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Aodh Ruadh made to fight for county final place

Under 14 League county semi-final
4 September 2009
Aodh Ruadh 1-7
Buncrana 0-5
Peter Campbell reports from the Letterkenny Gaels grounds.

Conditions were difficult for good football with a strong swirling breeze and heavy showers, but despite that both side served up a competitive affair.

Aodh Ruadh had the wind at their backs in the opening half and even though they opened brightly, they struggled to make full use of the elements.

Indeed, it was Buncrana who had the opening score inside a minute with James Quigley pointing.

Aodh Ruadh hit back with points from Johnny Gethins, a '45' from James Kelly and two great points from Jamie McDonald in quick succession to leave them three clear by the 12th minute mark.

They then got a fortunate goal when a lofted effort from James Kelly from near the sideline, some 35m from goal, crept in at the corner of upright and crossbar. Buncrana goalkeeper, Henry Doherty, was unfortunate in that he injured his hand trying to prevent the goal and there was a delay of some six to seven minutes as he received treatment.

The stoppage also broke the Aodh Ruadh momentum with no futher score arriving until the second minute of added time and it was Buncrana point from a Peter McLaughlin free.

A minute later David McGurrin pointed a free for Aodh Ruadh to leave them ahead by 1-5 to 0-2 at the break, which hardly seemed enough given the strength of the wind.

That seemed to be borne out when Buncrana had two points on the board inside the first twelve minutes of the re-start from Jack O'Loughlin and James Quigley and they were denied a goal a minute later with a brilliant full-length save by Daniel Kelly. Dara O'Connor was the Buncrana player denied, son of the legendary Roscommon player, John 'Jigger' O'Connor, who was patrolling the sideline for the Inishowen men.

When Peter McLoughlin pointed a '45' the margin was down to three with sixteen minutes still remaining, but it was then that Aodh Ruadh raised their game with Colm Kelly, Pauric Patton and David McGurrin particularly prominent.

James Kelly pushed the margin to four once more in the 47th minute and despite having plenty of chances, Buncrana were kept scoreless in the final quarter.

The only other score came two minutes from the end, David McGurrin pointing a free, to send Aodh Ruadh to the final where they will renew rivalry with St. Eunan's.

Colm Kelly was excellent for the winners at the back with good support from Eamon McGrath and Paddy Gillespie with Daniel Kelly excellent in goal. Pauric Patton and James Kelly did well around the middle against much bigger opponents, while up front Jamie McDonald and Matthew Maguire (in first half) worked well with David McGurrin and Johhny Gethins.

For Buncrana, Henry Doherty was excellent in goals; Caolan McGonigle and Jack O'Loughlin did well in defence; Peter Loughlin, Bruce Waldron, James Quigley and the excellent Dara O'Connor were best of the front line.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Daniel Kelly; Ryan Patton, Eamon McGrath, Paddy Gillespie; Darren Gethins, Colm Kelly, Niall Harley; Pauric Patton, James Kelly (1-2,one '45'); Jamie McDonald (0-2), David McGurrin (0-2,,2f), Matthew Gethins; Patrick Dixon, Johnny Gethins (0-1), Matthew Maguire.
Substitute: Conor Gilmartin for R Patton.
Henry Doherty; Shane McLoughlin, Caolan McGonigle, Joseph McGrory; Jack O'Loughlin (0-1), Stephen Doherty, Daniel Wilson; Peter McLoughlin (0-2,f,'45'), Bruce Waldron; Stephen Nelson, Matthew Barber, James Quigley (0-2), Conor Grant, Dara O'Connor, Ryan Varma.
Referee: Joe O'Donnell (Convoy).

Report courtesy of Donegal Democrat. Report Filed: 6 September 2009