Aodh Ruadh had it mostly all their own way as they retained their Intermediate Reserve crown at Tirconaill Park, Donegal Town on Saturday.
Aodh Ruadh 0-11
With a team that is almost entirely based on youth, they always looked like winners from a very early stage against a disappointing Buncrana side that failed to raised a flag from their opening score on 55 seconds until 22 minutes into the second half.
The youthful Aodh Ruadh front line, aided by the one veteran of the side, 37-year-old Dermot Slevin, were much too sharp for the Inishowen defence.
Johnny Gettins, David McGurrin, Ryan Granaghan and Christopher Goan were very lively and but for the very difficult underfoot conditions, would have punished even more.
McGurrin combined with Gettins for the latter to equalise Christopher McDermott’s opening free for Buncrana, and when Gettins won a free on eight minutes, Dermot Slevin put Aodh Ruadh into a lead they were never likely to relinquish.
McGurrin provided the pass for Christopher Goan to point from an acute angle on 14 minutes and McGurrin then put Ronan Matthews through on goal but with the goal gaping, he shot weakly and it was an easy save for Kevin Doherty.
Gettins won another free for Slevin to point on 17 minutes and Christopher Goan did the same for Slevin to add his third pointed free two minutes later.
David McGurrin almost had a goal immediately after when his effort for a point came off the crossbar and was cleared. Just before the break Christopher Goan won another free and David McGurrin pointed to leave Aodh Ruadh comfortably ahead by 0-6 to 0-1 at the break.
The McGurrin brothers were involved in one of the scores of the game within a minute of the restart with Pauric Loughlin at the end of the move to point.
Kieran Keown, with a typical 60m break, created the next score as he laid it off to David McGurrin to fist over and open a seven point gap.
On 39 minutes Aodh Ruadh almost had a goal as Ronan McGurrin found Johnny Gettins and his effort came back of the crossbar with the ‘keeper well beaten.
With the game as good as over, Buncrana got their second point on 52 minutes, Kevin Treacy pointing a free but Aodh Ruadh responded with Gary Carty coming forward to set up Matthew Thompson to point and then Johnny Gettins added another with three minutes of normal time left.
Gavin McConnell had Buncrana’s final score - their only one from play - in the 59th minute while James Barron completed the scoring for Aodh Ruadh three minutes into added time.
Aodh Ruadh: Karl O’Brien; Gary Carty, Damien Cleary, Ryan Patton; Michael Ward, Kieran Keown, Ronan Matthews; Pauric Loughlin (0-1), Ronan McGurrin; Ryan Granaghan, Dermot Slevin (0-3,3f), Christopher Goan (0-1); David McGurrin (0-2,1f), Johnny Gettins (0-2), Niall Murray. Subs., James Barron (0-1) for Granaghan 47; Matthew Thompson (0-1) for Matthews 51; Michael McNeely for N Murray 25; Aidan Murray for Goan 26; Val Murray for Slevin 57.
Buncrana: Kevin Doherty; Daniel Wilson, Caolan McCann, Stephen Doherty; Patrick Duffy, Andrew McLaughlin, Anthony McGonagle; Stephen McGonagle, Bruce Waldron; Stephen Nelson, Gerard McLaughlin, Christy McDermott (0-1,f); John Cassidy, Gavin McConnell (0-1), Kevin Treacy (0-1,f). Subs., Philip Scott for P Duffy 25; Sean Doherty for G McLaughlin 47.
Referee: Don Langan (St. Michael’s)
Man of the match
The contenders were all from Aodh Ruadh with Johnny Gettins, Pauric Loughlin, Ronan McGurrin and Michael Ward in the running. The award goes to captain Michael Ward who hardly put a foot wrong from start to finish.
Once Aodh Ruadh got in front, they never looked like losing and really should have had this game tied up at half-time.
Don Langan will rarely have an easier game to officiate. May have announced both sides with a couple of calls but overall had a good game.
For Aodh Ruadh veteran, Dermot Slevin, it has been a rewarding period at the end of a long career.
“I played in a minor county final back in 1993 and lost to St. Eunan’s but it’s nice to win this again after taking the title last year.
“It’s good to be involved with such a young bunch of players like Johnny Gettins, Ryan Granaghan and David McGurrin. Hopefully they can come up to through the ranks now and get the club back on track.
“You had young Eamonn McGrath starting with the seconds, and now he on the senior so hopefully these young boys can come through and I have no doubt in mind that they will do.
“It’s great to be able to play with such a great young bunch. You just have to give them the ball and they know what to do. There were tough conditions out there but the boys were up for this game and it’s great to get back to back titles and hopefully the boys can go on and do it in the Intermediate final too,” said Dermot.