Aodh Ruadh goalkeeper Cian McKenna clears a Setanta attack as Daire McMenamin tries to block during the U-16 A hurling final . Picture: Thomas Gallagher
Setanta fully justified their favourites tag against Aodh Ruadh in Thursday evening's U-16A county hurling final.
Setanta . . . 4-17
Aodh Ruadh . . . 1-6
The boys from the Cross were determined to complete the League and Championship double and maintain their 100% record this season.
They opened the game in whirlwind fashion and had 1.3 on the scoreboard in the opening five minutes, the goal coming from Niall Ewing.
Aodh Ruadh couldn't get a foothold in the game due to Setanta's powerful opening. Caolan Mc Clintock had three points scored in the first 10 minutes.
It was to get worse for the Ballyshanon lads as Ewing hit his second goal in the 12th minute, followed by two points from the accurate Niall Ewing from a free and a '65.
Trailing by 2.6 to 0-0, Aodh Ruaadh finally opened their account with a point from play by midfielder Senan Rooney. But straight away Setanta broke down the field and midfielder Ryan Coyle lashed the sliothar to the net.
The Setanta team who beat Aodh Ruadh in Thursday's final
Rooney quickly hit another good point from play which was quickly followed by a point from Danny Breen Brosnan. Setanta got the last three points from Marley, Ryan Callaghan and Marley again from play. The writing was on the wall for Aodh Ruadh at half time as Setanta led 3-9 to 0-3.
Whatever hope the Ernesiders had of making a game of it were smashed within 30 seconds of the restart as Niall Ewing caught a high ball before burying to the net to complete his hat-trick. The second half was a closer affair after this goal and Aodh Ruadh battled away to make a game of it.
Setanta had points from Ryan Coyle, Dean Harvey and Caolan Mc Clintock all from play, Aodh Ruadh's sol response was a pointed free by Breen Brosnan.
Setanta were dominant but Aodh Ruadh deserve great credit for never giving up and battling away until the end.
Aodh Ruadh, beaten finalists against Setanta. Picture: Thomas Gallagher
The final quarter saw them get a goal through Aaron Cullen, and points from play by Aaron Neilan and Cullen.
This Setanta team is one of the most impressive underage sides that have ever come from that hurling stronghold, they saved their best performance of the season until Thursday night and in that form no team in the county could have lived with them.
Mark Sweeney from Four Masters presented the Championship Shield to Setanta's captain, the impressive Oisin Gallagher.
SETANTA: Jason Mc Daid, Eoin O'Neill, Oisin Gallagher, Conor O'Boyle, Tommy Lee Scully (0-1), Ruairi McLaughlin, Ryan Callaghan (0-1) Ryan Coyle (1-3) Ruairi Campbell, Dean Harvey (0-1), Oisin Marley (0-6, 3f, 2 65's), Caolan Mc Clintock (0-5), Niall Ewing (3-0), Oran Mc Glinchey, Thomas McMenamin.
Subs: Pauric Gallagher (for Mc Menamin) Tiernan Farren (Mc Clintock).
AODH RUADH: Cian McKenna, Troy Killiea, Kyle McCaffrey, Gavin Timoney, Cian Barden, Nathan Owens Kelly, Ryan Keenaghan, Senan Rooney (0-2) Aaron Neilan (0-1) Kyle Mc Nulty, Danny Breen Brosnan (0-2, 1f) Damien Webber, Shane Duffy, Aaron Cullen (1-1), Conor Foy.
Subs Shane Brady (for Webber), Henry Foster (for Foy), Daire Gallagher (for Killiea).
REFEREE: Hugo Wallace (Burt).
Well done to the Hurling Board for producing a programme on the night, but it was disappointing that there were no umpires and only one linesman for an A Championship final.