Aodh Ruadh take the points against Naomh Columba but it was a struggle in Ballyshannon

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Aodh Ruadh take the points against Naomh Columba but it was a struggle in Ballyshannon

Aodh Ruadh taking to the field for their game against Naomh Columba

Aodh Ruadh made hard work of defeating an understrength Naomh Columba to remain in control of top position in Division Two.

Aodh Ruadh . . . 1-12
Naomh Columba . . . 1-7

The home side had 12 wides on a night when they missed the likes of Darren Drummond and David McGurrin.
Naomh Columba, after a heavy defeat to Cloughaneely last week and short quite a number of regulars, put up a defensive shield that Aodh Ruadh had great difficulty in breaking down.
At the end of a poor quality first half, Aodh Ruadh were just a point to the good, 0-5 to 0-4.
Aodh Ruadh had the opening point from a free, Philip Patton firing over on two minutes, but Pauric Cunningham replied at the other end on five minutes, also from a placed ball.
Peter Boyle came forward to fire over a free on nine minutes and David Dolan added the third point a minute later after a good run from Damien Cleary.
Then we had a full 13 minutes before a further score with Aodh Ruadh unable to make any headway against the strong Naomh Columba defence. After one turnover on 23 minutes, Kieran McBrearty led the way and he was also in support up in attack, finding Pauric Cunningham to score.
Aodh Ruadh did have some success a couple of minutes later when they hit two points in as many minutes from Seamus Kane and a good finish by Shane McGrath, but Naomh Columba finished the half really well. Pauric Ward hit a good point from play and big full-forward Christopher Byrne, who was getting some change from the Aodh Ruadh defence, won a free for Pauric Cunningham to leave just a point in it at the interval.
Peter Boyle had his second point, again from a free from just inside the 45, two minutes into the second half.
The gap was out to four by the fifth minute as Philip Patton converted a free won by Nathan Boyle and then availed of a pass from Shane McGrath to point.
Christopher Byrne had a half goal chance but his effort was blocked by Daniel Warnock for a '45' which Paddy Byrne converted on 38 minutes.
Pauric Cunningham brought the margin back to two and then Naomh Columba hit the front after a great run by Paddy Byrne and Paul Doherty was in place to fire to the Aodh Ruadh net and a one point lead, 1-6 to 0-8 on 43 minutes.
Eamon McGrath brought Aodh Ruadh level a minute later but they then could not get in front despite dominating.
Fortune played its part with five minutes left as a Philip Patton effort for a point went awry but David Dolan fielded and was fouled for a penalty. From the spot Philip Patton found the top corner and Aodh Ruadh were able to breathe a little easier.
It then became easier with points from Johnny Gethins and Patton (2) while Paddy Byrne had the final point for the visitors had the final point, Paddy Byrne blazing a free over Peter Boyle's crossbar.

Just before the end Naomh Columba lost substitute Michael Maguire to a second yellow card.
The win puts Aodh Ruadh in a good position but this was probably their least impressive display of the season.

AODH RUADH: Peter Boyle (0-2,2f) (0-1); Callum O'Halloran, Damien Cleary, Michael Ward; Jason Granaghan, Eamonn McGrath (0-1), Daniel Warnock; Nathan Boyle, David Dolan; Philip Patton (1-5,3f,pen), Michael Sticky Ward, Johnny Gethins (0-1); Shane McGrath (0-1), Diarmuid McInerney, Seamus Kane (0-1). Subs., Sean Taylor for Warnock 42; Oisin Rooney for McInerney 43; Cian McGloin for O'Halloran 59; Oisin Roper for Gethins 60.

NAOMH COLUMBA: Pauric O'Donnell; Paul Doherty, Kieran McBrearty, Hugh Doherty; Stephen Callaghan, Barry Carr, Conor Carr; Paddy Byrne, Pauric Ward; Eddie Curran, Ryan McNern, Pauric Cunningham (0-1,f); Tadhg McGinley, Christopher Byrne, Philip Doherty. Sub., Michael Maguire for E Curran 45.

REFEREE: Jimmy White (Killybegs)