Fanad Gaels are still on track in the Intermediate Championship, leading from the front all the way against Aodh Ruadh in Convoy on Saturday.
Fanad Gaels 0-13
Aodh Ruadh 0-9
The Friels, ‘Nanny’ and ‘Coshia’ were a constant threat while Rory McGonigle was a man of the match contender with his workrate around the middle third.
There is word that this could be Seamus ‘Coshia’ Friel’s last year and also it is learned that another stalwart Paddy McConigley is moving to Kilkenny, so this could be a big year for the club.
Fanad Gaels had a whirlwind start with three points on the board inside three minutes. Marty McAteer had the first two on 19 and 38 seconds respectively while Mark Friel came forward to hit the third.
David McGurrin pulled a point back from a free but Aodh Ruadh lost full-back Johnny Gallagher to injury with less than five minutes on the clock.
Aidan McAteer almost lobbed a goal after a Seamie ‘Coshia’ Friel effort came back off an upright while Kerry Ryan reduced the margin to the minimum on seven minutes.
Fanad pulled three clear again by the 13th minute with Ryan McGonigle allowed to run and there was a simple tap over for Marty McAteer while Seamie ‘Nanny’ Friel converted a free from just inside the 45m line.
David McGurrin kept Aodh Ruadh ticking with a 14th minute point and they almost got a goal two minutes later when Philip Patton found Barry Mulligan, who turned his man but saw his shot come back off the butt of the post. From the rebound, he tried again with his right but Fanad ‘keeper Mark McGonigle got down to deflect around the post for a ‘45’.
Ryan McGonigle and Seamie ‘Nanny’ Friel (from a free) pushed Fanad four clear by the 28th minute but Aodh Ruadh threatened the Fanad goal again in the final minute when a Johnny Gethins effort for a point fell short but ‘keeper McGonigle was again alert. The rebound was turned over and David McGurrin had the final point of the half to leave the half-time score, Fanad Gaels 0-7, Aodh Ruadh 0-4.
David McGurrin had a rare miss in the opening minute of the second half but Seamus ‘Coshia’ Friel didn’t miss at the other end.
A great run by young Philip Patton yielded a magnificent point and David McGurrin cut the margin to two in the 36th minute.
But that was as good as it got for Aodh Ruadh as Fanad went six clear in the next ten minutes. Ryan McGonigle, Seamus ‘Nanny’ Friel with two and Coshia from an impossible position close to endline and sideline to leave it 0-12 to 0-6. One of ‘Nanny’s’ points was a free and the other after a bizarre decision by Peter Boyle to fly kick away for a ‘45’ when he had time to pick up and clear.
Aodh Ruadh, prompted by McGurrin, did respond with Philip Patton (after a great ball by McGurrin) and two by McGurrin himself halved the deficit.
Fanad lost Johnny Friel to a black card and then lost Francis Sweeney to a straight red after an off the ball incident with Philip Patton which saw the Aodh Ruadh man on the ground.
Fanad closed up shop to deny Aodh Ruadh a chance of the goal they needed and two minutes into added time Seamus ‘Nanny’ Friel hit the insurance point from a free.
It was a disappointing display from Aodh Ruadh. Apart from the consistent David McGurrin and young Philip Patton as well as some good urgency from Eamon McGrath, they didn’t threaten.
Aodh Ruadh: P Boyle; C Whoriskey, J Gallagher, M Dolan; D Cleary, E McGrath, A Boyle; J O’Donnell, K Ryan (0-1); J Gethins, R McGurrin, C Kelly; P Patton (0-2), B Mulligan, D McGurrin(0-6,1f). Subs., N Murray for Gallagher 5; C Patton for Kelly 14; R Drummond for Murray 43; N Harley for Ryan 47.
Fanad Gaels: M McGonigle; C Martin, F Friel, F Sweeney; R McGonigle (0-2), P McConigley, Mark Friel (0-1); K McElwaine, J Coyle; J Friel, S Nanny Friel (0-5,4f), A McAteer; Marty McAteer (0-3), S Coshia Friel (0-2), R McAteer. Subs., B Callaghan for McElwaine 43; B McVeigh for J Friel, black card 50.
Referee: P McGonigle (Buncrana)