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Ballyshannon make it two in a row in Donegal Hurling Championship

Under 16 Hurling Championship
6 October 2006
Aodh Ruadh 2-8
Burt 2-1
Dennis Doherty reports

Aodh Ruadh, on Friday last, had their second consecutive win at this grade. They were deserved winners on a final score line of 2-8 to 2-1. Featuring many county panel players this match on a wet and windy evening in McCumhaill Park was characterised with some fine skill by both sides. However, the skills of soloing and high fielding along with the greater physical stature of the Aodh Ruadh team meant that they pulled away in the second half.

The game began with a point by Kieran Kilgannon, but this was shortly countered by a point by Darragh Grant. For the next ten minutes the game see-sawed with a lot of the play being in the Burt half, but this was not reflected on the scoreboard. A young but skilful Jack Matthews nearly scored a goal after five minutes but for the hooking and blocking of the Burt backline.

After ten minutes the best period for Burt came as they scored two well taken goals within a minute of each other. The first came from Darragh Grant after the sliothar dropped out of Cian Dolan's hand. Grant quickly gathered the ball, soloed in towards goal and buried the sliothar into the Aodh Ruadh net. The second came courtesy of Burt's Chris Breslin, again after a penetrating run. After these scores, the signs were looking ominous for Aodh Ruadh, but luckily enough time remained to allow for a comeback before half-time. With three minutes remaining in the half the injured Kieran Kilgannon eventually found the Burt net after doubling on the incoming sliothar first time. The half-time score line read to 2-1 to 1-1.

In the second-half, with some switches and utilising the substitute bench, Aodh Ruadh scored 1-7 to no reply. The score of the match was by Liam Cullen who jab lifted the ball on the half forward line, rounded two Burt players, soloed in and placed the sliothar into the bottom left hand corner of the Burt goal. Paul Hughes again played an influential role, although his penetrating runs were often into cul-de-sacs when scoreable points could have been easily taken earlier. Some high fielding particularly by David Dolan, Damian Cleary and Brian Fox combined with the soloing ability of Paul Hughes and the great midfield ability of Darren Gillespie effectively meant that this game was well won with five minutes to go.

The game will be remembered by the great second half team performance of Aodh Ruadh. Particularly good play was shown by Darren Gillespie, Paul Hughes and Peader O'Keefe along with the steady play of the two backs Ashley Mulhern and Brian Fox. The 'Man of the match' was Aodh Ruadh's Paul Hughes. The best players for Burt were Chris Breslin and the particularly talented Darragh Grant.

County Donegal Under 16 Hurling Champions 2006 - Aodh Ruadh.
County Donegal Under 16 Hurling Champions 2006 - Aodh Ruadh.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Ryan O'Brien; Brian Fox, Ashley Mulhern, Liam Gallagher; Richard McDevitt, David Dolan, Stephen Ryan; Cian Dolan, Darren Gillespie (0-2); Damian Cleary (0-1), Paul Hughes (0-2), Peader O'Keefe; Liam Cullen (1-1), Kieran Kilgannon (1-0) and Jack Matthews.
Gavin Croghan (0-2) for J. Matthews (half-time), Shane McNulty for David Downey (half-time), David Downey for L. Gallagher (half-time), Patrick Faherty, Donal O'Keefe.
Management team
Kevin Loughlin, Peter O'Keefe, Billy Finn, Denis Doherty and Johnny Dolan.
Rory McGonnigle (McCumhaills).

Report Filed: 9 October 2006