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Aodh Ruadh and Aghyaran share the honours

Challenge Match
17 March 2006
Aodh Ruadh 1-10
Aghyaran 1-10
Sean Perry reports.

Aodh Ruadh and Aghyaran played out an entertaining draw in bitterly cold conditions in west Tyrone on St. Patrick's Day last. The visitors can probably count themselves the more fortunate to have emerged with a draw as two natives of the Finn Valley, PJ McGowan (Aodh Ruadh) and Michael Lafferty pitted their managerial wits against eachother.

With both sides quite depleted, it was Aghyaran who began brightest, former Tyrone minor, Caolan Dolan bustled effectively at corner forward as a physically big centrefield pairing of Shane Sweeney and Anthony Devine used the breeze profitably. Carl O'Brien was called upon to make a number of decent stops in the Ballyshannon goal but he could to little about Dolan's close range goal in the dying minutes of the first half.

The visitors relied principally on the experienced Val Murray to convert free kicks and trailed by six points at half-time, Aghyaran 1-7, Aodh Ruadh 0-4.

Stephen Ward, having returned from a long absence through injury, showed his worth in the new half, kicking two good long range points with older brother, Barry also getting on the mark. A well finished goal from the boot of Fiachra McIntyre pushed Aodh Ruadh right back into the contest, Val Murray stepped up to launch the equaliser seconds from the final whistle.

The game was played in a fair spirit with both sides able to draw a number of positives from the contest. Gerard Ferguson was solid at corner back on his senior debut while Michael Lawless showed a willingness to get involved.

Both managers will be hoping for a solid start to the rapidly approaching all-county leagues with the two clubs having struggled to avoid relegation last season. A lot will depend on how county players, Martin Penrose and Brian Roper are used.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Carl O'Brien; Johnny Gallagher, Martin Gallagher, Gerard Ferguson; Ciron Whoriskey, Thomas McPhelim, Philip O'Reilly; Conor Gurn, Stephen Ward (0-2); Jack Travers, Barry Ward (0-1), Michael Lawless (0-1); Garret Blake, Val Murray (0-6, 5 frees), Fiachra McIntyre (1-0).
Turlough McIntyre for F. McIntyre, F. McIntyre for J. Gallagher (inj)
Eamon Connolly; Anthony McMenamin, Terence Byrne, Kevin Byrne; Darren McSorley, Jason Gallen, Michael Connolly; Brian McHugh, Shane Sweeney (0-1); Anthony Devine (0-1), Karol Dolan (0-1), Johnny McMenamin (0-1); Caolan Dolan (1-3, 2 frees), Michael Anderson (0-1), Damien Leonard.

Report Filed: 20 March 2006