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Cool, calm, controlled Aodh Ruadh make it two on the bounce

ACFL Division 2
Aodh Ruadh 3-16
Glenfin 2-6
20 June 2020
John Hughes reports from Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh

Glenfin flared into life in fits and starts during this game, but there was no disguising the dominant force in Ballyshannon's Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. The hosts owned the ball for sustained periods, and made very effective use of it into the bargain.

The opening few moments were evenly enough balanced. Philip Patton opened Aodh Ruadh's account with two points, one from a free, the second from play after Ballyshannon claimed the restart.

Then Aaron McGlynn pointed neatly from play four minutes and it looked like a even contest might be in prospect.

Barry Ward's men took over from there to the water break though, a Philip Patton free stretching the lead out before a lovely score from midfield dynamo Nathan Boyle.

The game's first goal chance came ten minutes in when Aodh Ruadh came surging through the middle. Darren Drummond collected in the penalty area and pulled the trigger only to seeing his rasping effort fly over rather than under the bar.

Two minutes later, more flowing Aodh Ruadh football was crowned by an elegant strike from Michael McKenna.

Nathan Boyle swept over a crisply struck 45 before the first goal of the game finally arrived. Glenfin's kick out went awry and Shane McGrath was coolness personified as he strolled in one-on-one with Andrew Walsh before slipping home.

That put nine points between the sides, but it also served to spark Glenfin into life. After some sustained pressure in front of the Aodh Ruadh posts the ball came back out to Kyle O'Meara who leathered a daisy cutter of a shot through a forest of legs to the back of the Ballyshannon net.

Aodh Ruadh responded well though with Philip Patton landing from play to take the sting from that concession.

Glenfin's tails were up now though and a well-taken Odhran McGlynn point left six between them with four minutes to run to the break.

The last say of the half was to go the way of the homesters though. Michael McKenna showcased his exceptional foot passing to pick out Oisin Rooney on the edge of the area and Rooney neatly pivoted and piloted the ball over the bar to leave it Aodh Ruadh 1-9 Glenfin 1-2 at Connie Doherty's short whistle.

Glenfin came into this game on the back of an eye-catching opening day win over bitter neighbours MacCumhaill's and showed they had something about them with a bright opening to the second half.

They got the first score after the resumption with the lively Gerard Ward alert to the quick free and popping over.

Ward then guided over a tricky free from out on the right to put five between them. That, however, was to be as good as it got for Glenfin.

Aodh Ruadh reclaimed control of proceedings and worked the ball well into the final third before laying back to Kyle Murray quarter back-style, and he flighted over a sweet strike.

That was followed by an outrageous long range free from Nathan Boyle. Boyle was then fouled for a free which Philip Patton tucked away before a superbly taken point by Niall Murray put nine points in it at the three-quarter hour mark.

Boyle clipped another lucious free before the game's second goal arrived. That man McKenna again did the damage with a tin-opener pass which was beautifully collected by David Dolan. Dolan was being fouled as he muscled his way on goal, but Connie Doherty played a good advantage and Dolan was able to steer to the net as he was being hauled to the ground.

As the game moved into the last ten minutes Colm Kelly was fouled and Patton made no mistake from the dead ball.

With time running out, Glenfin flared to life again, this time a gift of a sideline ball from Aodh Ruadh allowed them to cut through on goal and Kyle O'Meara drove home his second of the game.

That was followed by two Gerard Ward frees as things began to get a bit nervy for the home support.

It was Ballyshannnon who came with the barn-storming finish though. Darren Drummond showed his strength to cut up the endline and fist for a point. His effort hit the post though and Diarmaid McInerney was first to react and he lashed to the back of the net.

Fittingly the last scoring say went to man of the match Nathan Boyle with yet another sweetly struck free.

In the final analysis, Ballyshannon's combination play, incisive, purposeful running, uncompromising physicality and shooting quality were just a step above what Glenfin were able to offer.

Philip Patton's free taking reliability was, once again, a huge asset for Aodh Ruadh, while Michael McKenna's passing vision unlocked the door for important scores. Eamonn McGrath marshalled centrefield with authority while defensively Eddie Lynch and Conor Patton really impressed.

Glenfin never dropped the heads, but could only get traction in isolated spells and they were unable to ask the hosts any serious questions. Two opportunist goals by Kyle O'Meara helped keep his side in touch, but Gerard Ward was his side's main outlet and attacking threat.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Karl O'Brien; Jason Granaghan, Colm Kelly, Conor Patton; Johnny Gethins, Eddie Lynch, Kyle Murray (0-1); Eamonn McGrath, Nathan Boyle (0-5, 3f, 1 45); Philip Patton (0-6, 4f), Shane McGrath (1-0), Michael McKenna (0-1); Oisin Rooney (0-1), Darren Drummond (0-1), David Dolan (1-0).
Substitutions: Niall Murray (0-1) for Shane McGrath (inj) HT; Diarmaid McInerney (1-0) for David Dolan 47m; Cian Rooney for Oisin Rooney 58m; Ryan Granaghan for Kyle Murray 61m. Kerry Ryan, Donagh McIntyre, Ryan McKenna, Senan Rooney, Johnny Gallagher, Mark Gallagher, Calum O'Halloran, Shane Gillespie
Andrew Walsh; Gary Herron, John Harkin, Martin O'Donnell; Odhran McGlynn (0-1), Daniel McGlynn, Ross Marley; Stephen Carr, Stephen Ward; Karl McGlynn, Jason Morrow, Aaron McGlynn (0-1); Kyle O'Meara (2-0), Gerard Ward (0-4, 3f), Ciaran Brady.
Substitutions: Mattie McGinley for Karl McGlynn 14m; Shane McGinty for Gary Herron; Conor Ward for Stephen Ward; Darren Marley for Martin O'Donnell, Ronan Carlin for Jason Morrow; Shane O'Donnell for Ciaran Brady.
Referee: Connie Doherty (Naomh Conaill).

Last modified: Tuesday, 22 June 2021 at 9:21am