Aodh Ruadh well adrift of hungrier Naomh Conaill

Under 21 Football Championship quarter-final
5 November 2017
Aodh Ruadh 2-8
Malin 2-14
Páirc Naomh Bríd

Aodh Ruadh saw off Saint Eunan's in a heroic first round game and so the large Ballyshannon support in Páirc Naomh Bríd travelled in hope of a repeat of that sort of fighting spirit.

Indeed when Aodh Ruadh hit the front ten minutes in it looked like they were set to push on and play the sort of champagne football they are capble of. However, Naomh Conaill had different ideas and by the break it they were four clear with the foundation for a second half push for victory firmly laid down.

Glenties opened the scoring 90 seconds in with a Charles McGuinness free. Not long after Aodh Ruadh were off the mark. Ryan McKenna did well to force the initial turn over before the Ernesiders shifted the ball quickly up the pitch for Nathan Boyle to finish.

A minute later Naomh Conaill were back in front with an outside of the boot effort from Caolan McGill.

With five minutes gone Shane McGrath went out into the corner foraging for ball and cut back in to set up Oisin Rooney to level matters again. When McGrath hit the side netting following a malfuntion on the Glenties kick out it was looking promising for Aodh Ruadh.

JD Boyle fired Glenties back into the lead with a good shot from out on the right, but Ballyshannon hit back with the goal they had been threatening. It was mainly of Oisin Rooney's creation, the full forward going beyond the call of duty to keep the ball alive before it went over the end line. He fed in to Shane McGrath and he found Colm Kelly who neeted.

Three minutes later Philip Patton slipped over after a flowing Aodh Ruadh move and suddenly there was a goal in it.

However Glenties were to outscore Ballyshannon 1-5 to 0-1 in the remaining 15 minutes of the half.

First Ethan O'Donnell soccered over a point on the run before shovelling over an awkwardly struck shot to make it a one point game.

The referee then missed a shove in the defender's back which bought Paul McGuinness the space to fire over the equalising score after 18 minutes.

A superb individual point from Colm Kelly edged Aodh Ruadh back in front, but the tide was ebbing from Ballyshannon with Glenties now first to the ball all over the pitch.

They made it count in a blistering 100 second spell in the 21st and 22nd minutes. First Charlie McGuinness landed a free and then Paul McGuinness profitted on a turnover of the Aodh Ruadh kick out to nudge in front. That was rapidly followed by a raking move finished to the net by Ultan Doherty to leave Ballyshannon reeling.

A Paul McGuinness point a minute from the break completed a torrid close to the half.

Aodh Ruadh desperately needed a few settling scores at the start of the second half. They weren't to materialise though. Instead Naomh Conaill hit four unanswered points to give their rivals a mountain to climb

Charlie McGuinness got them going with a free two minutes in and that was quickly followed by a point for Ethan O'Donnell. Scores from Ultan Doherty and Paul McGuinness then left the margin between the sides at fully three goals.

It was telling that Aodh Ruadh's first scores of the half, a 39th minute Philip Patton free and Nathan Boyle 45 after 42 minutes were both dead balls.

Naomh Conaill were in no mood to allow Ballyshannon to ease their way back into the game though and when Logan Quinn struck for goal 12 minutes from time it was all over bar the shouting.

Jason Granaghan got the line with ten to go and a Tony Byrne point wrapped up the Naomh Conaill scoring a minute later.

As Glenties shut up shop, Aodh Ruadh added a good point from play by the hard working Colm Kelly and a Shane McGrath free.

A minute into added time Michael McKenna also found the net with a lovely crisp strike, but it was a case of too little to late.

Best for Ballyshannon were Colm Kelly and Jason Granaghan while up front Oisin Rooney did his best to offer an outlet in a suffocating Glenties rearguard.

Vital Statistics
Teams
Aodh Ruadh
Sean Taylor; Matthew Maguire, Cian McGloin, Caelan Drummond; Jason Granaghan, Colm Kelly (1-2), Daniel Warnock; Nathan Boyle (0-2, 1 45), Conal Sweeny; Ryan McKenna, Philip Patton (0-2, 1f), Dylan Gallagher; Shane McGrath (0-1f), Oisin Rooney (0-1), Eddie Lynch.
Subs: Oisin Roper, Michael McKenna (1-0), Eugene Drummond.
Frees conceded: 8.
Wides: 7.
Kick outs won - Total: 9; Own: 8; Opposition: 1.
Marks: 3.
Naomh Conaill
James Boyle; Kevin McGettigan, Tony Byrne (0-1), Jamie Cranley; Odhran Doherty, Ultan Doherty (1-1), JD Boyle (0-1); Logan Quinn (1-0), Charles McGuinness (0-3f); Shane McDevitt, Ethan O'Donnell (0-3), Caolan McGill (0-1); Danny Gallagher, Paul McGuinness (0-4), Caolan McMonagle. Frees conceded: 11.
Wides: 5.
Kick outs won - Total: 11; Own: 4; Opposition: 7.
Marks: 1.
Referee: Enda McFeely.
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Last modified: Sunday, 5 November 2017 at 6:42pm