Football
Aodh Ruadh got back to winning ways in division three with a 2-12 to 0-11 victory over Buncrana in Scarvey on Sunday afternoon. The Ernesiders took time to find their feet though with all the early pressure coming from Buncrana and Peter Boyle by far the busier of the two keepers. Jamie McDonald got a quality score from out wide to help keep the score board ticking over for the visitors and as the half wore on Ballyshannon started to come more into proceedings. And when David McGurrin scrambled home a ball in from Damian Cleary they were definitively in the ascendancy. The half time score was 1-7 to 0-4 in favour of Aodh Ruadh. In the second half the defence shut up shop with Michael Dolan, Michael Ward and Johnny Gallagher giving up precious little in the way of scoreable chances. Around the centre of the field Conor Patton and Johnny Gethins gathered up plenty of primary possession and with the likes of David Dolan proving very sticky up front, there was plenty of attacking threat. David McGurrin added a second goal to copper fasten the win. That result combined with a surprise home defeat for Naomh Colmcille against Naomh Bríd sees Aodh Ruadh return to the summit of division three, albeit on a share of top spot with Naomh Columba and Naomh Colmcille still with a game in hand. We have Cathal Maguire’s shots from the game up on aodhruadh.org.
 
The reserves doled out a 4-20 to 0-6 beating against Buncrana on Sunday afternoon. The homesters got the first score of the game, but Ballyshannon took over from there on in. Two goals in the first half from David Finnerty and Anthony Coughlan effectively ended the game as a contest, the interval score reading 2-12 to 0-3. Two further goals in the second half from Michael ‘Sticky’ Ward and Val Murray set the seal on an emphatic win. In what was an excellent team performance, there were great individual displays right across the pitch, particularly from Ciaran Slevin at the back who was first to every ball, Darren Gethins who won a tremendous amount of ball from his half back position, Finnerty again was powerful in the middle, with Sticky Ward and Spanny Goan doing most of the damage up front. There’ll be tougher tests to come on the road for the reserves, but for now there is a 100 percent record to preserve, with a trip to neighbours Naomh Bríd up next. There is a full match report and Cathal Maguire’s pictures from the game up on aodhruadh.org.
 
Aodh Ruadh are out in ACFL division three action again this Saturday. This time it is the short trip up the N15 to take on Naomh Bríd. The reserve game throws in at 6pm and is followed by the seniors at 7.30pm.
 
Good luck to Niall Harley and Colm Kelly and the rest of the Donegal minors as they take on Derry in Celtic Park in the first round of the Ulster championship this Sunday.
 
A great days craic was had by all at the under 14s fun day last Saturday, which included a pit stop to the pure breed bull show in Carrick-on-Shannon mart to keep the farmers on the trip happy. At the banquet in Marlboro House in the evening a number of trophies were awarded. The first two presentations of the evening went to Donagh McGowan and Ciaran Hodgins for the most improved players of the year, Pauric Keenaghan scooped up the trophy for overall player of the year and the final trophy went to the one and only Odhran Kennedy for something he’d be better explaining himself. Back to business this week for the under 14s with them hosting the annual Sean Slevin tournament this Saturday. Training as usual this Wednesday from4.30pm to 5.30pm in preparation for this tournament.
 
The under 12s took on our neighbours Naomh Bríd at the weekend in a challenge match in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh. Good performances were seen throughout the team with David Doherty, Cian Barden and Nathan Owens-Kelly resolute in defence, while up front Damian Weber, Frankie McGinley and Daire Warren pulled the strings and created some very good scores. Well done to all the lads, as everybody showed great commitment and effort. We have another challenge this Wednesday 21st May against Glencar / Manorhamilton. All players to be at Father Tierney Park for 6.15pm sharp. Don’t forget your club gear and mouth guards.
 
The under 10 training continues this Wednesday at 6.30pm and on Saturday at 11am.
 
Under 8 training continues this Friday in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh at 6.30pm. We also have an under 8 blitz this Saturday 24th May in Ballintra. The games throw in at 11am and we are asking parents/guardians to provide transport directly to the game. Anyone who is unable to travel to the game but who has a player who needs a lift is asked to contact John Hughes on 0876431805. Players are asked to be at the grounds in Naomh Bríd for 10.30pm at the latest in order to allow us to determine numbers and get the lads warmed up.
 
Under 6 training continues this Friday in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh at 6.30pm.
 
Ladies
The Ladies Committee are reminding all our players and parents that registration money must be paid this week if you have not already done so. Please note that players will NOT be allowed to play as they will not be covered by insurance if not registered.  Contact your team manager as soon as possible if you are in this position.
 
Our under 12s are looking forward to hosting their first Go Games Blitz on Saturday 7th June with teams invited from Saint Naul’s, Four Masters, Bundoran and Killybegs.
 
The under 10s have a focus for their training at the moment as they will play a challenge game against Naomh Molaise of Grange in the near future.
 
Training for under 8s, 10s and 12s continues on Monday at 6pm in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.
 
The under 14s will play Naomh Conaill at home this Friday at 6.00pm. Training for under 16s, minors and seniors continues on Tuesday and Thursday at 7.00pm. Our seniors had a narrow defeat against Four Masters on Sunday 18th in the first round of the 13-a-side competition. The score was 3-5 to 3-3.
 
Well done to Briana Maher, Dearbhaile O’Moore, Mary Flora Scott and Assistant County  under 14 Manager Eoin O’Moore who represented Aodh Ruadh at the All-Ireland blitz in Mullingar at the weekend. There was no silverware, but a great experience playing Peil na mBan was the prize on offer. Best of luck to Roise Keon and Maeve Liston who will play for the Donegal minors against Armagh in the Ulster B Final this weekend.
 
Hurling
On Thursday last Aodh Ruadh and Buncrana had a terrific battle in the Minor League final in O’ Donnell Park, Letterkenny, these teams have contested the majority of underage county finals since 2009 and like all previous encounters this was a brilliant game. Two fully committed teams gave their all on the night. A mutual respect has built up between these two clubs and Thursday’s game was a great advertisement for the game of hurling. Every challenge was fully contested, with very few frees in the game and no cards it was hurling played at its best.
The Buncrana men raced into a 2-4 to 0-0 lead after 10 minutes as the Aodh Ruadh team seemed very nervous. A number of positional changes made the difference and the boys began hurling better as a unit. There was no score for approximately eight minutes before Aodh Ruadh got their first score, a goal, and it was like turning on a light switch as they outscored Buncrana 3-5 to 0-1 over the remainder of the half, leaving the half time score 3-5 to 2-5 in favour of the Ernesiders.
Buncrana scored 1-1 early in the second half and it was all level. And that was how it remained level until Buncrana got a pair of goals which rocked Ballyshannon. Points were exchanged and the crowd were on the edge of their seats as the high standard of play never dropped. With five minutes to go the Inishowen lads had built up a lead of 8 points, but true to the great character of this Aodh Ruadh team they fought back to leave only two points in it as the game moved into injury time. The final whistle went with Buncrana ahead 6-9 to 5-10. All present agreed that this was one of the best underage hurling games in Donegal in years and indeed this game would have done justice to a Senior county final. There was disappointment at the end, but our full panel can be very proud of the part they played in this classic game full of passion, commitment and skill. The squad, despite missing a number of key players for various reasons, had a great league campaign and they enter the championship full of confidence and belief as a result of this run and are ready to put in the hard work necessary for a good championship campaign in July. A great sign for the future is that out of the 35 players that played in the final only three of them are overage in 2015.
Thanks to all the parents who drove the lads to Letterkenny and gave them great support throughout the game. The support of the parents as always is much appreciated by all associated with the team.
 
On the same day the under 14s played MacCumhaill’s in their final league game in Father Tierney Park. The lads were close to a strong Ballybofey team for the majority of the first half and the game was quite close at half time. A nasty hand injury to Liam O’Sullivan early in the second half seemed to knock the confidence out of the home team. MacCumhaill’s powered on and our lads’ heads dropped and the Finn Valley men ran out easy winners 7-8 to 2-5. We finished fourth in the league setting up a very difficult semi-final against an unbeaten Buncrana team in Scarvey this Thursday. We wish Liam well as he makes a speedy recovery from his injury.
 
On Sunday morning, 25 of our youngest hurlers headed to the Centre of Excellence in Convoy for the second all-county blitz. We had two under 8 teams made up of 15 players, and one under 10 team with 10 players. Other clubs who took part included Buncrana, Saint Eunan’s, Dungloe, Carndonagh, Letterkenny Gaels, Strabane Shamrocks and Setanta. The under 8s showed a great improvement from the first blitz and competed very well in all the games with both teams securing a number of good results. The under 10s did very well winning all their games. It was a great turn out by our teams, considering we had a good number of players missing due to First Holy Communion and holidays and thankfully it bodes well for the future. We’re all looking forward to the next blitz in June. Again we have to thank all the parents who drove the teams to Convoy and made the effort to come out and support our youngest teams, their support is much appreciated.
 
Training as normal this Sunday at 12 noon.
 
Fantasy race for Sam
The fantasy race for Sam 2014 got underway at the weekend. All runners and riders have been chosen, although a number of spares were also drawn and placed in sealed envelopes so we still have places available if you want to be part of the action. You will need to get your request in to Sean O’Mahoney before 5pm on Saturday though. The first leader of the year is Kevin Loughlin with his team of Leaky Plumbers. He amassed 38 points (Mayo-10, Laois-10, C O’Connor-11, S McCormack-7). In joint second place is Philip Patton and his team, County Colours, and Darren Cox and his team, Ernie Gaels, both on 34 points. In fourth place is Bobby Murphy and his team, The Kingdom, on 33 points. Indeed the county board have received his request for a transfer to the might Kerry and it will be processed this week! Rounding out the top five is Jerry Gallagher and his outfit, Belleek Boys, on 32 points. With only a few games played so far there are still some people yet to score this year. The complete entry list along with the list of scorers from each county and the first week leader board are now available on aodhruadh.org, The Bridgend Bar and Ballybookies. Anyone who has yet to pay for their entry is urged to do so as soon as possible.
 
Hoodies
The second and final batch of Aodh Ruadh hoodies are back and available for collection. There will be a collection session this Wednesday, 21st May from 7.45pm to 8.45pm in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh. Contact John on 0876431805 if you would like to make alternative collection arrangements.
 
Bingo
The €400 jackpot at last Friday’s bingo was won by Molly Ferguson of Belleek. Bingo as usual in the Abbey Centre this Friday at 9pm. Full books €10, Half books €5. Game five playing for a €260 snowball prize on 48 numbers or less. Snowball goes up by €20 per week until the snowball won!
 
LottoThere was no winner of the €9,100 Aodh Ruadh Lotto jackpot last Sunday. The numbers drawn were 2, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10. In the lucky dip €20 each went to: Shane Matthews, Erne Dale Heights; Lorna Matthews, Erne Dale Heights; Orla Winters, Donegal Road; Ray Granaghan, Ardlongfield; and Marie Gallagher, Erne Street. Next draw is in The Bridgend Bar on Monday at 8.30pm. The jackpot is €9,000 so get out there and buy your ticket; if you’re not in, you can’t win!
 
The lotto team for McCosker’s Centra this Saturday is: LADIES.
The lotto team for Kernan’s Spar this Saturday is: SENIOR FOOTBALLERS.
 
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