Desperately seeking Sammy. And Tommy

Best of luck to Jim McGuinness, our own John Duffy, and everyone associated with the Donegal senior set-up as they go in search of a second All-Ireland title in just two years. Ádh mór also to Declan Bonner’s minor squad who are looking to create history by bringing a first ever Tommy Markham trophy back to the Hills. It would be a particularly special victory for Aodh Ruadh with Niall Harley captaining, Colm Kelly in the defence and Aodh Ruadh hurler Jamie Brennan in attack. Then of course we have Mick McGrath, Anthony McGrath and Gary Walsh lending their experience to cause too. Once again, please please travel safely to and from Dublin on the big day. Check out Ulster GAA’s road safety initiative Live to Play.

All-Ireland final tickets

All-Ireland final ticket distribution takes place tonight, Tuesday, 16 September from 8pm to 9pm in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh. Successful applicants will be notified by text. Payment must be made in full on the night. Preparing the ticket allocation has been a far from easy task for club officers. The allocation procedure was transparently established and agreed at a club committee meeting last Friday. Those administering the distribution are volunteers giving their time freely and gladly for the development and promotion of Gaelic games and culture in Ballyshannon. While we appreciate that the ticket distribution will not meet with everyone’s satisfaction – due in the main to the well-documented issues surrounding the centrally driven All-Ireland final ticketing policy and allocation issues within Donegal – we must insist that our volunteers are treated at all times with respect and courtesy.

Aodh Ruadh is Up For The Match

Aodh Ruadh are bringing you a pre-All-Ireland final chat night to remember. We will be in Dorrian’s Imperial Hotel, Ballyshannon ahead of the All-Ireland final with Joe Brolly, Brian McEniff, Kevin Cassidy and Brendan Devenney. The peerless Sean Perry will be compere on Thursday, 18th September as the final fever really starts to mount. Ahead of the main event on the night we also have an attractive undercard to get you in the mood. Brian Roper, Niall McCready, Sylvester Maguire and Mick McGrath will be sharing their take on the big games, with Michael Daly posing the questions. Tickets are available priced just €10 in Shannon’s Corner, Pearse O’Neill’s and McCosker’s Centra. Tickets will also be available on the night with doors at 7pm. See you there!

Catch the games at the Gables

Well folks the countdown is on. Sunday is All-Ireland Final Day and Backing Ballyshannon in association with Aodh Ruadh, local businesses and the local community are delighted to present an All-Ireland special live from the Gables in Ballyshannon. Come along and enjoy the Minor and Senior games on the big screen followed by music with the Rockhill Ramblers. There will face painting and a few surprises for the kids, so this promises to be a great family day out. Thanks to Billy Grimes for co-ordinating the day’s activities. So come on everybody, nothing beats being there except being at the Gables this Sunday! Best of luck to both teams on the day. Donegal Abu!

Football

The under 13s season wrapped up last Wednesday evening with a narrow 2-11 to 3-17 defeat to Naomh Muire.

The under 10 season concluded over the weekend just past. On Friday evening we had our third and final skills test of the season, the awards being presented at the Mick Shannon Tournament the following day. Winners in the third skills test were Ryan Daly (100 points), Eoghan Kelly (92 points) and Séimí Campbell (87 points). The overall skills champions for 2014 judged on their best two results were Eoghan Kelly (90.5 points), Ryan Daly (90 points) and Jack Gallagher (82 points). Honourable mention to Shane Delahunty on 81 points who just missed out. Next was the most important award as far as the coaches are concerned. These are the lads who are really working hard at their game and trying to improve it. These were the progress champions, those with the biggest improvement from their lowest score. Oisin Daly (46 point improvement), Aidan Sweeny (44 point improvement), (35 point improvement). Just missing out on the honours were Darragh Flood Dolan (33 point improvement), David Roper (32 point improvement) and Shane McGloin (31 point improvement.)

For this year’s Mick Shannon memorial tournament, We welcomed Glencar Manorhamilton, Saint Naul’s, Saint Molaise Grange – the reigning champions, and Melvin Gaels. Along with ourselves, all clubs fielded senior and junior teams, and partook in an afternoon of committed and highly entertaining football.

Each team played each other on a league basis. In the senior tournament, Aodh Ruadh had narrow wins over Melvin Gaels, Saint Molaise and Saint Naul’s, before pipping Glencar Manor by a point in the final league game. That set up what promised to be a thrilling final between the same opposition, Aodh Ruadh and Glencar Manor.

In the final, a tight battle ensued, but Aodh Ruadh’s huge commitment, and flowing football saw them come out on top, and reclaim the Mick Shannon memorial cup. It would be wrong to mention any one player as standing out, as this display was a fine example of team work, desire and full-blooded commitment, mixed with flowing football and eye-catching score-taking.

The junior competition saw some brilliant games in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh, but it was Aodh Ruadh and Saint Molaise who made it through to the final having both won three out of four. Indeed the game played between the two in the round robin stages was a real hum dinger, Aodh Ruadh overcoming Saint Molaise by two points, and another close encounter was on the cards between the two in the final. And so it proved. Again, the two teams played excellent football, with little to choose between them. But Saint Molaise seemed to have one last burst in them as the final whistle neared, and Aodh Ruadh tired in the closing stages, with Saint Molaise running out three point winners.

Tom Daly was on hand to present the trophy and cup to the respective winning captains, and spoke fondly about Mick Shannon, who had been a manager of underage teams for many years in the late 80s and early 90s.

Many thanks to Melvin Gaels, Saint Molaise, Glencar Manorhamilton and Saint Naul’s for attending and contributing to an excellent day. Thanks also to referees on the day, Val Murray, Barry Ward, David Hoey, Niall McCready and Gerard Ferguson, to all the ladies in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh who kept over 150 people fed and watered, and to all the parents who supplied the sandwiches and treats. Thanks to Sean O’Mahoney who co-ordinated the running of both competitions, and Johnny Gallagher and Louis Boyle who prepared the pitches and dressing rooms. We have a great gallery of pictures from the day up on aodhruadh.org as well as on the Aodh Ruadh CLG Facebook page.

Under 8 training last Friday saw the awards presentation for the 2014 skills competition. The winners in the second skills test were Killian Bradshaw, Tom Murphy and Liam Doogan. The overall winners for 2014 with the best average over the two tests were as follows: Tom Murphy (103.5 points), Finn Coady (101.5 points) and Killian Bradshaw (100.5 points). Next was the most important award as far as the coaches are concerned. These are the lads who are really working hard at their game and trying to improve it. These were the progress champions, those with the biggest improvement from their lowest score. Dylan McGuinness (40 point improvement), Liam Doogan (39 point improvement) and Jack McCadden (32 point improvement). An honourable mention to James Ward who just missed out with a 23 point improvement.

Then on Saturday the under 8s travelled to Ballintra for the Southern finals blitz. They fielded two strong teams and turned in a brilliant performance. All players stepped up to the mark showing the skills they have developed during the year. Playing five games each with the grand finale between Ballyshannon’s Team 1 v Team 1A, with the winner being Team Aodh Ruadh. The players who pulled on the Aodh Ruadh jersey were: Killian Bradshaw, Barry Campbell, Eoin Cassidy, Finn Coady, Ronan Delahunty, Eoin Doogan, Liam Doogan, Stephen Doran, Cormac Finnegan, Odhran Gillespie, Tom Holland, Donagh Kelly, Michael Keown, Hugh Óg Maguire, Cian McDonald, Dylan McGuinness, Garvey Meade, James Monaghan, Tom Murphy, Conor O’Mahoney, Daire O’Mahoney, Ted O’Donnell, Cillian Slevin, Darragh Summerville and James Ward.

Under 8 training continues this Friday in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh at 6.30pm. We will also have a training session on Friday 26th September, but this will be our last training for the year. The last action for the under 8s will be a blitz in Father Tierney Park on Saturday 4th October.

Please note that under 6 training has now concluded for the year.

We have a superb gallery of pictures up on aodhruadh.org from Friday evening in Páirc Aoidh Ruaidh where the under 6s and under 8s were training and the under 10s were doing their skills test. It was a glorious evening with the weather and wonderful to see so many children enjoying their football.

We have signed up to Lucozade Kit Out Project. We are not asking people to start buying Lucozade, but could anyone who does drink it please note the code on the bottle under the wrapper and pass it to your manager or to Tracey Flood. Codes will be added to our account and we get some free kit. Please pass this on to your friends or anyone you know that drinks Lucozade and ask them to keep codes for the club. The more codes we collect the more gear we can get.

Hurling

The senior hurlers season concluded last Saturday with a 4-9 to 0-9 defeat to Saint Eunan’s in O’Donnell Park. It has been a curate’s egg of a season for the seniors, but full credit to Kevin Loughlin and his back room team for their hard work all year, as well as all the lads who gave it their all on the pitch in 2014.

On Thursday last the under 16s travelled to Scarvey, Buncrana to play the home team in the semi-final of the Championship, the lads put in their best performance of the year. This Buncrana team have never been beaten up through the age levels, but they came very close to it last week. Aodh Ruadh hurled with great belief and determination and led at half time 0-10 to 1-2. As expected Buncrana started the second half with a bang and got the first five points to level the game. For the last 20 minutes it was tit for tat in a rip-roaring game. With five minutes to go Buncrana led by a point when the ref controversially disallowed an Aodh Ruadh goal. Our lads never gave up and unfortunately lost narrowly 3-9 to 1-12. It was a great display from all the squad who were a credit to the club and themselves with their discipline on the night. They have given great commitment all year, a small panel of only 18 players should be very proud of their achievements this season.

On the same night the under 12s travelled to Burt to play the home team in the under 12 C final, we had a very young team with seven of the starting 11 being under 10. Try as hard as they might the lads just found the task too much against a fine Burt team who ran out convincing winners on the night. Next up for the under 12s is our annual Aodh Ó Dálaigh tournament which takes place on Sunday 28th September.

On Sunday morning our under 8s played Four Masters in a number of games in Father Tierney Park. We had a great mornings hurling as we fielded two teams against them and all 25 of our panel played their hearts out and have shown a great improvement week on week learning the basic skills of our ancient game. Many thanks to Four Masters for coming down to play us at such short notice as the all-county blitz scheduled to be played on Sunday was rescheduled late on Friday night. We hope to travel to Four Masters for a return game before the end of the season. Thanks to Andrea Gallagher for all her photography which she put on the Aodh Ruadh CLG Facebook page.

Best wishes to Colm Kelly, Jamie Brennan and Niall Harley who are part of the Donegal panel who play Kerry in the All-Ireland Minor Final on Sunday. Hopefully the lads get their hands on another All-Ireland Medal to go along with the under 14 C hurling medals they won with Donegal in 2010.

Aodh Ruadh soft shell jackets

Aodh Ruadh now has a new piece of kit for club members to buy. It is a navy blue soft shell jacket with the Aodh Ruadh crest on the left and the GAA crest on the right. They are priced €49 each with the option of initials on the sleeve for an extra €5. Jackets are available in sizes small, medium, large, XL and XXL. They will be available for viewing and sizing on Tuesday night at All-Ireland final ticket distribution in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh and at the Up For The Match event in Dorrian’s on Thursday night. You can view samples of the jacket on aodhruadh.org.

Family Fund-raiser winner drawn

Thanks to everyone who so generously supported our family Fund-Raiser initiative. Club President Owen Roe O’Neill made the draw in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh on Monday evening and whose number did he draw out only Owen Rua O’Neill! Well done Rui, you are now they proud possessor of two stand tickets for the 2014 All-Ireland Final and Double Room and dinner for two in the Croke Park Hotel on Saturday September 20th, the night before the Final. See pictures from the draw up on aodhruadh.org.

Television theft

The television in Aras Aoidh Ruaidh was stolen from the premises last week. This significantly reduces the amenity of the hall in Aras as it was used for presentations, displays of pictures after blitzes, videos during wet days in the summer camp, and various other purposes. The door into the Aras was vandalised in the process, but has thankfully been restored to a decent state of repair. The theft is a disheartening loss of a valuable social amenity which was put in place as a significant cost. Wherever it is now, it won’t be doing quarter as much good. Any information which leads to its return will be gratefully received. Contact any club committee member, or the local Garda station.

Bingo
Bingo continues as usual this Friday night at 9pm in the Abbey Centre, with a €1,700 prize fund. Books priced at €10 for a full book, €5 for a half.

National Coaching Forum

The 11th National Coaching Forum entitled “Fun to Full Potential, Coaching the Whole Athlete” takes place on 26th-27th September in the Institute of Technology, Sligo. The Forum will celebrate the impact good coaching makes at all levels to individuals, clubs, communities and nations and will challenge and inspire coaches to implement best practice and continue to raise the standard of coaching. The title of the Forum “Fun to Full Potential, Coaching the Whole Athlete” reflects these overall aims. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges in providing a holistic approach to coaching, to examine the notion that coaching is not about developing sport alone, but developing individuals also. There will be a specific emphasis on a child centred approach for young people and an athlete centred approach as the person gets older. To register visit: www.coachingforum2014.com.

Lotto
There was no winner of the Aodh Ruadh Lotto Jackpot of €2,300. The numbers drawn were 6, 7, 9, 12, 13 and 14. In the lucky dip €20 went to Marie Gallagher, Erne Street; Jimmy Rafferty, Tonragee; Olivia Magee, Assaroe View; Philomena Begley, Finner Avenue; and Shane O’Donnell, Ardfarna. Next week’s draw for a jackpot of €2,400 takes place at 8.30pm in Dorrian’s bar on Monday.

The lotto team for McCosker’s Centra this Saturday is: BORD NA NÓG.

The lotto team for Kernan’s Spar this Saturday is: RESERVE FOOTBALLERS.