balanced contest, although Aodh Ruadh probably edged possession and scoring chances. Buncrana, in contrast, were more economical with the opportunities that came their way.

The Scarvey men got the scoring action going when Caolan McGonigle, a cousin of ex-county star Paul, dropped one over the bar. McGonigle was to go on and be one of the key figures in the game for the tricolour men.

David Dolan supplied Aodh Ruadh's answer a minute later, charging through before stroking over elegantly.

The hosts went in front in spectacular fashion when Peter Boyle battered over free from fully 50 metres. Buncrana tied it up shortly after though when Darach O'Connor lofted over a good effort.

Ten minutes in Aodh Ruadh netted the game's first goal. They sliced through the Buncrana rearguard with David McGurrin and Shane McGurrin exchanging possession before switching across the face of goal to Darren Drummond who palmed into the empty net.

That lead only lasted two minutes though, with Buncrana getting a penalty and John Campbell slipping his shot to Peter Boyle's right as the net minder went left.

Philip Patton battered over a minute later as Aodh Ruadh again ripped through the Buncrana cover. Shortly after though there was no product when Ballyshannon again cut through, but David McGurrin passed up a glorious goal chance.

A point from Ryan McElhinny then made it all square at 1-3 apiece after 17 minutes.

Aodh Ruadh then hit a purple patch hitting four on the spin, including one of the scores of the game.

A Johnny Gallagher point restored Aodh Ruadh's lead. Then Shane McGrath left the defenders' heads spinning before slipping over.

Score of the half followed when Sean Taylor won Sean Parker's kick out and fed Shane McGrath. McGrath picked out Darren Drummond's run with a laser guided pass which he collected and drove past his man to fist over.

That score was run close for pure quality not long after when a staggering 52 metre free from Peter Boyle split the posts.

Aodh Ruadh looked well on top, but Buncrana raided for a deserved 1-1 before the break. First Caolan McGonigle sent over a low rise free before Kevin Campbell did well to connect with the ball as he was hitting the deck to volley to the net. That saw the first half action wrapped up honours even at 1-7 to 2-4.

Buncrana got the second half off to a flier with John Campbell pumping over a fine shot.

Aodh Ruadh hit back hard though. Eamonn McGrath did the donkey work before sending Philip Patton through and he placed a delightful shot to the Parker's right.

From there on in, Aodh Ruadh took an increasing stranglehold on things. David McGurrin showed good technique to guide over a point which put a goal between them. Then a minute later McGurrin was at the heart of things again. He was unlucky to see his shot blocked short of the line, but Shane McGrath was on hand to tap home the loose ball and make it 3-9 to 2-5.

Philip Patton then fisted over after Paddy Gillespie shipped a heavy tackle which saw Michael Gallagher black carded.

Then further confirmation that this wasn't going to be Buncrana's day came when Peter Boyle made an outrageous reaction save from a rasping Darach O'Connor shot.

Aodh Ruadh doubled the pain of that blow when David McGurrin steered over following a fine team move and a Philip Patton free put three goals in it with the game moving into the final quarter.

Colm Kelly kicked a good point before Buncrana finally began to get some joy up front. Darach O'Connor popped over a close range free before Odhran Doherty arced over a good shot.

Seamus Kane's first action from the bench was to win a good mark which saw Aodh Ruadh break through and win a close range free which Philip Patton converted.

John Campbell answered that with a dead ball for Buncrana, but Ballyshannon kept the pedal to the metal with a beautiful left footed score from Shane Dorrian after patient football from hosts.

The last say went to John Campbell who got the better of Peter Boyle once again from the penalty spot. Boyle guessed right this time, but there was no stopping Campbell's rasper.

However that late goal only served to put a gloss on the scoreline for the visitors, with Aodh Ruadh full value for the victory.

As has often been the case this season, this was a game where many shone for the victors. Shane McGrath was in simply sensational form with Darren Drummond also full of running up front. Out the pitch David Dolan had to be on top of his game when the impressive Caolan McGonigle was brought out to try and give Buncrana some sort of platform there. Meanwhile senior debutant Sean Taylor did best from kick outs, gathering five in total, including two steals of Buncrana restarts. Defensively Aodh Ruadh were in super form with Cookie O'Halloran, Colm Kely, Eamonn McGrath and Johnny Gallagher on top pretty much throughout.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle (0-2f); Callum O'Halloran, Colm Kelly (0-1), Michael Ward; Johnny Gallagher (0-1), Eamonn McGrath, Daniel Warnock; Sean Taylor, David Dolan (0-1); Philip Patton (1-4, 1f), Shane McGrath (1-1), Nathan Boyle; David McGurrin (0-2), Darren Drummond (1-1), Conor Patton.
Subs: Paddy Gillespie for Michael Ward 15m; Michael 'Sticky' Ward for Daniel Warnock 47m; Seamus Kane for David McGurrin 50m; Shane Dorrian (0-1) for Philip Patton 55m; Cian McGloin for David Dolan 57m.
Frees conceded: 10.
Wides: 10.
Shorts: 2.
Kick outs won - Total: 17; Own: 10; Opposition: 7.
Marks: 4.
Buncrana
Sean Parker; Conor Grant, Noel McLaughlin, Sean McLaughlin; John Doherty, Michael Gallagher, Adrian Doherty; Peter McLaughlin, Kevin Campbell (1-0); Ryan McElhinney (0-1), Odhran Doherty (0-1), Andrew Doherty; John Campbell (2-2, 2 pens, 1f), Caolan McGonigle (0-2, 1f), Darach O'Connor (0-2, 1f).
Subs: Shane McLean for Michael Gallagher (BC) 37m.
Frees conceded: 16.
Wides: 4.
Shorts: 1.
Kick outs won - Total: 17; Own: 14; Opposition: 3.
Marks: 8.
Referee: Jimmy White (Killybegs).
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Last modified: Tuesday, 30 May 2017 at 9:59pm