Seamus Kane - 1-3 for Aodh Ruadh in Malin
Aodh Ruadh came from nine points down in the final quarter for a magnificent share of the spoils at Connolly Park, Malin.
A goal from Brendan McLaughlin looked to have Malin in total control after 13 minutes of the second half, but Aodh Ruadh showed great battling qualities to fight back for a draw.
The Ballyshannon were without Peter Boyle and also had to field without Eamonn McGrath, who picked up an injury at county training during the week.
Philip Patton opened the scoring for the visitors with a well worked move from a free. Malin got back on terms with Matthew Byrne curling over from the right after Seamus Doherty had done well in the corner.
Doherty then got on the scoresheet himself, winning Shaun Kelly's long ball before a neat dummy beat the defender and he lobbed over. Christopher McLaughlin added another shortly after curling in from the left. Brendan McLaughlin then hit a free after no advantage came from Dan McDaid powerful run.
David McGurrin then worked a one-two short free, weaved his way in through the defence and scored off the post. Ballyshannon then scored a goal after a cross field ball deceived the defence and Seamus Kane won it before sidestepping the keeper one on one and strolling it into the empty net.
Malin responded well with two points in a minute and fine points they were, firstly Paul McLaughlin hit an excellent point from out wide on the right and then Matthew Byrne hit another huge long distance point slightly in from the left.
Aodh Ruadh then scored through a Patton free, a soft one at that, awarded on Shane McGrath. Christopher McLaughlin then showed a great turn of pace and ran through on goal only to see his shot saved, though he was fouled on his attempt and Brendan McLaughlin tapped home the free.
Christopher McLaughlin hit an excellent 45’ and Matthew Byrne put the black and amber three points up before the break after a great team score up the left. Halftime score Malin 0-9 Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon 1-3.
Brendan McLaughlin tapped over a free at the start of the second half after Christopher McLaughlin’s run was halted with a high tackle. Matthew Byrne jinked and hit his fourth of the game from out on the left to extend Malin’s lead.
Seamus Doherty slotted over from the right after Paul McLaughlin and Matthew Byrne ran into traffic. Seamus Kane hit an excellent score from the left as he dropped deeper to win the ball. Malin were rampant in the ‘championship quarter’ and after Brendan McLaughlin hit a free after cousin Stephen’s speedy run illegally halted.
He then hit a fortunate goal for Malin as good work out on the left saw his shot creep into the top corner of the net over the stranded Ballyshannon keeper to put Malin nine points up.
Credit to Aodh Ruadh, who showed why they are top of the league, came back with two points and a goal, a free from Patton and another excellent effort from the right from Kane. then got a key score to make it game on the 45th minute when a Malin defender did well to get a hand on a long ball in but it fell to McGrath, who let fly from the 21 and the ball found the back of the net.
Paul McLaughlin replied for Malin despite a lot of bodies around him and then Shaun Kelly got his first score back in Malin colours after a number of years away, helped out by Stephen McLaughlin’s good set up.
Aodh Ruadh hit a goal and three in the last ten minutes to get the draw, Kane hit the third of his points again from range out on the right before Michael Ward found himself in space and advanced to rifle into the net to leave them two behind with five to go.
It was left to Patton to send over two frees to rescue the draw, the first was from outside the 45’ and then deep into injury time right in front of the D he made no mistake.
MALIN: Martin McLaughlin, Conor McColgan, Damien Harkin, Conor Farren, Kieron McColgan, Gary Farren, Paul McLaughlin (0-2), Shaun Kelly (0-1), Christopher McLaughlin (0-2 145’), Stephen McLaughlin, Dan McDaid, Brendan McLaughlin (1-4, 4f), Joseph Doherty, Matthew Byrne (0-04) and Seamus Doherty (0-2). Subs., Anthony Kelly for Joseph Doherty (50 mins)
AODH RUADH: Carl O’Brien, Callum O’Halloran, Damien Cleary, Michael Ward, Jason Granaghan, Nathan Boyle, Daniel Warnock, Conor Patton, Darren Drummond, Philip Patton (0-5,4f Shane McGrath (1-0), David McGurrin (0-1) Shane Dorian, Seamus Kane (1-3), Michael Ward (1-0). Subs: Sean Taylor for Nathan Boyle (38 mins).