Needing a much needed win, Aodh Ruadh hosted Glenswilly on an evening straight out of a Tennessee Williams script it was hot, wet and sticky.
In the background the strains of Sligo rocker Seamie O’Dowd and his band were wafting across the Erne river as the Rory Gallagher Festival soared into full Saturday night flight.
Aodh Ruadh 0-11
On the Rock where Gallagher was born, and the Fr Tierney Park stands, this clash had its own pyrotechnics, lightening forks lit up a chrome sky and thunder claps were, at times, the loudest applause as both sides found themselves slip, sliding away at times.
But the rain eased and the second half was more than decent.
The home side with just two wins from eight games, sat second from bottom in the table and this draw may well have major consequences for the James O’Donnell-managed side.
Oisin Rooney at midfield stepped up big time for the home side, Philip Patton, a scoring ace last year, made his first bow in diviison one since an ankle break kept him sidelined and he scored two important second half points.
For the visitors the second half was all about the sniper’s instinct of Gary McFadden, his shoot on sight policy paid dividends and his final tally of three from play and three from frees speaks volumes.
Others caught the eye, not least Aodh Ruadh’s David Dolan who pick-pocketed his way to important scores, often thanks to a predatory instinct to get onto the half block and finish.
If David McGurrin was the scoring threat in the first half for Aodh Ruadh, Dolan took a prominent role in the second, but with the game in its final embers, it was the bravehearted Rooney who came through a crowd of flailing tackles to stab home what may well prove a very, very valuable league point for Aodh Ruadh.
Glenswilly started well and led 0-4 to 0-1 by the 17th minute, Gary McFadden (free)Caolan McFadden with two and a superb high and handsome score from midfilder Cathal Gallagher putting them in the driving seat.
Aodh Ruadh were matching the visitors everywhere but the scoreboard, their wides tally by the end of the half sitting at five, three of those in the first quarter.
But, bit by bit as the skys cleared they came more into the game, David ‘Chuckles’ McGurrin taking the game by the scruff of the kneck with some masterful finishing, he hit points on 12, 24 and 25 minutes while long striding Oisin Rooney scored the other home point.
Glenswilly with the veteran Neil Gallagher in midfield, grew more wasteful in the second quarter and they lost their right half back Shane McDaid to injury on 30 minutes.
Teams & Scorers:
AODH RUADH: Peter Boyle 0-1, 45; Jason Granaghan, Johnny Gallagher, Michael Ward; Colm Kelly; Darren Drummond; Eddie Lynch; Conor Patton, Oisin Rooney 0-2; David McGurrin 0-3, Diarmaid McInerney, Johnny Gettins; Niall Murray, Cian Dolan, David Dolan 0-3. Subs: Philip Patton 0-2, frees (48 mins) for Cian Dolan; Dylan Gallagher 51 mins for D McInerney; Paddy Gillespie (22 mins) Niall Murray.
GLENSWILLY: Philip O’Donnell; Ruairi Crawford, Eamon Ward, Oisin Crawford; Shane McDaid, Ryan Diver, Joe Gibbons 0-1; Neil Gallagher, Cathal Gallagher 0-2; Ciaran Bonner Gary McFadden 0-6, 3 frees; Sean Wogan; Caolan McFadden 0-2, Brian Farrelly, Caolan Kelly. Sub: Caoimhin Marley (30) for Shane McDaid (injd); Ciaran Gibbons(h/t) for Neil Gallagher.
REFEREE: Michael McShane (Kilcar)