Ladies Football Round-up: Aodh Ruadh crowned County A Champions

first_imgBack row: l-r, Hannah Gallagher, Rachel Patton, Dearbhla Hughes-O’Brien, Caoimhe McCauley, Orla Keon, Sarah Jane Keon, Lauren McHugh, Aine Hill, Tia McFarland.Middle row: Eilish Gallagher, Grainne Maguire, Danielle Gallagher, Emer O’Brien, Lucy McGlynn, Ella Clancy, Aoibheann McGarrigle, Katie McMullin, Clodagh O’Connor, Lucy Barden, Ciara Gillespie, Niamh Gallagher.Front row: Lucy Gallagher, Caitlin McGarrigle, Laoise Kelly, Niamh Hughes, Caoimhe Hughes-O’Brien, Katie O’Brien, Ciara Caldwell, Annie Keon, Cara Davitt.Aodh Ruadh will fly Donegal flag at Féile 2017Aodh Ruadh and Downings met on a decidely chilly Saturday night in Ardara to decide the destination of the county under 13 title and the identity of Donegal’s representatives at Féile 2017. Downings had reached the final thanks to an under-broken sequence of double digit victories in the group and knock-out stages. Aodh Ruadh won through well from the group stages, but had to go to a replay to get the better of Termon in the quarter-finals and had a tough semi-final in Fintra against a strong Killybegs side.Both teams came into the game with injury clouds hanging over them. Downings were without their captain through hand injury while illness meant Orla Keon was unable to line out for Aodh Ruadh. Despite having had the longer journey to Pearse Park, it was Downings who settled the quicker with two early points. However both defences played well on a tough night for football and the rest of the first quarter elapsed without much in the way of scoring action. Downings edged three clear after 13 minutes before Aodh Ruadh finally found their shooting boots.Caitlin McGarrigle opened her account with a good free after 16 minutes and not long after Aoibheann McGarrigle arced over an excellent point from play. With eight minutes of the half remaining Katie O’Brien powered over a point and a minute later another McGarrigle free took the Shamettes into the lead for the first time. Katie O’Brien doubled her tally with another trademark point on 26 minutes, but the referee played five minutes of first-half added time.Right at the end of that period Downings bundled home a goal which saw them enter the break narrow 1-3 to 0-5 leaders.Aodh Ruadh were facing into a bit of a breeze in the second half, but had shown in their contests with Termon and Killybegs that character and appetite for work were not something they lacked. They would need both those qualities in spades over the coming 34 minutes of football. The second half was a real arm wrestle with both defences playing magnificently. Aodh Ruadh had early chances, but they went abegging and when they next score came it was a real laying down of the gauntlet from Na Dunaibh. A shot took two deflections before rolling across the line to put four in it with 41 minutes played. Caitlin McGarrigle fired over an answering point from play, but that was cancelled out not long after by Downings with 48 minutes gones.But as the game entered the last ten minutes the Ballyshannon girls went up a gear and their opponents tired in the face of the onslaught. The revival was kick-started by a rocket of a shot from Emer O’Brien which she unleashed from the right into the top left corner of the goal.Two minutes later Downings managed to register a point in response, but that was as good as it was to get for them. A magnificent Katie O’Brien free from out on the right pulled the deficit back to a single point and then with 54 minutes played Danielle Gallagher went on a surging run through the heart of the Downings defence before setting up Sarah Jane Keon. Keon’s finish matched the build-up as her rasping shot hit the far post and crossed the line to leap Ballyshannon into the lead.A cracking point from Aoibheann McGarrigle meant Downings needed a goal to force extra time. That made for a nervy last few minutes, but Aodh Ruadh showed all the experience earned from their hard route to the final to keep their heads through those closing moments and claim a memorable victory.A special mention has to go to Tia McFarland who high-tailed it from the Ulster Irish Dancing Championship where she was dancing a four hand for the McCarney School and won seventh place in the teams. She showed no ill-effects from her dash across the province, but freezing rain in Ardara probably did her tan no favours! The defence were magnificent with Eilish Gallagher giving an absolute exhibition of desire and hunger combined with great handling. Grainne Maguire’s reading of the game at full back was a pleasure to watch while Aine Hill was assurance itself as Downings closed in on a late goal chance. Lucy McGlynn was fantastic in her marking assignment while Ciara Caldwell and Clodagh O’Connor were very safe on a tricky night for ball handling. Tia McFarland’s midfield partner Caitlin McGarrigle was, once again, brilliant in those tough exchanges in the middle third. The pair had plenty of help from Ella Clancy who gave one of her best displays of the season. Up front Sarah Jane Keon, Katie O’Brien, Emer O’Brien, Aoibheann McGarrigle, Danielle Gallagher, Caoimhe Hughes-O’Brien and Katie McMullin all did well as Aodh Ruadh had to work for every score against a committed Downings defence.After the final whistle joint captains Ella Clancy and Caitlin McGarrigle collected the trophy. They called for three cheers for a valiant Downings side and after that it was off to the Nesbitt Arms where the Clancy clan had set up a superb spread of food for the newly crowned county champions. Then it was back up the road to Ballyshannon where the cavalcade left the town in no doubt was to who the nights victors were. A truly deserved end to the season for a special group of players.VITAL STATISTICSTeamsAodh RuadhÁine Hill; Clodagh O’Connor, Grainne Maguire, Ciara Caldwell; Lucy McGlynn, Ella Clancy, Eilish Gallagher; Caitlin McGarrigle (0-3, 2f), Tia McFarland; Katie McMullin, Danielle Gallagher, Sarah Jane Keon (1-0); Aoibheann McGarrigle (0-2), Katie O’Brien (0-3, 1f), Emer O’Brien (1-0). Subs: Caoimhe Hughes-O’Brien for Katie McMullin HT; Lucy Gallagher, Caitlin McGarrigle, Danielle Gallagher, Dearbhla Hughes-O’Brien, Niamh Hughes, Caoimhe McCauley, Orla Keon, Lauren McHugh, Lucy Barden, Annie Keon, Ciara Gillespie, Cara Davitt and Niamh Gallagher.DowningsBronagh Blaney; Charlie Shevlin, Maria Magee, Aoibheann O’Connell; Lisa Dugera, Chloe Hay, Kacey Gallagher; Nadine Gallagher, Sinead McBride; Amy McLaughlin, Annie McGroddy, Aobha Pasoma; Erin McBride, Neesha Duggan, Keeva McBride.Referee: Declan Callaghan (Kilcar).Sixteen goal thriller in County U13 B Final St Eunan’s 9-07, St Naul’s 7-09Boys football can be very defensive – and boring.So anyone new to ladies football would have been blown away by the thriller in Mac Cumhaill Park on Sunday as St Eunan’s played St Naul’s in the U13B final.There were 16 incredible goals – and sixteen lovely points.And it was St Eunan’s who came out on top, with player of the match Shannon Cunningham playing the starring role with a series of superb scores.Eunan’s had led by 5 points at the break, but it was Naul’s who stormed into a six point lead by the time the 10th minute of the second half had gone.It was a game not for the faint-hearted at Eunan’s took control once again, dominating…almost to the end. Dermot Higgins (Eunan’s) and Frankie Greene (Naul’s) can be proud of their teams incredible endeavours.County U 16 B final.Termon 2-08, Aodh Ruadh 1-09There was some controversy in this game, with complaints in the end at the lack of lines persons or umpires for the B final of the U16s, with the Ballyshannon side complaining that the decisive Termon goal came after the ball had crossed the sideline not once, but twice, beforehand. No fewer than 63 frees were awarded during the game.Report courtesy of aodhruadh.orgIt was to be heartbreak for Aodh Ruadh under 16s in the B county final at MacCumhaill Park on Sunday afternoon. A penalty which wasn’t given, and a goal which shouldn’t have been left plenty of room for ifs, buts and maybes.Aodh Ruadh got off to the perfect start when Mary Flora Scott drilled home a precision shot to the bottom left corner from outside the penalty area to leave Ballyshannon a goal to the good with just 28 seconds on the clock. That was followed three minutes later by a super point from Saoirse McDevitt.However in a two minute spell from the fifth to the seventh minute Mya Alcorn register 1-2 to take Termon into the lead. A Mary Flora Scott free restored parity at 1-2 apiece with 12 minutes gone, but despite their best efforts Aodh Ruadh failed to trouble the score board operator for the remainder of the half.The Termon number 13 added three points, one from play, two from frees, to take her side back into the lead. Then a score from the full back just before the half-time whistle left Aodh Ruadh on the wrong end of a four point deficit at the turnover, 1-6 to 1-2.Aodh Ruadh improved dramatically in the second period, but not before Termon’s centre back put five in it with a minute of the new half played. The introduction of Cáit Gillespie created a bit more dynamism in the attack. One of those attacks saw Andrea McGlynn surging into the penalty area and closing in on goal. She was unceremoniously dragged down, but the whistle remained silent.Nevertheless, a Mary Flora Scott free followed by another good score from play by Saoirse McDevitt trimmed the margin back to a goal, but then disaster struck.Termon’s number nine was sent to the sin bin for a heavy challenge after 43 minutes, but three minutes later they built an attack down the stand side of MacCumhaill Park. It began with a kick out by Annie McLaughlin which was clearly carried across the sideline by the Termon player. With no sideline officials on duty the referee allowed play to continue. The ball went down the sideline and again was carried out over the sideline by a Termon player. This time the exit from play was so clear a number of Aodh Ruadh players stopped in anticipation of the whistle. It never came and the ball was crossed in where it was bundled home at the far post.That was a gutting and undeserved setback, but Aodh Ruadh responded well. Three Mary Flora Scott frees in the 48th, 49th and 51st minutes erased the goal. When Ciara McElwaine sent over a point only grim determination was keeping Termon holding on.Briana Maher forged up into the attack in the last ten minutes and was rewarded with a good score from play. Aodh Ruadh continued to hunt for the goal which would have taken the game to extra time, but it refused to come. Caoimhe Keon sent over a close range point three minutes into added time, but from the kick out Termon worked the ball up the pitch and were awarded a penalty. Bridín Maguire stood up strong to save brilliantly. The resulting 45 went wide, but from the game’s last kick out Dearbhla O’Moore bravely won the ball but was injured. A hard way to end a tough match where Anna Rafferty’s girls gave it their all.Every single player in the defence was magnificent right through the game. Bridín Maguire’s kicking was excellent from restarts, while Briana Maher was a class apart at number three. The half back line of Ana Keon, Síofra Hughes and Bronagh Kelly were very assured and showed they had plenty of football in them. Dearbhla O’Moore and Saoirse McDevitt could be very pleased with their displays at midfield. Up front Mary Flora Scott was, once again a great scoring outlet and had good help from the brave Tara Duffy and Caoimhe Keon.A tough one to take, but this group of girls can be proud of what they have achieved over the course of this year and the manner in which they played their football.Ladies Football Round-up: Aodh Ruadh crowned County A Champions was last modified: November 7th, 2016 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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