DONEGAL GAA

Veteran Kerry Ryan drives Aodh Ruadh to Intermediate Reserve title

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

Veteran Kerry Ryan drives Aodh Ruadh to Intermediate Reserve title

Ciaran McFadden and Packie McGrath battle for possession Picture Thomas Gallagher

A power-packed second half display from Aodh Ruadh saw them deservedly edge out Cloughaneely in the curtain raiser at Ballybofey in the Intermediate B final

Aodh Ruadh 1-6
Cloughaneely 0-7

But despite their obvious dominance and clever approach play, the Ballyshannon boys made very hard work of this victory, posting 12 wides and seven of those coming from good positions in the second half.
It was a classic combination of youth and experience with the '40 Something' club of Packie McGrath, Kerry Ryan and Demot Slevin along with almost '40 Something' Martin Gallagher and the talented Dylan Gallagher, Michael McKenna and Paddy Gillespie punching holes in the Cloughaneely rearguard.
But flame haired midifielder Kerry Ryan had a superb second half and drove his side forward.
However it was a clinically finished goal from Ryan Granaghan after a good pass from Paddy Gillespie that really turned this game.
The losers were ahead by 0-4 to 0-2 when Granaghan found the net to change the outcome of this match.
But Aodh Ruadh created, but spurned a plethora of chances and would ony have themselves to blame had they managed to lose this affair.
The losers put on the ageless Denis Boyle and he obliged with two well struck points in the 41st and 44th minutes.
But he lacked consistent support as Ballyshannon got a bigger hold on matters and ground out a deserved victory.
Cloughaneely had a good opening half and centre-forward Declan McGarvey was very prominent in the early stages along with full-forward Ciaran McFadden.
Gerard Maguitre looked dangerous at times, but the quality of ball going into their full-forward line was quite poor.
Their best period came in the opening eight minutes with three points on the board.
Cloughaneely settled very quickly and playmaker Declan McGarvey clipped over a fine pointed free after four minutes.
This was quickly followed two minutes later by a fine finish from full-forwrad Ciaran McFadden to double their lead as Aodh Roadh struggled to get into the game.
And McGarvey stretched the lead to three points with a sweet effort in the 8th minute.
Aodh Ruadh were finding it difficult to match their physically powerful opponents in the early stages, but gradually grew into the match.
Dermot Slevin, whose father Liam won a Fermanagh JFC with Erne Gaels Belleek in 1963, was creating some chances for the Ballyshannon who finally got off the mark in 15th minute.
Ryan Granaghan was fouled, and Cloughaneely full-back Michael Mulhern rashly kicked the ball away and Slevin pointed.
Three minutes later Aodh Ruadh added another point when Slevin converted another free to leave the minimum between the sides.
But Cloughaneely had a great chance of a goal in the 20th minute when Ronan Cannon put a great through ball to full-forward Ciaran McFadden, who was one-on-one with Ballyshannon keeper Karl O'Brien.
McFadden seemed to slip but Aodh Ruadh keeper O'Brien pulled off a brilliant save.
The burly Gerard Maguire then extended Cloughaneely's lead with a well struck point to leave Cloughaneely leading by 0-4 to 0-2 at the break.
Aodh Ruadh threw on Cian McGloin for Christopher Goan at the interval and Paddy Gillespie, who made a big difference, for Michael McNeely.
Gillespie's hard running caused problems for Cloughaneeely constantly throughout the second half.
And, they were deserving winners although their wayward shooting gve their fans some anxious moments.

AODH RUADH: Karl O'Brien; Daniel Warnock, Patrick McGrath, Conal Sweeney; Ryan O'Brien, Martin Gallagher, Christopher Goan; Cian Dolan, Kerry Ryan (0-1); Michael McKenna, Dermot Slevin (0-2,2f) Michael McNeely; Dylan Gallagher (0-3,2f), Anthony Coughlin, Ryan Granaghan (1-0). Subs: Cian McGloin for Christopher Goan (h-time), Paddy Gillespie for Michael McNeely (h-time), Ronan Drummond for Paddy Gillespie (54)

CLOUGHANEELY: Michael McGinley; Odhran McBride, Michael Mulhern, Fionn McGinley; Neil Kelly, Sean Gallagher, Noel Sweeney; Ronan Cannon, Sean Coll; Blaine Mulligan, Declan McGarvey (0-3,2f) Eamon McHugh; Gerard Maguire (0-1) Ciaran McFadden (0-1) Eugene Maguire. Subs., Denis Boyle (0-2,1f) for Noel Sweeney (h-time)

REFEREE: Anthony McCallig (Naomh Ultan)