Thanks to another magical performance from David McGurrin, with nine points, Aodh Ruadh just about prevailed in the U-21B final replay in Convoy.
Aodh Ruadh 0-10
In a game that was quite similar to the first game, Aodh Ruadh led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break and that could have been greater as they had goal chances.
Burt, without one of their top forwards Georgie Kelly and half-back Darren McLaughlin, showed great fighting qualities to come back and twice lead in the second half, but Aodh Ruadh were not to be denied with David McGurrin levelling on 57 minutes and it was big brother, Ronan, who hit the winner with seconds of the two allotted minutes of added time left.
Aodh Ruadh moved Eamonn Walsh to midfield to curb the threat of Burt’s man of the match from the first game, Paul McHugh, and the move did have an influence with McHugh quiet until the second half, albeit he did play his part in Burt’s revival.
Aodh Ruadh were three points up, all from McGurrin, on 16 minutes with both sides also having goal chances. Johnny Gethins did have the ball in the Burt net but was called back as a free had been awarded while Conor Harkin was clean through but dragged his shot wide.
Niall Thomas also had a good chance but failed to control a ball from Ronan McGurrin before Christopher McDermott and Harkin had Burt back within a point in the 25th minute.
Before half-time David McGurrin struck twice to leave Aodh Ruadh 0-5 to 0-2 up at the break.
Conor Harkin and McGurrin traded early second half points before Burt struck for the only goal of the game, Kelvin Lynch getting on the end of a Darren Gallagher centre to touch to the net. Almost immediately Conor Harkin put Burt in front, but Aodh Ruadh and McGurrin hit back with two quick points to put his side back in front with 12 minutes left.
Paul McHugh then took a hand, hitting two magnificent points to edge Burt back in front, 1-6 to 0-8 with seven minutes left.
It looked as if we could be set for extra-time once more, especially when McGurrin pointed a free in the 57th minute to level matters.
It could have gone either way in the closing stages but in one late rally, Aodh Ruadh full-back Gary Carty went on the overlap and was found by Kieran Keown. It looked as if he would hit the winner, but his effort dropped short. Unfortunately for Burt, the clearance fell to Ronan McGurrin and he made no mistake.
It was a hard-earned win and would not have been achieved without David McGurrin. Apart from his nine points, he hit an upright, and had an effort with his left go wide off an upright. Just as Paul McHugh was man of the match in the first game, McGurrin was the matchwinner this time around, despite a good display also from his opponent Stephen O’Donnell.
Prior to the game, a minute’s silence was observed for the death of Aodh Ruadh President and former Donegal and Ulster legend Jim ‘Natch’ Gallagher.
Aodh Ruadh: Peter Boyle; Matthew Maguire, Gary Carty, Colm Kelly; Niall Harley, Conor Patton, Kieran Keown; Ronan McGurrin (0-1), Eamonn McGrath; Niall Murray, Johnny Gethins, Ronan Drummond; Jamie McDonald, Niall Thomas, David McGurrin (0-9,5f). Subs., Ryan Granaghan for Thomas 34; Pauric Patton for Murray 36; Eddie Lynch for Gethins 39; Ruairi Drummond for McDonald 55
Burt: Glenn Hegarty; Gareth Quinn, David O’Donnell, Stephen O’Donnell; Thomas McMackin, Paddy Doherty, Gavin McGrath; Ronan McDermott, Paul McHugh (0-2); Conor McMackin, Conor Harkin (0-3,2f), Darren Gallagher; Daithi Grant, Christopher McDermott (0-1), Kelvin Lynch (1-0). Sub., Matthew Breslin for T McMackin 54.
Referee: Connie Doherty (N Conaill)