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Top three play-off place still there

Eoghan Rua stayed on course for a top three play-off place in Division 1 with a fairly comfortable 0-14 to 0-9 win away to Bellaghy last Saturday evening.

With just one league game left, at home to Lavey, the Coleraine men who are second in the table two points adrift of Ballinderry will need to maintain their winning ways to sustain their challenge for league honours. Bellaghy and Eoghan Rua fielded near enough championship sides but the fare on show was far from the intensity of a championship game. Eoghan Rua led from start to finish after taking an early three point lead, Ciaran McGoldrick (20 and Colm McGoldrick scoring. Bellaghy opened their account in the seventh minute with a Ruari McElwee point but Liam McGoldrick hit back just a couple of minutes later from a tight angle. A piece of direct play from Eugene Scullion winning the kick out and firing ball inside seen McElwee gather and send over his second point. The same player was on target from a free shortly after as Bellaghy reduced the leeway to a point and seemed to be getting into their stride. However three points around the mid-point of the half reasserted control for Eoghan Rua as they stretched their lead to four, 0-7 to 0-3.

A foul on Fergal Doherty gave Peter Cassidy the chance to point from close range for the home side but when Richard Carey combined with Sean Leo McGoldrick the latter was unceremoniously upended with Ciaran McGoldrick tapping over the close-in free leaving the Coleraine men 0-9 to 0-4 ahead at the go eight points ahead. Inside the opening minutes, Niall Holly, playing his first competitive game after a long injury lay-off did well to break up a Bellaghy attack and drive out to set up the move that finished with Ciaran Lenehan tapping over from close range.

Two further points from Colm and Ciaran McGoldrick had Eoghan Rua very much in control of proceedings. Bellaghy did enjoy a decent spell on top from the mid-point of the half and added three points in a row, Ruari McElwee from play and two frees from Ciaran Glackin and Peter Cassidy reduced the gap to five with less than ten minutes left.

At that stage it seemed their might just be a kick in the home side over the closing minutes. However when Anton Rafferty stole forward for a neat point and Ciaran McGoldrick tapped over a close-in free the threatened comeback by bellaghy was well and truly ended. Two late Bellaghy points from Fergal Doherty and Eoghan Brown did little for the home side’s cause as Eoghan Rua comfortably held on for a five point win on the road.

Hurlers ease into semi-final

Eoghan Rua’s senior hurlers booked their place in the semi-finals of the Derry reserve championship with a comprehensive 7-16 to 2-8 home win over a gallant Banagher side.

That huge margin of victory certainly did not look likely as the sides battled out a very keen first 25 minutes or so in the first half and were level 1-5 each at that stage. However three goals in as many minutes in the closing minutes of the half helped Eoghan Rua to a 4-7 to 1-5 half-time lead. Two further goals inside the opening ten minutes of the second half effectively ended the game as a contest with Eoghan Rua easing into the semi-finals.

Banagher made the better start and a Shane Farren goal after three minutes had them 1-1 to nil ahead. Eoghan Rua opened their account with a Ciaran Gaile goal after 6 minutes, the sides then traded points before Sean Leo McGoldrick levelled matters by the 10th minute. Point for point after that and it was still all square at 1-5 each going into the last five minutes of the half.

It was over those closing minutes at the end of the half that this tie swung very much inEoghan Rua’s favour. After Ruari Mooney’s point edged the home side ahead there followed a three goal salvo in as many minutes that all but sealed victory for Coleraine. Sean Frizelle burst out of defence before firing a long ball to Ciaran Gaile who finished to the net, Gaile then completed his hat-trick of goals a couple of minutes later.

Eoghan Rua’s fourth goal was not long in coming as Colm McGoldrick tapped home after Banagher goalkeeper did well to parry his initial shot. The late scoring blitz was completed when Ruari Mooney finished a good move with a tidy point, Eoghan Rua totally in command at the break, 4-7 to 1-5 ahead.

Although Banagher were first to score early in the second half with an Eoin Kealey point Eoghan Rua continued their scoring blitz hitting an unanswered 2-6 between the 31st and 43rd minutes to lead 6-13 to 1-6, their goals came from Colm McGoldrick and Ruari Mooney. Banagher kept hurling away and Christopher goaled in the 55th minute but there was never any doubt about the outcome as a Ciaran Lagan goal completed the scoring for a rampant Eoghan Rua.

Camogs through to last four

A strong second half performance set Eoghan Rua’s senior camogs on their way to victory over a determined Dungiven side in this Derry championship quarter-final at Lavey on a score of 6-11 to 2-5.

After falling behind to two early Dungiven points two Katie Mullan goals got Eoghan Rua on their way. With Grace McMullan beginning to exert her authority up front and banging in a goal the eventual winners went on to lead 3-3 to 1-3 at the break.

With Kelly Maybin back in the side following a long injury lay-off her experience and guile helped to turn the tide very much in the Coleraine side’s favour, she added a couple of well taken goals on her comeback. Katie Mullan completed her hat-trick and a five point salvo ensured Eoghan Rua’s comfortable passage to the semi-finals.

Craigbane put to the sword

Eoghan Rua’s Under-16 footballers exacted a measure of revenge for a big league defeat against Craigbane when they beat them comprehensively, 6-9 to 1-9 in this quarter-final ‘B’ championship tie. The game was played at Pairc Eoghain Rua in near conditions with a slight breeze blowing towards the seaside end.

Craigbane had the wind advantage in the first half and settled quickly taking an early two point lead. Points from Niall Brown and Jack Doherty levelled matters before two goals in as many minutes from Niall Brown and Barry Daly had Eoghan Rua firmly in the driving seat. Craigbane came back as they punished some indiscipline in the Eoghan Rua defence with a couple of points from frees and by the mid-point of the half were just three adrift at 2-2 to 0-5. The last quarter was fairly even as Craigbane added another point before the home side closed out the half strongly with two well taken James Maguire points to lead 2-4 to 0-6.

The sides traded points early in the second half before Craigbane got right back into the tie with a well taken goal to leave just a point between the sides. However Coleraine turned the tide very much in their favour with a two goal salvo in as many minutes, first James Maguire tapped into an empty net after Barry Daly’s shot was parried out then Paddy Mullan blasted home. Mullan completed his hat-trick of goals to put Eoghan Rua into an unassailable 6-8 to 1-9 lead.

The final score of 6-9 to 1-9 however did not reflect the pressure Craigbane were able to mount at times as they hit the post and bar on a number of occasions. Both teams had been wary of one another since their league which Craigbane had won on a huge scoreline of 5-13 to 4-10.

This was a much changed Eoghan Rua team since that match with Connor Boyle and Simon Purvis returning to add some steel to the defense. Hal McGonigle and James Maguire switched their respective roles with great success. James scored three points in his three efforts from play and Hal completely neutralised the threat of the Craigbane speed merchant.

In defense Cillian Butler and Justin Donnelly put in a very solid hours work while the influence of Connor Boyle grew after he moved into middle of the park. Paddy Mullan totally controlled the midfield battle throughout winning the majority of possession in the engine room.

The forward unit all played their part with good performances particularly from James Maguire and Niall Brown, but the stand out performer on the night was again Jack O’ Doherty.

He simply covered every blade of grass on the pitch. Along with Barry Daly they not only posed a real threat going forward but most pleasing was their defensive work when Eoghan Rua lost possession. Ruairi Devine continues to develop in the role of half forward while Thomas Magee and Shea McLaughlin worked hard throughout. Eoghan Rua now meet south Derry side Loup in the semi-final.

Family Fun event

Almost 40 cyclists will set off at 12noon this Saturday on a 100km Cycle Challenge as a fund raising event organised by Eoghan Rua GAC.

The intrepid cyclists will leave from Pairc Eoghain Rua to head off along the banks of the Bann towards Toome and returning some four or five hours later.

The club has organised a Family Fun event from 3pm to 6pm at Pairc Eoghain Rua in conjunction with the cycle fund raiser and everyone is welcome to come along.