DONEGAL INTERMEDIATE CHAMPIONSHIP

AODH RUADH V NAOMH ULTAN: Aodh Ruadh struggle to a one point win over Naomh Ultan

Michael Daly

Reporter:

Michael Daly

AODH RUADH V NAOMH ULTAN:  Aodh Ruadh struggle to a one point win over Naomh Ultan

Naomh Ultan's Peter Alvey is tackled by Aodh Ruadh's Damien Cleary during the intermediate championship in Fr. Tierney Park on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD 210817 A Ruadh v N Ultan TG6

A classy Philip Patton point in the fading embers of this game gave host side Aodh Ruadh a win that seemed unlikely moments before.

Aodh Ruadh 0-13
Naomh Ultan 2-6

This was the cagiest of games with Aodh Ruadh ahead by one point at half time and at the finish.
Naomh Ultan lost their best player Alan Lyons sent off for his second yellow card as the game reached its climax. Five minutes before he saw red for a rash second challenge on shane McGrath, Lyons had powered the ball to the net from a penalty to bring his side to within a point and moments before he left the field he pointed brilliantly to level the sides at 0-12 to 2-6.
In a dull first half Lyons drifted inside to fire his side’s first goal to the net, and the visitors looked like they had Aodh Ruadh in trouble. The packed defence - only one Naomh Ultan players was put beyond the half way line when they defended, really worked and missed chances by Aodh Ruadh also added to the drama.
Aodh Ruadh, with seven first half wides were wasteful, Naomh Ultan in contrast were economic. With just one score in the first 15 minutes, a pointed free from Michael Sticky Ward, the small crowd had little to cheer.
But on the quarter a brilliant fetch and finish from Alan Lyons saw the visitors hit the front with a fine goal. Daniel Gallier added a point and the locals were getting a little uncomfortable as they saw their side closed down time and time again by dogged defending from Naomh Ultan.
Slowly but surely Aodh Ruadh dragged themselves back into the game, Damien Cleary pointing them literally in the right direction with a long range point, Philip Patton, Seamus Kane and David McGurrin adding points but the visitors, on a rare attack, added another point, Aiden Duddy with a marvellous 55 metre effort from play.
Aodh Ruadh led by three points, 0-9 to 1-3 by the 40th minute and Naomh Ultan lost Shane McWhinnie to a black card which might have unnerved them but they stuck at it, Keneddy and Gallier points with a Seamus Kane score in reply.
A Patton free and a fine long range David Dolan point suggested Aodh Ruadh were finally cutting loose, but a 55th minute penalty for a foul on a Naomh Ultan corner forward as a high ball came in, ensured no one in an attendance of about 160, was leaving early.
That Lyons penalty and a point with it had the game level but Lyons spoiled a great performance with his second yellow card offence and from the difficult free Philip Patton hit his fifth of the day to give the home side the victory.
Lyons and Gallagher were key performers for the visitors, Nathan Boyle, Michael Sticky Ward and the accurate free taker Patton were a cut above the rest for an Aodh Ruadh side who never really found any fluency.

AODH RUADH: Peter Boyle; Nathan Boyle 0-1, Damien Cleary 0-1, Michael Ward; Jason Granaghan, Eamonn McGrath, Daniel Warnock; Darren Drummond, David Dolan 0-1; Philip Patton 0-5,fs, Michael Sticky Ward 0-1,f, David McGurrin 0-2; Shane McGrath, Seamus Kane 0-2, Johnny Gettins. Sub Conor Patton (40) for Warnock.

NAOMH ULTAN: Donal Murrin; Jordan Watters, Jonathan Cassidy, Darragh Byrne; Aiden Duddy 0-1, Daniel Gallagher 0-1, Dermot Gallier 0-1,f; Alan Lyons 2-2, 1 pen, Cian Keneddy 0-1,f; Shane McWhinnie, Danny Shovlin, Peter Alvey; John Knightly, Michael Breslin, James Byrne. Subs: Darragh Murrin (40) for McWhinnie (Black card); Conor Shovlin (45) for Peter Alvey; Kevin McGuinness (48) Shovlin (injd).

REFEREE: Aiden McAleer (Muff).