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Two more valuable points for Aodh Ruadh

Senior Football Division 1B
23th August 2008
Aodh Ruadh 0-10
Buncrana 0-09
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park.

If you wanted to see a display of poor shooting and fussy refereeing then Father Tierney Park was the place to be last Saturday. The low scoring nature of the encounter was down to erratic kicking from both sides rather than zealous defending or strong winds. Meanwhile in what was largely a good-tempered match, no fewer than seven players found their way into Liam Browne's notebook.

The game itself took a while to get going, Garvin Friel the first to make a shooting effort in the fourth minute, his effort tailing wide. Shortly after Aodh Ruadh were the first to register on the scoreboard with Niall McCready executing a neat passing shot over the bar from just outside the 20 metre line. After that Buncrana took the initiative shooting two wides before Oran Doherty finally put them on the board with a free in the ninth minute.

The play was back and forth after that with each side exchanging bad wides before Donagh McIntyre took charge of the situation and drove over a point on 13 minutes. That was the only bright spot in this period as once again the sides swapped wides in a ragged passage of play. It came to a head in the 18th minute as Brian McCaffrey was carrying the ball across the midfield for Aodh Ruadh. He was fouled by Ryan Bradley and then body checked by Andy McLaughlin. McCaffrey reacted to McLaughlin's challenge and an all-in melee erupted. When things were settled McCaffrey, Bradley and McLaughlin were all yellow carded.

Buncrana responded better to the fracas and Ryan Bradley was to the fore in pushing them on. He bore down on goal only see his drilled shot fought out by the Aodh Ruadh defence. Only as far as Garvin Friel however, and he clipped over from short range. That point got an instant answer from Ballyshannon as, after one of the few examples of good build up play, the ball ended up with Michael Ward and he made no mistake from 13 metres out.

Once again the sides exchanges some bad wides before the 27 minute when the Buncrana defence yawned open and Pauric Buggy waltzed through and found him self one-on-one with Noel O'Donnell. Buggy opted to flick the ball out to the unmarked Michael Ward, but Ward's shot was superbly saved by O'Donnell and put out for a 45. Buggy was unable to capitalise driving the ball wide.

There was time for another Buggy wide before Michael Gurn fetched a great aerial ball from the Buncrana kick-out. He fed the ball to Barry Ward and he drilled a diagonal ball to Michael Ward who pointed efficiently.

The last word of the first half was left with Stephen McGonigle who scored a free from between the 20 and the 45 to leave Buncrana just a point shy of the homesters as they went in for the break.

Half time Aodh Ruadh 0-4, Buncrana 0-3

The second half got off to a promising start as Dara Irwin drove over a lovely effort off the outside of the right boot from the right hand side of the pitch with one of the contenders for score of the match. However the next few moments were characterised by confusion in the Buncrana defence. Firstly on 40 minutes Michael Ward nipped in to steal a point after a mix up between two Buncrana defenders. That was followed a moment later by a howler from Noel O'Donnell as a ball launched into the Buncrana box by Pauric Buggy was totally missed by keeper and ended up in the back of the net. His luck was in though. Despite being some distance from the goals and in the absence of any signal from his umpires, Liam Browne ruled the goal out for square ball.

Buggy finally registered a score a few minutes later when he pointed a good effort from a free on the 45 metre line. Buncrana replied swiftly though. Conor Gurn was blown for an innocuous challenge and Oran Doherty stepped up to score the resultant free from just outside the 20 metre line.

As it turned out Ballyshannon were entering a period of dominance, and that commenced with a superb score from Anthony Boyle who lofted a fantastic effort from outside the 20. That was quickly followed in the 44th minute by an excellent soaring shot from left by Michael Gurn. A minute later Barry Ward repeated the trick, this time from the right to put Aodh Ruadh four points to the good going into the final quarter. Once into the comfort zone Ballyshannon took their foot off the pedal and the game lapsed into a period of poor play. Over the next six minutes there three wides as both sides struggled to make an impression.

It fell to Ballyshannon's Anthony Boyle to take the next score, a smartly fisted point after a menacing run on goal in the 53rd minute. That was to be Aodh Ruadh's last score as Buncrana made all the running for the remainder of the game.

Firstly Oran Doherty scored a free which had been brought forward to the penalty spot for backchat from Ballyshannon and then he followed that up with an outrageous towering effort from hard on the right sideline. After some untidy Aodh tackling Paul McGonigle took the opportunity to knock over a free to leave just two in it. McGonigle was lucky to stay on the pitch a minute later though when a clumsy tackle which ordinarily would have merited a yellow card was marked down as a black card offence.

The closing moments were fraught for Ballyshannon as Buncrana battled manfully for a share of the spoils. As the game entered injury time Adrian Doherty launched in a dangerous ball towards the Aodh Ruadh goals. Buddy Greene did well to palm the ball over his own crossbar and forestall the inrushing Buncrana attackers. The last action of the match saw Darren Drummond bravely out to forage the ball from between two Buncrana players thus ending the Inishowen side's last chance to level the match. The game ended Aodh Ruadh 0-10, Buncrana 0-9.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
David Greene; Johnny Gallagher, Darren Drummond, Philip O'Reilly; Brian McCaffrey, Conor Gurn, Michael Gurn (0-1); Barry Ward (0-1), Niall McCready (0-1); Anthony Boyle (0-2), Michael Lawless, Diarmuid McInerney; Donagh McIntyre (0-1), Michael Ward (0-3), Pauric Buggy (0-1f).
PJ McGee for O'Reilly @ 3 minutes; Fiachra McIntyre for PJ McGee @ 52 minutes; PJ McGee for Donagh McIntyre @ 30 minutes.
Noel O'Donnell; Ronan Doherty, William McLaughlin, Stephen McClure; Benny McGee, Paul McGonigle (0-1f), Andy McLaughlin; Dara Irwin (0-1), Ryan Bradley; Christy McDermott, Oran Doherty (0-4, 3f), Stephen McGonigle (0-1f); Adrian Doherty (0-1), Gavin McConnell, Garvin Friel (0-1).
None used
Liam Browne (Four Masters)

Filed: 24 August 2008