Aodh Rua 4-05 V 1-12 Naomh Columba. Aodh Rua got off to the perfect start when Niall Murray and Darren Gethins combined to set-up David McGurrin who blasted to the net from ten yards out in the third minute. Noamh Columba replied quickly with a Philip Doherty point but we’re lucky a couple of minutes later when Aodh Rua opened up their defence again for a Nathan Boyle goal chance but fortunately for the Glen men his shot hit a post and then the follow up was blocked on the line and then cleared. The Ballyshannon men lost full-back Damien Cleary to a Black Card for a foul on Ryan Gillespie in the 12th minute. Nathan Boyle added a point a minute later but two frees from Ryan Gillespie in the 13th and 17th minutes left just one between them at 101 to 0-03. Following a scoreless five minutes David McGurrin converted a Aodh Rua free and a minute later they hit goal number two when Eamonn McGrath found his brother Shane inside and despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Shane O Gara to deny him he drove the ball to the net and the lead was five points. Aaron Doherty’s free and a fine score from Pauric Ward reduced the deficit to three. That didn’t last too long as a minute later Shane McGrath burst through again to drill the ball to the bottom corner . Aaron Doherty’s free was the final score of the half to leave it 3-02 to 0-06 in Aodh Rua’s favour at the break. Charlie Collins reports from Tirconaill Park . Aaron Doherty’s free and David McGurrin from play exchanged points in the opening six minutes of the second-half and it was evident that Naomh Columba had decided to go long but the tactic didn’t work as Aodh Rua defended well. Doherty kicked another free to leave just four in it but a minute later Aodh Rua swept up the field and when Nathan Boyle’s shot was blocked the ball finally fell to Johnny Gethins who tapped it into the net to make it 4-03 to 0-08. Shane McGrath added a point and Aaron Doherty’s 45 and Kieran McBrearty pointed for the Glen men to leave six between them in the 49th minute. Aaron Doherty and Kevin McNern pointed but sub Michaelk ‘Sticky Ward left five in it in the 60th minute to leave five in it again . But two minutes into injury time Kevin McNern burst through to blast home a Naomh Columba goal to reduce the lead to just two points , however Aodh Rua survived a nervous last couple of minutes to just hang on for victory on a final scoreline of 4-05 to 1-12 and secure a final place. AODH RUA ; Peter Boyle , Jason Granaghan , Damien Cleary , Johnny Gethins ( 1-00 ) , Colm Kelly , Darren Drummond , Eddie Lynch , Conor Patton , Eamonn McGrath , Darren Gethins , Shane McGrath ( 2 – 01 ) , David McGurrin ( 1- 02 ) , Nathan Boyle ( 0 – 01 ) , Oisín Rooney , Niall Murray. SUBS ; Michael Ward for Cleary ( 12mins b/c ) , Philip Patton for Darren Gethins ( h/t ) , Michael ‘ Sticky ‘ Ward ( 0-01 ) for Murray ( 40mins ) , Diarmuid McInerney for Nathan Boyle ( 54mins b/c ). NAOMH COLUMBA ; Shane O Gara , Barry Carr , Martin Cunningham , Kieran McBrearty , Pauric Ward ( 0-01 ), Michael Maguire , Stephen Jones , Fionn Gallagher , Pauric Cunningham , Philip McNern , Kevin McNern ( 1-02 ) , Aaron Doherty ( 0-06 ) , Tagh McGinley , Ryan Gillespie ( 0- 02f ) , Philip Doherty (. 0-01 ), SUBS ; Lanty Molloy for Cunningham ( 41mins ), Ryan Mc Nern for Philip Mc Nern ( 43mins ) , Pauric O Neill for McGinley 47mins ), Oisín McGinley for Ryan McNern 52 mins b/c ). REFEREE ; Robbie O Donnell .
Goals win it for Aodh Rua but only just.
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Author of 'Relentless: A Race Through Time', the memoir of former Irish Athletics Team Manager Patsy McGonagle. From St Johnston and now based in Letterkenny, Chris was a nominee for NUJ Sports Journalist of the Year in 2010. Honoured by the Donegal Boxing Board in 2016 for his coverage on the sport.