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Aodh Ruadh up and running with convincing win

Senior Division 2
7 April 2019
Aodh Ruadh 3-10
Buncrana 0-9
John Hughes reports from Father Tierney Park

Aodh Ruadh put in a power-packed second half performance to see off the lively challenge of Buncrana. The Ernesiders hit three fine goals after the interval from Johnny Gethins (2) and Darren Drummond to win this one with a bit to spare.

Buncrana opened by far the stronger of the sides, quickly taking the lead with two well crafted scores. The first came a minute in when Darrach O'Connor drove through and chipped over.

Shortly after Caolan McGonagle finished another penetrating move with a well taken strike.

The game was into the second quarter before Aodh Ruadh got off the mark, Philip Patton pointing a free after an extended stoppage for treatment to Noel McLaughlin. Seconds later Patton split the posts again after the Ernesiders turned Harry Doherty's kick out.

With 18 minutes gone Patton kicked his side into the lead with a glorious long range free from behind the 45.

Four minutes later Darrach O'Connor hit his second of the game to tie matters up at three apiece.

With five minutes left in the half a terrific bit of harrying by Dylan Gallagher forced a turnover in midfield which Philip Patton carried forward before laying off to Shane McGrath who smashed a rasping shot just over the crossbar.

Shortly after Aodh Ruadh were two to the good when Darren Drummond was fouled for a free which Philip Patton stroked over.

Shane McGrath then won another free in the final third which he took quickly to Philip Patton and he smashed over from close range.

With this the first game of the season rustiness was evident with both teams guilty of some poor decision making and bad wides. That saw the sides going in with no further score and Aodh Ruadh leading 0-6 to 0-3.

Buncrana had the breeze in the second half and made immediate use of it with Odhran Doherty clipping over from the right. The visitors went on to turn the Peter Boyle's first three kick outs of the half and things were starting to look a bit ominous. However the Inishowen men failed to convert that initial dominance into scores and Ballyshannon weathered the storm.

It was Aodh Ruadh who had the first real goal chance of the game five minutes into the new half, Colm Kelly's stinging shot drawing a phenomenal full stretch save from Harry Doherty.

Eamonn McGrath then won a mark on Doherty's kick out and picked out Darren Drummond who turned his man before flighting over for 0-7 to 0-4.

Johnny Gethins then netted after a well constructed move when he was put through on the target by a divine fist pass by Nathan Boyle and Dylan Gallagher drew off a man with a dummy run.

Aodh Ruadh were starting to hit their stride now and Oisin Rooney won an huge mark in the middle of the pitch and fed Philip Patton. The number 11 found Darren Drummond and the target man swivelled on a sixpence before drilling to the net. That made it 2-8 to 0-4 with 42 minutes gone.

As the game moved into the final quarter the third goal of the game arrived and it was all thanks to Dylan Gallagher's foraging for the dirty ball. He finally dug it out and popped up to Johnny Gethins and he thrashed a scorching shot past the unfortunate Harry Doherty.

Michael McKenna initiated the next score two minutes later as the Ernesiders worked a silky passing move which was finished crisply by Johnny Gethins.

Buncrana were fairly bedraggled by this stage and their second score of the half, a free from John Campbell came with the game into the last ten minutes and put 12 points between the sides.

That was cancelled three minutes from time when Shane McGrath popped his second point of the game.

Buncrana hit back with a couple more scores. First Darrach O'Connor hit a fantastic individual score before Odhran Doherty slipped over and the Ben Bradley split the posts with 59 minutes gone.

That was the last scoring action of the match as Barry Ward and Philip O'Reilly's men opened their league with a ten point win secured in a most impressive manner.

Superb Aodh Ruadh performances all over the pitch. Michael McKenna was very smooth and composed in defence. Johnny Gethins got through a power of work in midfield and took two clinker goals. Oisin Rooney also made a huge contribution on his introduction. Up front Philip Patton's accuracy was once again a key weapon in the Aodh Ruadh armoury while Dylan Gallagher's tigerish tackling was a sight to behold and he was unlucky to finish without a score to his credit. Darren Drummond also put in a serious shift as the point man for the attack.

For Buncrana Caolan McGonagle caused the hosts no end of problems, while Ben Bradley was a lively presence in the attack on his introduction.

Vital Statistics
Aodh Ruadh
Peter Boyle; Calum O'Halloran, Colm Kelly Johnny Gallagher; Michael Ward, Shane Gillespie, Michael McKenna; Eamonn McGrath, Johnny Gethins (2-1); Dylan Gallagher, Philip Patton (0-6, 3f), Diarmaid McInerney; Darren Drummond (1-1), Shane McGrath (0-2), Nathan Boyle.
Subs: Oisin Rooney for M Ward 34m; Eoin Doherty for D Gallagher 52m; Paddy Gillespie for J Gethins 53m; Cian Dolan for D Drummond 55m; Daniel Warnock for J Gallagher 55m.
Yellow card: C Kelly 45m Frees conceded: 16.
Wides: 8.
Kick outs won - Total: 10; Own: 7; Opposition: 3.
Harry Doherty (0-1 45); Conor Grant, Jack O'Loughlin, Cathal McNutt; JP McKenna, Noel McLaughlin, Matthew Mulholland; Peter McLaughlin, Caolan McGonagle (0-1); Oisin O'Flaherty, Odhran Doherty (0-2), Stephen Doherty; Darrach O'Connor (0-3), John Campbell (0-1f), Oisin Doherty.
Subs: Aedan Stokes for N McLaughlin 32m; Oisin Hegarty for O Doherty 34m; Ben Doherty for JP McKenna 44m; Adrian Doherty for M Mulholland 50m; Ben Bradley (0-1) for Caolan McGonagle 53m.
Frees conceded: 11.
Wides: 8.
Kick outs won - Total: 13; Own: 6; Opposition: 7.
Referee: Marc Browne (Four Masters).

Last modified: Saturday, 20 April 2019 at 2:52pm