Two games and two defeats in a bad few days for Aodh Ruadh. On Saturday, Aodh Ruadh let a five point half time lead slip against Red Hugh’s. The damage was done in the first quarter of the second half when the home side scored five unanswered points and then three minutes from the end when the lively Colm Melaugh scored the winning goal. It finished 1-11 to 0-12 in favour of the Killygordon men. We have a full match report with pictures to come from that game up on aodhruadh.org. Then on May Bank Holiday Monday the Park played host to Naomh Colmcille. The visitors brought hunger, desire and perhaps an excess of physicality to this game, but Ballyshannon will particularly rue the final quarter where they failed to profit from having an extra man and their opponents losing their top scorer to injury. The final score of Aodh Ruadh 0-7 Naomh Colmcille 1-13 probably flatters the visitors. We have a full match report with pictures to come from the match up on aodhruadh.org.
 
While the seniors were embarked on their own personal via dolorosa, the reserves serene progress through the league continues imperturbably. The addition of James Kelly helped ensure the points came back down the road from the trip to Killygordon. Once again goals played a big part in the Ballyshannon victory with green flags for Kelly (2), Joe Watson and Jamie McDonald contributing towards a final score of 4-7 to 2-10 in favour of the Ernesiders. There is a full match report with pictures to come from that game up on aodhruadh.org. Then on May Bank Holiday Monday it was the visit of Naomh Colmcille to Ballyshannon. The Reds were on top for much of the game, but when David Finnerty blasted home a wonder-strike with five minutes to go, they had no response and Aodh Ruadh ran out 1-10 to 0-9 winners. Again, we have an extended match summary, with pictures to come up on aodhruadh.org.
 
With an extra game played on all the other sides in the league, Aodh Ruadh will be sitting out the next round ACFL division three action.
 
The under 16s are holding a fundraising draw on Saturday May 31st with prizes including
       Four tickets (2 pairs) for the Saturday & Sunday concerts at the Rory Gallagher Festival
       2014 Rory Gallagher limited edition framed print by Barry Sweeny
       €40 Euro Shopping voucher for Kernans Spar
       €40 Voucher for O Neill’s Leisure Wear & Sports, East Port.
       €40 voucher for Marlboro House Bundoran
       Voucher for Aodh Ruadh hoodies – two as separate prizes.
Lines are selling at €2 each or three for €5. Your support for the draw would be greatly appreciated.
Training for under 16s is on Friday at 7.30pm. Our next challenge match is against Bundoran at 7.30, Monday 12th May. This is an away match, so anyone who can help with transport please let us know. Meet at Father Tierney Park at 6.30pm Monday.
 
Injury played a huge role in the defeat of the under 14 Aodh Ruadh lads when they clashed with table toppers Killybegs in the regional semi-final on Saturday. They made the better start with a goal from captain Dylan Gallagher in the first minute of the game, but Killybegs soon reeled them back in again and slowly pulled ahead leaving Aodh Ruadh trailing by five points at half time. With Michael McKenna unfit to play things went from bad to worse for the Ernesiders soon into the second half, loosing Cianán Roper, Eoin Doherty and Tiernan Dolan through injury. It was an up-hill battle for the Ballyshannon men and despite great performances from Dylan Gallagher, a rock solid Pauric Keenaghan, a never say die Caolán Dolan and man of the match Senan Rooney the victory belonged to Killybegs at the final whistle. Congratulations to the lads who have showed huge improvement the season. Reaching the semi-final is a great achievement in itself in such a strong regional group. Training resumes on Wednesday, 4.30pm to 5.45pm in preparation for championship with the first game on 28th May.
 
The under 12s had their first outing on Saturday morning against Melvin Gaels. There was a great turnout with numbers in excess of 25 players. There were great performances all throughout the team. Special mention to Bridín Maguire in goals who made a couple of great saves, in the back Cian Barden, Daire Gallagher and Jake Foley were all very solid. In the middle Calum Ayres never stopped running and scored a couple of great points. Up front Shane Duffy, Conal Bradshaw and Kyle McCaffrey all showed well and worked hard in what was a good team performance. There is a game this Wednesday evening in Father Tierney Park against Killybegs. All players to be up at the Park for 6pm sharp. Under 12 training takes place on Saturday morning from 10.45am to 12 noon.
 
There will be an under 10 blitz on Monday 12th May in Father Tierney Park. We will be hosting Bundoran, Naomh Conaill and Ardara. Players are to be up at the park for 5.45pm, with the first game throwing in at 6.30pm. Players are also asked to bring club shorts and socks. With close on 100 players expected at the park we ask each family with players to supply a loaf of sandwiches to help with the catering on the day. Under 10 Training continues this week, Wednesday 6.30pm and Saturday 11pm. With our first blitz of the year pending a full turn out at training is essential. Failure to attend or provide an excuse will be taken into consideration in team selection. Congratulations to the Aodh Ruadh contingent on the Creevy National School team on their South Donegal / North Leitrim win title last week.
 
Well done to the under 8s who learned quickly in their first game of the season against a hard-hitting Naomh Bríd outfit. Our tackling and lifting off the ground was excellent, and we have a few items to work on ahead of our next outing so a very worthwhile fixture. The Aodh Ruadh team in Ballintra was: Killian Bradshaw, Barry Campbell, Eoin Cassidy, Tommy Clyne, Finn Coady, Eoin Doogan, Liam Doogan, Cormac Finnegan, Joshua Gallagher, Tom Holland, Donagh Kelly, Jack McCadden, Cian McDonald, Garvey Meade, James Monaghan, Tom Murphy, Ted O’Donnell, Conor O’Mahoney, Darragh O’Mahoney, Cillian Slevin and James Ward. We have a picture of the lads ahead of the game up on the Aodh Ruadh CLG Facebook page where you can also listen to the players introducing themselves. Under 8 and under 6 training continues in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh this Friday from 6.30pm to 7.30pm.
 
Hurling
Senior hurling training continues as normal on Mondays and Wednesdays.
 
The annual Alan Ryan/Seamus Grimes Under 16 hurling tournament took place on Monday, as in previous years the standard of hurling was very high as some of the leading teams in Ulster and Connacht competed for honours. Taking part in this year’s event were Ballinascreen (Derry, Alan Ryan holders) Cushendall (Antrim), Keady (Armagh) Padraig Pearse’s (Roscommon) Four Roads (Roscommon) Tooreen (Mayo, Seamus Grimes holders) and Aodh Ruadh.
The draw had Aodh Ruadh in Group A with Pearse’s and Ballinascreen. In our opening game against the Roscommon outfit our lads started well and were playing with confidence when two soft goals before half-time left them facing an uphill battle. Try as the lads might in the second half, they couldn’t breach the Roscommon rear-guard and those first half goals proved crucial as they lost 2-5 to 0-6.
We were up against 2013 Féile na nGael Division 3 champions and reigning Alan Ryan holders Ballinascreen in the second game. This was a fiercely contested  game and despite having the aid of the breeze we went in at half time trailing 0-4 to 0-0.We were now fighting for survival in the Alan Ryan section, and put in a great second half and began believing that they were fit to compete with the Derry men. Despite conceding a last minute goal we ran out winners of a great game 2-2 to 1-4.
The stage was now set for us to play Four Roads in the semi-final. They had won their three games in Group B and were a big strong physical team. The lads are aware from years of hurling together that semi-finals are for winning and they won another close encounter by three points.
They were now into the final against newly crowned Mayo under 16 league champions Tooreen, and what a final the large crowd were treated to. This game was played at a hectic pace where two teams gave their all to win the Alan Ryan cup, it was nip and tuck throughout and the half time score was 0-2 apiece. Aodh Ruadh got a goal early in the second half, but the East Mayo men replied immediately with a goal of their own. The vocal home crowd  were treated to a great finish as the Aodh Ruadh lads threw themselves into every tackle and ran out worthy winners 1-5 to 1-3. This very small panel of 18 players improved as the day went on and were deserving winners of the title. Their discipline and attitude throughout the day were a credit to them and their families.
The Seamus Grimes final was equally as entertaining as first timers to this tournament the famed Cushendall proved victorious against Ballinascreen over in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh.
So after 14 games of hurling between seven very evenly matched teams all intent on playing hurling as it should be we had our two winners, and another great tournament came to an end.
From the battle fields it was up Aras Aoidh Ruaidh where the Ryan and Grimes families supported by the mothers of the Aodh Ruadh under 16s laid on a feast where over 200 people were catered for. Stories were told and new contacts were made.
John Rooney Chairman Aodh Ruadh Juvenile Hurling Committee thanked the Ryan and Grimes family for allowing them host this tournament, he thanked all the teams who had made the effort to travel on the day. He spoke of his memories of Alan and Seamus and their love of hurling and how they loved to see the game played in the proper spirit and how today’s tournament was such a tribute to the two lads.
Eddie Grimes  spoke on behalf of the Grimes family and thanked all who made the day such a success, he thanked all the teams and their coaches, he thanked all the referees, lines men and umpires. He presented the runners up medals first to Ballinascreen, he then presented the Seamus Grimes trophy to a delighted Cushendall captain.
Kerry Ryan senior spoke on behalf of the Ryan family, he thanked all involved in making the day happen, he thanked all the catering staff for their sterling efforts all day. He called on his son Kerry to present the runners up medals to a fine skilful Tooreen team. Then came the moment we all waited for as Fr McManus presented the Alan Ryan cup to an exhausted pair of Aodh Ruadh joint captains, Brendan Gillespie and Oisín Rooney.
John Rooney finished off proceedings by thanking the referees Aidan Ferguson (Erne Gaels) and Aodh Ruadh’s Peter Horan, both lads had a very busy day and were very consistent throughout and won much admiration from many. John singled out Peter for his dedication in giving up his role as part of the back room team of the under 16s to spend the day reffing. He thanked all who helped on the day, thanks also to Johnny Gallagher and the Park Committee who had the pitches and dressing rooms in great order. Thanks are also due to the club executive and the management teams of the Reserves and Seniors who changed the starting times of their games with Naomh Colmcille and thanks as always to Brian Drummond for all his photography work. John wished all a safe trip home and looked forward to seeing them all again in 2015. We will have pictures from the day’s action up on aodhruadh.org later in the week.
 
Our under 14s travelled to play Saint Eunan’s in the league last Thursday evening. They suffered a heavy defeat against the Letterkenny lads. The boys are having a difficult season but well done to the 15 who travelled and tried their best.
 
The under 12s got their season off to a good start on Sunday as they travelled to a blitz in Manorhamilton. They beat Manorhamilton in their opening game, they lost to Carrick-on-Shannon in the second game. They played Carrick-on-Shannon in the final game and lost out by one point after extra time. Well done to all the lads who travelled, thanks to the parents who drove the lads to Manorhamilton your support is much appreciated. They have a challenge game this Friday versus Four Masters at home.
 
Training as normal for all ages on Sunday at 12 noon.
 
Donegal meet and greet
Donegal GAA will host a meet and greet our county players on Saturday 10th May at 11.30am in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey. From 11.30am until 12 noon watch an open training session with our Senior Footballers as they prepare to recapture the Anglo Celt Cup. From 12 noon on patrons will be able to meet and chat to our players get autographs and photographs. Be in with a chance to win a Donegal Jersey.
 
Fantasy Race For Sam
Entry forms for the third annual Fantasy Race For Sam are now available in The Bridgend, Owen Roe’s, Seán Óg’s and Ballybookies as well as from any committee member. The winner will pocket €500, with the entrant in last place receiving €100. The rules are as follows. All entrants names and monies to be in by Friday 16th May. The draw for teams and players will take place on Saturday 17th May. Each entrant will get a team from each province. Each entrant will get a forward from each province. All games including the qualifiers will be included. The Mayo v New York takes place on 4th May so any entrant who gets either Mayo or their forward will have the points added to their score. New York are not included on the player or team list. All entrants teams and players will be randomly selected. Entry costs €20 per entry. You can enter as often as you like. The scoring works like this. Your team get 10 points for a win and five points for a draw. In the event of extra time in a match, the scoring will reflect the result at the end of extra time and not 70 minutes. Your player gets a point for every point scored. Goal counts as three points. Your team gets a bonus of 10 points for winning their provincial title. Your team gets a bonus of 10 points for winning the All-Ireland final. In the event of joint winners/losers prizes will be shared. The committee’s decision is final. The updated league table will be available on aodhruadh.org every Tuesday.
 
Quiz for kitWith the co-operation of the six primary school principals in the club area, Aodh Ruadh provides four qualified coaches to give boys and girls living locally the opportunity to play football and hurling. There has been a high level of interest from the children since this initiative commenced in March. On Thursday, 8th May at 9.30pm a table quiz will be held in Owen Roe’s.  The proceeds will assist with the purchase of equipment and gear to improve and develop this coaching initiative Support would be welcome. Anyone wishing to put in a team or take part can come along on the night. For further information contact David McLoone, Conal Gallagher, Tom Daly, Michael Daly or any Aodh Ruadh committee member.
 
LottoThere was no winner of the €8,800 Aodh Ruadh Lotto jackpot last Sunday. The numbers drawn were 1, 4, 6, 9, 12 and 15. In the lucky dip €20 each went to: Kathleen O’Moore, Kildoney; Dermot Slevin, Camlin; Teresa Whoriskey, Erne Dale Heights; Karen Gilmartin, Assaroe View; and Majella Gethins, Finner. Next draw is in McGinley’s on Monday at 8.30pm. The jackpot is €8,900 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: JUVENILE HURLERS.
The lotto team for Kernan’s Spar this Saturday is: SENIOR HURLERS.
 
You can receive the club notes by e-mail every Tuesday morning. To subscribe, enter your details on the website, www.aodhruadh.org, or e-mail your request to info@aodhruadh.org.