Newly crowned All-Ireland Feile champions, Aodh Ruadh, maintained their winning ways with an eight point Southern Regional final win over Dungloe in Ardara on Monday night.
Roving full-forward Danny Breen stole the show for the winners with a superb performance. The big number 14 scored 1-7 of the winners’ total as he ran the show for most of the 60 minutes.
All of his scores, bar one point, was from play, and he also supplied the final ball that ended up in his side’s second goal.
In reality, he was the difference between the sides in what was a five star performance marred by a late straight red card for a clash with Dungloe’s Matthew Boyle.
Boyle was also despatched for an early shower for his involvement in the clash in what was an isolated flashpoint in an otherwise sporting game.
Breen may have grabbed the headlines at the finish but this was far from a one-man show from the winners.
Aaron Neilan at centre half-back (in the mould of Gavin Bourke and Tommy McDermott), Ryan Keenaghan and Pauric Daly in the middle of the field and Damian Weber in the number 11 shirt, all had fine games and can be proud of their part in the victory.
Dungloe had their moments too with Brian Brennan, Matthew Boyle, Oisin McKelvey, Oisin Caulfied and Cian Bonner all making their mark on a game the Rosses boys were more than a match for the champions in the opening 20 minutes.
They had a number of good goal chances before Drew Ryan got a touch to a high Breen ball into the Dungloe goalmouth to flick past Ethan McCafferty.
That was on 21 minutes and it propelled the Ernesiders into a 1-2 to 0-2 lead. Breen and Oisin Caulfield had traded the opening two scores as the sides were level twice in the opening quarter.
On a murky night in Pearse Park, Aodh Ruadh, through man of the match Breen, kicked on in the second quarter to lead 2-4 to 0-3 at the interval.
Breen netted the second goal on the stroke of half-time after a penetrating run from deep by Aaron Neilan.
Leading by seven, Aodh Ruadh forged further ahead on the resumption courtesy of points from Breen and Ryan Keenaghan to open up a nine point lead.
Dungloe responded with a well taken Jason Breslin goal on 39 minutes after the corner-back hit the rebound from his initial strike on goal that was batted away by Aaron Cullen.
And Dungloe went close to bagging a second goal shortly after when Cullen got down brilliantly to turn away a Matthew Boyle strike after the midfielder had charged through from the middle of the park.
But that was a last hurrah for Dungloe who lost Jordan Saville to a second yellow card in the middle of the third quarter.
Aodh Ruadh closed out the game in the final quarter with points from Breen (2) to one in response from Oisin Caulfield.
Aodh Ruadh now advance to a quarter-final meeting with Glenfin while Dungloe also move on to a last eight meeting with the Inishowen winners.
AODH RUADH: Aaron Cullen; James Gallagher, Darragh Dolan, Seimi Campbell; Shane Delahunty, Aaron Neilan, Eoghan Kelly; Ryan Keenaghan (0-1), Pauric Daly; Jack Gallagher, Damian Weber, Robbie Murphy; Ryan Daly, Danny Breen (1-7,1f), Drew Ryan (1-1). Subs: Cian McKenna for R Daly h/t; Aidan Sweeney for J Gallagher 58.
DUNGLOE: Ethan McCafferty; Jason Breslin (1-0), Sean Timoney, Jordan Saville; Matt Cumiskey, Brian Brennan, Dylan Wallace; Matthew Boyle, Karl McGee; Darren McGowan, Oisin McKelvey, Cian McGee; Oran Gallagher, Oisin Caulfield (0-3,2f), Cillian Bonner (0-1). Subs: Dan Kerr for K McGee inj 4; Mark Brennan for O Gallagher 49.
REFEREE: Kenneth Byrne (Naomh Columba)