Aodh Ruadh advance to semis


Aodh Ruadh advance to semis
Peter Campbell

Aodh Ruadh were the better team but needed a second goal to dismiss the challenge of Naomh Ultan and reach the semi-final.

Aodh Ruadh 2-18

Naomh Ultan 3-8

The game was switched from Tirconaill Park to Fintra at a late hour. The best team won but it was a game that was dominated by referee, Andrew Mullin, who showed three red, two black and nine (it may have been higher) yellow cards.

The pattern was set when Niall Harley was yellow carded after six minutes for one of the best shoulders I've seen in a while and three minutes later Cian Kennedy saw black, which left it fairly hot and vociferous on the sideline for the remainder.

Naomh Ultan started the better and led ty 1-4 to 0-2 after 13 minutes, the goal coming after a great break by Aidan Duddy at midfield and Daniel Gallagher tore through the Aodh Ruadh defence to fire home.

Slowly Aodh Ruadh got going and their superior fitness had them in front by the 22nd minute when Damien Cleary started a move at midfield that moved through a number of hands before Michael 'Sticky' Ward fired home with his left.

They had missed two goal chances earlier, but by half-time they were 1-9 to 1-5 ahead thanks to points from David McGurrin, Paddy Gillespie and Diarmuid McInerney. However, they lost Colm Kelly to a black just before the break.

The sides traded two points each early in the second half before a Ryan Granaghan pass was intercepted and James Byrne was through to goal and leave just a point in it, 1-11 to 2-7

It seemed as if they were pulling away again with Ward, McGurrin and McInerney another opening the gap to 1-14 to 2-7, but with three minutes of normal time left, a long range free by Naomh Ultan 'keeper Donal Murrin was fisted clear by Peter Boyle. However, Naomh Ultan picked up the rebound and somehow forced a goal as Aidan Duddy toepoked home a cross from close range.

Amazingly the margin was down to one again, but Aodh Ruadh responded really well with points from Philip Patton and a Peter Boyle 45m free before Oisin Rooney fired home the second goal.

Seamus Kane added another as Naomh Ultan lost Aaron Byrne to a second yellow. Before the end McInerney and Peter Alvey (free) traded points while a mini flare up just before the final whistle saw Niall Murray and Damien Quigley shown straight reds.

Overall, not a very enjoyable spectacle. Just too stop-start due to the referee, who left his mark on the game.

It was a tour de force for Michael 'Sticky' Ward while Niall Harley and Diarmuid McInerney also impressed. For Naomh Ultan, the loss of freetaker, Cian Kennedy, was a big loss, but Aidan Duddy tried manfully to keep them in the contest.

AODH RUADH: Peter Boyle (0-2,f'45'); Calum O'Halloran, Colm Kelly, Michael Ward; Niall Murray, Eamonn McGrath, Paddy Gillespie (0-1); Conor Patton, Damien Cleary; Diarmuid McInerney (0-5,2f), David Dolan, David McGurrin (0-2); Philip Patton (0-1), Michael 'Sticky' Ward (1-5), Shane McGrath (0-1). Subs., Conor Patton for O'Halloran ht; Pauric Patton for McGurrin 46; Seamus Kane (0-1) for M 'Sticky' Ward; Oisin Rooney (1-0) for Dolan, both 53.

NAOMH ULTAN: Donal Murrin; Paul Murrin, Aidan Duddy, Paul Gallier; Andrew Blaine, Dermot Gallier (0-3,3f), Daniel Gallagher (1-0); Declan Murrin, Damien Quigley; Jonathan Cassidy, Cian Kennedy (0-1), Joe Alvey; James Byrne (1-0), Aaron Byrne, Peter Alvey (0-4,4f). Subs., Conor Shovlin for Kennedy, bcard 9; Colin McNicholas for P Murrin ht; Paul Murrin for P Gallier 46.

REFEREE: Andrew Mullin (Killybegs)