Aodh Ruadh got their championship campaign off to the perfect start with a six-point victory over Burt in a wet Father Tierney Park on Saturday evening.
Aodh Ruadh 0-11 Burt 0-5
Nathan Boyle got the hosts up and running just 20 seconds in, skinning his marker before clipping a neat score straight from the throw-in.
Diarmaid McInerney followed that up a couple of minutes later with a great long range score from the right wing.
Philip Patton put Aodh Ruadh three to the good after five minutes with a left footed shot from a similar position to McInerney’s earlier effort.
Just before the first water break David Dolan had the ball in the net, but the referee brought play back for a free which Philip Patton converted to make it 0-4 to no score in favour of the Ernesiders as the teams rehydrated.
Ballyshannon picked up where they left off on the resumption, Eamonn McGrath slipping over after a quick move up the pitch.
Aaron Coyle then had to be alert to deny a goal chance, but Nathan Boyle stepped up and coolly stroked over the 45 to push Aodh Ruadh further into the ascendancy.
Burt finally got off the mark when Jack O’Brien sent over a ciotóg free from 30 metres.
Darren Drummond answered that four minutes from the interval with a free from 13 metres after being fouled as he brilliantly fielded a long ball in.
Seconds later Johnny Gethins fisted over to become Aodh Ruadh’s sixth scorer as they continued to play with total control.
Just before the break Eamonn McGrath was fouled for a close range free which Philip Patton tapped over to leave it Aodh Ruadh 0-9 Burt 0-1 as the sides turned around.
The second half had fewer fire works, with Burt just about enjoying the better of the scoring.
There was only a solitary score in the third quarter, that coming when Jack O’Brien brought the best from Peter Boyle as he made a sensational save. Burt were able recover possession and pop over to reduce the arrears to seven points.
A Calvin Gallagher free after the water break cut the gap further, and with eight minutes remaining another Burt dead ball conversion, this time from Sean McHugh, left just five points between the sides.
Four minutes from time Ronan McDermott passed up a possible goal chance, his flick going over rather than under the bar. Burt really starting to get the bit between their teeth now.
Philip Patton ended a 32 minute Aodh Ruadh’s scoring drought with a 30 free to give his side some much needed breathing space as the clock began to favour the homesters.
David Dolan then made it a complete set of scoring forwards for Aodh Ruadh as he floated over from the left wing to put the seal on a merited opening championship win for Barry Ward’s men.
Aodh Ruadh played their best football in the first half when Sean Taylor, Colm Kelly and Eddie Lynch were excellent in defence. Cian Dolan brought great solidity around the centre of the park, while up front, Philip Patton’s scoring consistency was again a huge asset, with Diarmaid McInerney, Nathan Boyle and Darren Drummond causng plenty of problems. In the second half a great save from Peter Boyle proved vitally important.
Best for Burt on a poor night for the Inishowen men was the lively and persistent Sean McHugh.
Peter Boyle; Colm Kelly, Sean Taylor, Johnny Gallagher; Shane Gillespie, Eddie Lynch, Michael McKenna; Cian Dolan, Johnny Gethins (0-1); Diarmaid McInerney (0-1), Darren Drummond (0-1), Philip Patton (0-4, 3f); Eamonn McGrath (0-1), David Dolan (0-1), Nathan Boyle (0-2, 1 45). Subs: Conor Patton for Shane Gillespie (36), Ryan Granaghan for Darren Drummond (41), David McGurrin for Diarmaid McInerney (43)
Burt: Aaron Coyle, Darren Bradley, Stephen O’Donnell, Oisin Kelly; Sean McHugh (0-1f), Martin Donaghy, Dara Grant; Mark McElhinney, Ronan McDermott (0-1); Denver Kelly, Ciaran Bradley, Jack O’Brien (0-1f ); Calvin Gallagher (0-1f), Michael Doherty, Darren Gallagher.
Kevin McGinley (Naomh Columba)Tags: