Aodh Ruadh made the long journey north pay off with a hard earned victory over Cloughaneely in a blistering match in Falcarragh.
Cloughaneely . . . . . 2-11
Aodh Rudh . . . . . . . . 4-08
It was goals from Seamus Kane, Eamon McGrath, David McGurrin and Diarmuid McInerney that helped them on their way but they also had goals denied by the woodwork and some sharp goalkeeping, showing their attacking style was aiming for maximum impact.
In a rapid fire start Ciaran McFadden opened in fine style for the home side but the visitors hit back with a minute and a half on the clock with a goal from Seamus Kane when he was put through by David Dolan.
Paul Sweeney hit back before David Dolan opened his account and Kane added a point soon after. Two from Darren Ferry kept Cloughaneely in touch at 0-4 to 1-2 after seven minutes. Sweeney then coolly slotted home a goal as the home side built momentum but a carving one-two from Aodh Ruadh’s McGrath and McGurrin saw McGurrin’s shot saved well only to fall at the feet of McGrath who put it in the net.
Kane and Dolan were on target again with points before McGurrin managed to hit the net. Two points from Dolan with replies from Ferry and McFadden saw the half end Cloughaneely 1-8, o Aodh Ruadh 3-5.
Newly introduced Darren McGeever made an immediate impact for Cloughaneely when he helped set up a goal for Ciaran McFadden seconds after the restart who then followed up with a point himself to put his side ahead.
Dolan answered with a point before Diarmaid McInerney was hauled down in the box for a penalty which he then blasted home himself leaving it Cloughaneely 2-9 to Aodh Ruadh’s 4-6 after 45 minutes.
McGeever pointed from long range and John McGarvey added another for the home side before Dolan hit back with a point. A McInerney free left it 2-11 to 4-8 as the tempo rose with Cloughaneely pushing hard to chase the game as the clock ticked down but the visitors tails were up as they battled hard to keep possession.
Nathan Boyle won a crucial midfield intercept with a superb bit of fielding to win possession at a crucial time but the attack he set up was saved by Sean McClafferty in goals. With Aodh Ruadh sensing victory Cloughaneely pushed hard to get something from the game but despite a frantic finish it was the Ballyshannon men, despite losing Damian Cleary to a red card in the closing minutes, that were elated on the final whistle taking a great away win in a highly entertaining contest.
Cloughaneely: Sean McClafferty, Eugene Maguire, Paul McFadden, John Harley, Lee O’Brien, Patrick Cannon, Ciaran McFadden, Jason McGee, Ciaran Scanlon, Martin Harley, Darren Ferry (0-4), John McGarvey (0-2), Ciaran McFadden (1-3), Paul Sweeney (1-1), Martin Maguire. Subs: Darren McGeever (0-1) for E Maguire 30, Ciaran McFadden snr for J Harley Blk card 59
Aodh Ruadh: Peter Boyle; Michael Ward, Damien Cleary, Callum O’Halloran;, Niall Harley, Colm Kelly, Patrick Gillespie; Conor Patton, Eamon McGrath (1-0); David McGurrin (1-0), Diarmuid McInerney (1-1,f), Nathan Boyle; Philip Patton, David Dolan (0-5), Seamus Kane (1-2). Sub: Shane McGrath for M Ward 25; Ryan Granaghan for P Patton ht; Kerry Ryan for C Kelly 57
Referee: Martin Coll (Gaoth Dobhair)
Naomh Ultan, reigning Junior champions, made the step up to Intermediate football in style on Saturday evening, defeating Naomh Colmcille in Newtowncunningham.
Naomh Colmcille 0-11
Naomh Ultan 1-13
A second half penalty from Alan Lyons was the decisive score as the Dunkineely based side took a deserved victory on the road. The result reflected the league form of both sides with Naomh Ultan going reasonably well having been promoted from Division 4 as well as winning the Junior Championship.
Naomh Colmcille's hopes for the game were dealt a blow when star forward Willie Gillespie headed to the US at the start of last week.
Francie Martin’s team did get the first score from Michael Lynch, but Cian Kennedy soon cancelled that out with a free.
The sides were level at three points apiece after twenty minutes with Lynch and Michael Friel on target for Naomh Colmcille, while Kennedy (free) and Lyons raised green flags for the visitors.
Naomh Ultan finished the half strongly reeling off five points in-a-row from Kennedy (3), Damien Gallier (free), and Andrew Blain, although Lee Toland did reduce Newtown’s deficit to four on the stroke of half-time.
Conor Grant scored the first point after the restart, but Aiden Duddy, Declan Murrin and Gallier (free) replied with scores for the visitors.
Mark Dowds and Oran Hilley cut into Naomh Ultan’s lead with points, before Daniel Gallagher and Stephen Gallagher swapped scores.
However, the visitors pushed their lead out to four points when Alan Lyons scored a penalty in the 48th minute.
Toland landed two late frees and Eddie Gillespie notched a point, but a late Kennedy free rounded off a good day at the office for Naomh Ultan.
Naomh Colmcille: Gary McDaid; Ricky Hegarty, Alex Devenney, Paul Friel; Eddie Gillespie (0-1), Gerard Curran, John Fullerton; Ryan McErlean, Michael Lynch (0-2, 1f); Mark Dowds (0-1), Oran Hilley (0-1), Michael Friel (0-1); Lee Toland (0-3, 3fs), Stephen Gallagher (0-1), Conor Grant (0-1).
Naomh Ultan: Donal Murrin; Michael McGlynn, Johnny Cassidy, Paul Gallier; Conor Shovlin, Dermot Gallier (0-3,3fs), Andrew Blain (0-1); Declan Murrin (0-1), Aiden Duddy (0-1); Joe Alvey, Cian Kennedy (0-5, 3fs), Daniel Gallagher (0-1); James Byrne, Alan Lyons (1-1, 1pen), Peter Alvey.
Referee: S McLaughlin (Malin)