Aodh Ruadh needed a last gasp Peter Boyle free to gain a replay after Burt turned around an early blitz in an exciting U-21B final.
Aodh Ruadh 1-15
(after extra time)
It was a really exciting final encounter with Paul McHugh stepping up to the plate with an injury time equaliser to take Burt to extra-time and then the Inishowen men took the lead for the first time in the second period of extra time thanks to two frees won by Georgie Kelly, converted by Kelly and Conor Harkin, only for Peter Boyle to take the curtain down on the game with a free from 35m with virtually the last kick of the game.
In the end, the draw was probably a fair result. Aodh Ruadh looked like they were going to run away with the game with two points from Ryan Granaghan and Johnny Gettins inside 52 seconds.
They were worthy of their 1-10 to 1-3 half-time lead, but Burt, thanks to the driving of Paul McHugh, Conor Harkin, Christopher McDermott and Georgie Kelly, were magnificent in the second half and they looked the most likely as the game wore on.
As the game wore on, the heavy drizzle meant there were plenty of mistakes, but there was also plenty of honesty.
Aodh Ruadh’s early dominance saw them lead 0-7 to 0-1 inside nine minutes with the McGurrins and Eamonn McGrath also on the scoreboard.
Paul McHugh had Burt’s first point from a free but they were beginning to create openings with Conor McMackin not availing of a great opening made by Georgie Kelly. But from the ‘45’ Aodh Ruadh failed to clear and Daithi Grant pounced to fire home.
But five minutes later David McGurrin and Jamie McDonald set up Niall Thomas for the Aodh Ruadh goal and they were back in control, with McGurrin and Ronan Drummond adding points while Burt relied on two frees from Conor Harkin and Georgie Kelly.
The second half, however, was a completely different story with Aodh Ruadh failing to make any impression until the 50th minute. By then Burt, thanks Christopher McDermott, Paul McHugh (2) and Conor Harkin were back within three.
Conor Patton had an Aodh Ruadh point but Christopher McDermott (2) and McHugh kept the scoreboard ticking with just one between them, 1-11 to 1-10.
Niall Thomas and a David McGurrin free pushed Aodh Ruadh three clear with three minutes left and it looked like they would prevail, but Burt refused to give up and Darren McLaughlin pointed while Ronan McDermott almost fisted a goal. As the game went into the second minute of the three allotted added minutes Paul McHugh pointed a free and then Burt, in a last gasp attack, won another free. There was a delay of over four minutes for an injury to Matthew Maguire before McHugh stepped up to the 40m and fired it over to signal extra time.
With both sides cramping, the scoring ratio slowed. Aodh Ruadh almost had a goal half-way through the first period when a Jamie McDonald fisted effort came back off an upright to Niall Thomas but he was blocked for a ‘45’, from which Peter Boyle edged the Ballyshannon ahead.
In the second period, Burt came back with Georgie Kelly winning two frees to get his side in front for the first time in the contest, but then Peter Boyle had the final say, hitting the equaliser from 35m with virtually the last kick.
It was an absorbing tie which ebbed and flowed. The battle between Christopher McDermott and Gary Carty was just one of many battles. Both sides were disappointed at the finish as both knew the spoils were there for the taking, but overall both deserved a second chance.
There was just one little flare up with Thomas McMackin and Johnny Gettins getting yellow for a wrestling match on the ground, although Burt were a little unhappy when Jimmy White elected to throw up the ball rather than resume play with a Burt free as they were in possession.