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Malin take advantage of weakened Aodh Ruadh

Senior Football Division 2
Malin 0-15
Aodh Ruadh 0-8
Report by Simon McGeady at Connolly Park.

Malin made the most of the absence of injured Niall McCready and suspended duo Brian Roper and Garett Blake to coast to a seven-point win over Aodh Ruadh at Connolly Park yesterday afternoon.

In doing so Louis Walsh's lads inflicted the first league defeat of the season on the side from Fr Tierney Park and maintained their own 100 per cent record in the league on their home patch.

It isn't being harsh on the Ballyshannon boys to say that this game was one-way traffic. Paddy Kelly and Damien Harkin had free reign against the Aodh Ruadh midfield throughout and the only surprise is that Malin didn't win by a considerably bigger margin.

The hosts chalked up an ugly looking 18 wides, 12 alone in the first half when they were playing with the breeze. On another day such a stat would have consigned them to defeat but such was the number of chances they created that their misses were not a factor.

Bereft of attacking options Ballyshannon resorted to the high ball into the square in search of breaks, but with Declan Walsh bottling up Barry Ward, it proved to be an ineffective tactic.

After 20 minutes the sides were level, Stephen Ward and Pauric Buggy scoring the pick of the Aodh Ruadh points on the break.

In the 23rd minute Stephen Ward launched a high ball deep into the Malin half which broke kindly for Barry Ward.

The Ballyshannon full forward would have put his side ahead except for a superb save by Declan Lafferty, the Malin goalkeeper diving high to his right to get a strong hand on the well struck shot.

Aodh Ruadh's attempts at working the ball short through their backs came unstuck time and again and turnovers led to two Malin scores late in the first half, which put the home side 0-7 to 0-4 to the good at half time.

The half time score might have been level, however, as Johnny Gallagher profited from a sloppy bit of play by Anthony Kelly to steal in and bear down on goal. John (R) McLaughlin made a fine challenge to spare Kelly's blushes.

Kelly proved his worth at the start of the second half, the Malin forward released Daniel Greene on the right for a score, before starting and finishing a flowing Malin move in the 33rd minute, Kelly collecting Matthew Byrne's short pass to palm over Paul Kane's crossbar.

Aodh Ruadh's challenge swiftly evaporated in the hot Malin sun. Fiachra McIntyre gave the ball away to Anthony Kelly inside his 50 and Kelly found young Gerard Greene who made it 0-10 to 0-4 with only five minutes of the second half elapsed.

With Aodh Ruadh unable to break out Greene made another chance for himself from the resulting kick out, but this time he shot wide when well placed to score.

Ten minutes into the second half Aodh Ruadh hit their first score since the 22nd minute, Pauric Loughlin hitting a score from the tightest of angles on the right, but it the visitors could not build on this point.

Michael Gurn got his side within five points with a quarter of the game left, but Malin, with Damien Harkin and Charlie Byrne pulling the strings, retained their composure and stretched their advantage to 0-14 to 0-8 with Michael Doherty's score five minutes from time.

Charlie Byrne put the final nail in the Ballyshannon coffin with three minutes left and there was still time for Gerard Greene to shoot wildly wide when through on goal.

Vital Statistics
Declan Lafferty; Kevin McColgan, Declan Walsh, John (R) McLaughlin; John (M) McLaughlin, Charlie Byrne, Daniel Greene (0-1), Damien Harkin (0-1), Paddy Kelly; Michael Doherty (0-2), Anthony Kelly (0-8, 5f), Gerard Greene (0-1); Conor Farren, Damien Ward, Matthew Byrne (0-2).
Substitutes: Gary Farren for C. Farren (52 mins), Eddie Kelly for G. Greene (60 mins).
Aodh Ruadh
Paul Kane; Packie McGrath, Darren Drummond, Barry Travers; Michael Gurn (0-1), Johnny Gallagher, Philip O'Reilly (0-1); Fiachra McIntyre, Stephen Ward; Kerry Ryan, Pauric Buggy (0-4, 3f), Ciron Whoriskey; Pauric Loughlin (0-1), Barry Ward (0-1), Anthony Burke.
Substitutes: PJ. McGee for Loughlin (48 mins), Stephen Bradley for Ward (60 mins).

Report Filed: 16 June 2009