Pride of place this week goes to the Aodh Ruadh under 14 boys who claimed the All-Ireland Féile Division 10 title after a never-to-be-forgotten weekend on the east coast where no team could come near them. The team were hosted by the Saint Joseph’s club in Louth and began their campaign on Friday with a 2-7 to 0-4 victory over Louth amalgamation Naomh Fionnbarra / Lannleire. They followed that up with a comprehensive 3-6 to 0-1 defeat of Belfast side Lámh Dhearg. On Saturday morning they defeated their host club 5-7 to 1-1 to make a clean sweep of the group stages and progress to the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland Cup competition. Drogheda based side O’Raghallaigh’s supplied the opposition, but Aodh Ruadh continued their barn-storming form with a 5-4 to 0-2 victory to make it to the semi-finals on Sunday.
The final day of competition took place in sweltering conditions at the Louth Centre of Excellence at Darver and saw Aodh Ruadh pitted against Derry side Foreglen for their last four clash. The first half was evenly balanced with the Oak Leafers getting the first score before points from Danny Breen Brosnan and Damian Weber edged the Donegal lads in front. Foreglen levelled before a Danny Breen Brosnan point pushed Aodh Ruadh back in front again. That was cancelled out by a free for the Derry boys, but in the three minutes before the break Aodh Ruadh hit three unanswered points from Damian Weber, Danny Breen Brosnan and Ryan Keenaghan to go into the interval with a double scores cushion. The second half got off to the perfect start when a driving run through the Foreglen defence by Aaron Neilan was finished Damian Weber taking the final pass and lashing to the back of the net. Foreglen refused to lie down though and hit back with 1-1 to make it 1-4 to 1-6 with 19 minutes played. That was as good as it was to get for them though as Ballyshannon took the game by the scruff of the neck and hit an unanswered 4-2 to leave them comfortable 5-8 to 1-4 winners. Aaron Neilan got the rally going with a point after good work by Danny Breen Brosnan. Then Danny showed superb hands to field before turning and smashing to the net. That was followed by goal for Damian Weber and a deserved Shane Delahunty point. Final say went to Danny Breen Brosnan though who hit two goals and responded to the Foreglen umpire’s gesture of annoyance at his hatrick score with a Joe Brolly style celebration.
Aodh Ruadh were now 30 minutes from an All-Ireland title. They faced Saint Manchan Gaels, an amalgamation of four Offaly clubs in the decider. The Ballyshannon lads were in no mood to let this opportunity pass them by, but it took them six minutes before they registered their first score of the final. This was created when Jack Gallagher picked out Danny Breen Brosnan with a great pass and he set up Damian Weber to blast to the net. Shane Delahunty was next to turn provider, laying on a chance Ryan Daly applied a stylish finish to as he split the posts. A minute later it was another well worked team score, this time Cian McKenna showing some of his skills before smashing to the net. Danny Breen Brosnan added a long range point before a Saint Manchan’s goal a minute into first half added time left it 2-2 to 1-0 at the break. The Ernesiders continued to chip away at the scores at the start of the second half with a Robbie Murphy point shortly after throw-in followed by two Damian Weber frees. With three minutes left any slim hopes the Offaly men might have entertained of an upset were shattered when yet more great build-up play from Shane Delahunty was rewarded with a Danny Breen Brosnan goal. As if to reinforce the point Aaron Cullen denied a Saint Manchan’s attacker with a spectacular stop, getting down smartly to his left to deny the goal. Two minutes later Danny Breen Brosnan hit his second goal and with the game in added time Drew Ryan and Robbie Murphy added points to put the seal on a 4-7 to 1-0 victory and bring a first ever All-Ireland Féile title back to Ballyshannon.
The victory was greeted with raucous celebration from the big Donegal support in Darver which included the Aodh Ruadh girls Féile squad. The team were welcomed back into the town at 9pm that night with a reception which matched the magnitude of the achievement. The management of Alan Sweeny, Kerry Ryan and Barry Sweeny deserve huge credit for the triumph which was achieved with a wonderful brand of attacking football. The full panel played their part in the victory and were Aaron Cullen, Danny Breen Brosnan, Eoghan Kelly, Damian Weber, Aaron Neilan, Shane Delahunty, James Gallagher, Aonghus Sweeny, Ryan Daly, Jack Gallagher, Fionn Gallagher, Darragh Flood Dolan, Pauric Daly, Ryan Keenaghan, Cian McKenna, Drew Ryan, Séimí Campbell, Robbie Murphy, Oisin Daly, Oisin McGlinchey, Kenzie Lee Ayres, Troy Killalea, Shane McGloin, Tommy Winters, Aidan Sweeny and David Roper.
Thanks to the parents / guardian’s who supported the team over the weekend and to host club Saint Joseph’s for their hospitality. Thanks to all who contributed to the team’s fund raisers in the lead up to the Féile. Thanks especially to the team’s main sponsors the Sandhouse Hotel and also to Kernan’s Spar, Cleary’s Garage, Kevin Byrne Buses , Kirby Group and Seamless Aluminium for their sponsorship.
A case of a point lost as opposed to a point gained on Sunday as a late Ciaran Bonner goal salvaged a 2-12 to 3-9 draw for Glenswilly against Aodh Ruadh on Sunday. Two well taken Shane McGrath goals helped Aodh Ruadh to a 2-5 to 0-7 half-time advantage. Glenswilly, playing without the black carded Neil Gallagher from 20 minutes in, got back on terms though with a Brian Farrelly goal seven minutes into the new half. With seven minutes left to play it looked like Aodh Ruadh had done the hard work when Oisin Rooney sent Philip Patton through to net. However, Bonner got Glenswilly out of jail and the Ernesiders had to settle for their third draw of the season. Aodh Ruadh’s scorers were Shane McGrath (2-1), Diarmaid McInerney (0-5, 2f), Philip Patton (1-0), Peter Boyle (1 45), Damien Cleary (0-1) and Oisin Rooney (0-1).
The reserves came out on the wrong side of their trip to Páirc Naomh Columba, losing to Glenswilly on a scoreline of 3-9 to 0-13.
Aodh Ruadh’s next outing in the league is the visit of Saint Eunan’s this Sunday to Father Tierney Park, senior game at 2pm, preceded by the reserves at 12.30pm.
Well done to Ronan Matthews on winning Donegal Town Festival 10K on Sunday morning in just under 36 minutes.
The minors have a league game this Wednesday away to Killybegs. Training continues on Mondays from 6.30pm to 7.45pm.
Under 10 training continues on Wednesday and Friday at 7.15pm, subject to weather.
Best wishes to Caoimhe Keon, Caitlin McGarrigle and the Donegal under 16s this Wednesday in their All-Ireland semi-final against Galway at the Owenmore Gaels club in Collooney, Sligo this Wednesday. Throw in is at 7.30pm.
The under 16s have training this Wednesday at 7.30pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. We play Saint Eunan’s at home next Tuesday. We are hoping to take a selection of the 2002 and 2003 girls to a nine-a-side tournament in Carryduff on Saturday 4th August.
The under 14s set out for Féile on Friday with a squad of girls determined to do the club proud. Their Féile experience began with the parade ahead of the opening round of games at Ratoath. Despite throwing in at 6pm the weather was still very hot for the first game against Ratoath. The Ballyshannon girls made light of the conditions though and ran out convincing 6-6 to 2-2 winner with Aoibhínn McGarrigle, Niamh Hughes, Ciara Gillespie, Shauna O’Mahoney, Katie O’Brien, Evelyn Rose Gallagher, Emer O’Brien and Caoimhe Hughes-O’Brien all getting on the score sheet.
Next up were Roscommon side Naomh Bríd. This was a tightly fought game where Aodh Ruadh just failed to convert their chances. Naomh Bríd won 3-4 to 0-4, but the balance of play was much closer and the Donegal girls knew it was one that got away. Lucy McGlynn, Ciara Gillespie and Katie O’Brien were our scorers in that game. On Saturdaymorning they faced their hosts, Blackhall Gaels at their Batterstown pitch. Aodh Ruadh dominated the game and were more comfortable winners than the 4-3 to 3-3 scoreline would suggest with Ciara Gillespie, Katie O’Brien and Aoibhínn McGarrigle all scoring and Evelyn Rose Gallagher netting a crucial brace of goals. That result put Ballyshannon into the Division 3 Cup All-Ireland last eight and after a break for refreshments it was off to the magnificent facilities in Trim where Aodh Ruadh took on Saint Ergnat’s Moneyglass in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. With the punishing heat continuing to be the meteorological theme Aodh Ruadh gave it all they had, but came up short against the Antrim champions. The key moment came in the second half as Ballyshannon were beginning to mount a comeback following a brilliant Katie O’Brien goal which cut the margin between the sides to five points. Grainne Maguire was hauled unceremoniously to the ground as she advanced into the opposition’s last third. Inexplicably the referee elected to award a free the other way. Saint Ergnat’s, bolstered by getting off the hook with the full complement of players on the pitch pushed on to win the game 1-12 to 1-3. Aodh Ruadh’s other scorers in the quarter-final were Niamh Hughes and Ciara Gillespie. Saint Ergnat’s went on to win the competition outright.
The girls represented the club and county with pride throughout and enjoyed the full Féile experience, wrapping up the weekend by cheering on the Blackhall Gaels girls in their Shield semi-final before travelling to get behind the Aodh Ruadh boys in their final Féile games. They returned late on Sunday for a deserved meal in Nirvana Restaurant. The panel who travelled to Meath and gave such a good account of themselves were Aine Hill, Ciara Caldwell, Grainne Maguire, Hannah Gallagher, Clodagh O’Connor, Lucy McGlynn, Lauren McHugh, Caoimhe Hughes-O’Brien, Emer O’Brien, Aoibhínn McGarrigle, Katie O’Brien, Evelyn Rose Gallagher, Niamh Hughes, Ciara Gillespie, Cara Davitt, Rhiana Masterson Burrows, Megan Kane, Shauna O’Mahoney, Catherine Browne, Kelly Irwin, Niamh Irwin, Niamh McGloin, Fódhla Sheerin. Annie Keon missed the trip with holidays. Huge credit has to go to Paul Gillespie, Patricia Hill and Sylvester Maguire who did so much work to make sure the trip went off smoothly and ensure it was an enjoyable experience for all. Thanks to our Royal hosts, Blackhall Gaels, who treated us like royalty right through the weekend. Thanks to all the team sponsors and the people of Ballyshannon who helped finance the event. Thanks to Seamie McPhelim who calmly piloted us up and down the highways, and a fair few of the byways of Meath and Louth. Finally a very special thank you must go to the parents / guardians who travelled and supported the team. They were absolutely brilliant right through the course of the weekend and, just as much as the girls, they represented their club, their town and their county with real class, panache and no small amount of humour. Memories never to be forgotten.
The under 12s opened their league campaign with a trip to Letterkenny to take on Saint Eunan’s. In sweltering heat a young team fielding a number of under 10s battled hard, but came up short against a strong Saint Eunan’s side. They are playing Buncrana this Thursday in Father Tierney Park.
Well done to the under 14 football squad on their success at Féile over the weekend.
Training for all age groups on Sunday at 12 noon. All are welcome from 5 years upwards. For any information contact John Rooney on 086-2587793.
The 27th annual Aodh Ruadh Summer Camp commenced on Monday, 2nd July and runs to Friday, 13th July. There’s loads to do with football, hurling, swimming, rounders, obstacle courses and plenty of other fun and games. Each week of the camp concludes with a sports day on Friday. The camp runs from 10am to 3pm and is open to all children from 6 to 14 years-of-age. Apart from being great fun, the camp represents excellent value. The cost per week is €70 per child. Family concessions are as follows: €120 for two children; €170 for three children; and €200 for four children. Children should bring a packed lunch as no one will be allowed to leave the camp during the day.
Celebration of Sports and Parish Picnic Day
Kilbarron Parish invites all sports groups and families to join in the fun at the Lakeside on Sunday 8th July at 2.30pm. The event commences with a welcome address followed by a blessing of the sports groups. Lots of fun and games, face painting, children’s playground, entertainment and possibly a surprise guest!
The postponed June monthly club executive has been rescheduled for the end of July.
Abbey Centre Bingo
The June Big Bingo super jackpot of €1,000 was won by Margaret Meehan of Belleek. The stand up game prize of €160 was won by Gareth Brennan of Ballyshannon. The summer snowball had no winner so rises to €300 on 45 numbers or less. Bingo as usual this Friday at the Abbey Centre at 9pm, books cost just €10 with a €2,000 prize fund up for grabs.
Aodh Ruadh Lotto
There was no winner of last week’s Aodh Ruadh Lotto jackpot of €1,800. The winning numbers drawn were 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 9. In the lucky dip €20 went to Brendan Kelly, c/o Bird’s Nest; James O’Donnell, c/o O’Donnell’s Bar; Davey Corrigan, Rossnowlagh; Marie Blake, Cornhill; and Edward and Dympna Gilbride, Rossinver. Next draw is in Owen Roe’s Bar with a jackpot of €1,900 on Sunday at 8.30pm. Tickets are now available in the following outlets: Seán Óg’s, O’Donnell’s, Dicey Reilly’s, The Limit, Pat’s Bar, The Bridgend, Owen Roe’s, Fin McCool’s, The Lantern, McGinley’s, Pearse O’Neill’s, McCosker’s Centra and Kernan’s Spar and at the weekly bingo in the Abbey Centre. You have to be in it to win it!
The lotto team for McCosker’s Centra on Saturday is: LADIES.