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Aodh Ruadh see off Four Masters with sensational second half

Senior Division 2
20 July 2019
Aodh Ruadh 3-14
Four Masters 1-8
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park

Aodh Ruadh picked up a handsome four goal win over derby opponents Four Masters on Saturday evening in Father Tierney Park.

There had been inklings even in the first half, where Four Masters had given as good as they got to go in trailing by just two points. However, in that first 30 Ballyshannon had passed up three clear goaling chances.

As the visitors started to tire over the course of the second half they started to fade badly in the middle third. Aodh Ruadh capitalised to stride out into a healthy lead, eventually going 12 points ahead.

Four Masters rotten luck was encapsulated when a penalty thumped back off the post with the last kick of the game.

The scoring was slow to get going, the first decent chance coming when Oisin Rooney was perhaps a shade unlucky not get a penalty after it looked like he had been fouled after collecting a cracking line ball in from Nathan Boyle.

Aodh Ruadh opened their account six minutes in when Michael McKenna picked up from Diarmaid McInerney and raced at the posts before laying off to Nathan Boyle who teed up Oisin Rooney to slip over.

Not long after Eamon Jordan pulled off a magnificent save when Shane McGrath was clean through.

Four Masters got off the mark when Connie Dohrty penalised some off the ball stuff and Conor McDaid stroked over the dead ball from 30 metres.

Ballyshannon responded straight from the kick out though, Peter Boyle's restart being sped up the pitch for Shane McGrath to tap over.

Eamonn McGrath extended the lead, popping over from close range after a stray shot off the boot of Nathan Boyle was palmed down to him by Oisin Rooney.

Thomas McGowan trimmed the deficit back to a point with 12 minutes played, but it took two bites of the cherry. His initial free dropped short and was punched clear by Sean Taylor. Four Masters recycled back to McGowan who curled over a nice effort.

Then, with the game moving into the second quarter, Aodh Ruadh got a shot in the arm. It came courtesy of a bit of clever football from Nathan Boyle who lasered a quick free from the 45 metre line to Johnny Gethins who crisply turned his man before cracking to the net.

David Quinn then dinked over a left footed free off the deck from 13 metres with 18 minutes on the clock to make it Aodh Ruadh 1-3 Four Masters 0-3.

The homesters then had yet another sight of goal, but Colm Kelly's rasping shot flashed wide of Jordan's right post.

Ballyshannon were rapidly made to regret that wastefulness. A high dropping ball from Oisin Reid wasn't dealt with and Thomas McGowan said thank you very much, cracking a low precision shot to the net.

Aodh Ruadh responded to that sucker punch well though with Nathan Boyle and Eamonn McGrath pointing in quick sucession to put two between them again.

On 24 minutes Eamonn McGrath was fouled and Diarmaid McInerney got the hosts' first point from dead ball and also became his side's sixth scorer of the game.

Up the other end Conor McDaid continued to be his side's best threat, sending over a nice shot from range.

As the first half progressed into added time Colm Kelly set up Diarmaid McInerney to hoist over a lovely shot before David Quinn answered in kind to leave it Aodh Ruadh 1-7 to 1-5 on the turnaround.

Aodh Ruadh got the perfect start to the new half when Diarmaid McInerney pumped over an audacious shot from out on the right.

Four Masters answered that promptly though, Conor McDaid stroking over a difficult free.

Six minutes in the McGraths conjured a moment of magic for the game's third goal. Eamonn picked out brother Shane with an outrageous pass. The full forward danced around his marker before placing a delightful shot past Eamon Jordan.

A Nathan Boyle point was followed by a lofted score from Ronan McHugh to make it 2-9 to 1-7 with 40 minutes played.

Oisin Rooney and Oisin Reid then swapped points as the sides continued to go tit for tat.

A clumsy tackle by Sean Kennedy on Shane McGrath saw him yellow carded and Diarmaid McInerney converted the dead ball to put two goals in it again. Then a jinking run from Colm Kelly was illegally halted to gift McInerney another handy free conversion.

With nine minutes remaining the visitors' caused was fatally holed when a superb Johnny Gethins delivery was put right into Shane McGrath's chest. The attacker created some space for himself before drilling past the marrooned Jordan.

That was quickly followed by a lovely outside of the boot effort from Niall Murray and a fisted point from Johnny Gethins as Aodh Ruadh moved four goals clear.

The last action of the game saw a foul on Oisin Reid result in a penalty. Thomas McGowan stood up to the kick, but his shot rattled back off the foot of the post to bring the curtain down on a night to forget for the Donegal town men.

Four Masters made a decent fist of things in the first half, but in the second Aodh Ruadh took control in the middle of the pitch and the Ernesiders had the attacking quality to make that imbalance in possession count.

Sean Taylor had a fine game in his sweeping commission, while the half back line of Johnny Gethins, Johnny Gallagher and Michael McKenna were a real hive of industry. Up front Diarmaid McInerney was effective from play and placed ball, but in Nathan Boyle and Shane McGrath Aodh Ruadh had the difference makers.

Four Masters worked hard, but as the game progressed they ran out of gas somewhat. Best for the Tir Chonaill Park men were Oisin Reid, who did his best in an undermanned midfield and Thomas McGowan and Conor McDaid who always looked threatening on the ball.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle; Michael Ward, Colm Kelly, Sean Taylor; Michael McKenna, Johnny Gallagher, Johnny Gethins (1-1); Cian Dolan, Eamonn McGrath (0-2); Ryan McKenna, Diarmaid McInerney (0-5, 3f), Niall Murray (0-1); Nathan Boyle (0-2), Oisin Rooney (0-2), Shane McGrath (2-1).
Subs: Paddy Gillespie for J Gallagher (inj) 43m; Conall Sweeny for C Dolan 62m
Frees conceded: 14.
Wides: 7.
Short: 1.
Kick outs won - Total: 19; Own: 9; Opposition: 10.
Marks: 1.
Four Masters
Eamon Jordan; Brian Fegan Dylan Kennedy, Darren Walsh; Leo McHugh, Aaron McCrea, Caolan Loughney; Oisin Reid (0-1), Kevin McBrearty; Thomas McGowan (1-1), Conor Rooney, Conor McDaid (0-3, 2f); Ronan McHugh (0-1), David Quinn (0-2, 1f), Sean Kennedy.
Subs: Jamie Crawford for A McCrea 27m; Conor McMonagle for C Loughney 54m; Rahman Bologan for C McDaid 54m
Yellow card: S Kennedy 46m; C McDaid 49m Frees conceded: X.
Wides: 4.
Short: 4.
Kick outs won - Total: 12; Own: 12; Opposition: 0.
Marks: 3.
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).

Last modified: Saturday, 20 July 2019 at 9:24pm