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EOGHAN RUA MUST TRY AGAIN

Eoghan Rua and Ballinascreen must do it all again this Thursday evening back at Owenbeg following their 0-6 each draw last Sunday night (7.45pm throw-in).

Once again defences dominated in a dour affair, the wet and windy conditions not conducive to free flowing football, not that either team were set up to play an expansive game in any case.

Ballinascreen were just a little more direct in their play but they found it very difficult to break down the massed ranks in the Eoghan Rua defence. They dominated possession in the first half but could only manage to lead 0-4 to 0-3 at the break.

There was little or nothing between these sides throughout although Ballinascreen did lead 0-4 to 0-1 after 18 minutes.

In probably one of the few decent moves of the game Ballinascreen opened up the Eoghan Rua defence in the second minute with Kieran Conway firing over the opening point. It took to the 7th minute before a period of Eoghan Rua pressure led to a foul on Mark McTaggart which was punished with a point from the resultant free by Ciaran McGoldrick.

A fine long range point from midfielder Michael McBride had ‘Screen back in front by the eighth minute. Eoghan Rua then opened up the Ballinascreen defence through the middle, Declan Mullan’s strong run and pass to Mark McTaggart who found the inrushing Ciaran McGoldrick through on goal but his shot for the top left hand corner of Danny Devlin’s net drifted just wide, it was a chance. Moments later, Declan Mullan seen his angled shot for a point come back off the near post, Ballinascreen clearing their lines.

Ballinascreen then went on to enjoy a period of pressure and edged three clear, 0-4 to 0-1, with points from a Seamus Bradley free and a well worked Phillip Bradley point. Eoghan Rua were struggling for possession at this stage but eventually Sean Leo McGoldrick tapped over for their first score from play all of twenty minutes into the game.

There was one point between the sides five minutes from the end of the half after Barry McGoldrick was fouled leaving Ciaran McGoldrick to slot over the point from a free. Ballinascreen had a good chance to extend their lead before the break but Seamus Bradley sent wide from a round 30m out, however the south Derry men did hold a slight advantage, 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time.

The ultra-cautious approach from both sides continued unabated right throughout the second half with just five more points scored.

Ballinascreen just held the upper hand with Eoghan Rua always playing catch-up, they never headed the south Derry side throughout the game. Eight minutes into the second half Mark McTaggart levelled matters but midway through the Ballinascreen were ahead again as Benny Heron drilled over a superb free from the left hand side, however Eoghan Rua had valid claims that it was a very soft free.

Three minutes after that score Barry McGoldrick sent over a sublime equaliser from the right side, the game still very much in the melting pot. The sides once again exchanged points, both frees, Ciaran McGoldrick levelling after Heron had edged Ballinascreen ahead.

This really was going down to the wire and with less than three minutes on the clock Eoghan Rua were awarded a free around 35m out on the left side but Ciaran McGoldrick’s effort went agonisingly wide of the near post, chance gone. Then in added time an intercepted pass in midfield sent Ballinascreen on the attack but Carlus McWilliams was fouled just outside the ‘65’giving Ballinascreen an outside chance of a last gasp winner.

Out came goalkeeper Danny Devlin to take the kick but his effort went short and right of the Eoghan Rua goal and was cleared to safety. The final whistle sounded seconds later with the teams coming back to Owenbeg Thursday evening for a 7.45pm throw-in to see who will meet Ballinderry in the county final.

Eoghan Rua team: Ryan McGeough; Sean McWilliams, Ciaran Mullan, Barry McTaggart; Liam McGoldrick, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Barry McGoldrick; Declan Mullan, Richard Carey; Ciaran Lenehan, Colm McGoldrick, Ciaran Lagan, Gregory Bradley, Ciaran McGoldrick, Mark McTaggart..

Substitutes used: Niall Holly for Gregory Bradley (48), Aidan Mullan for Liam McGoldrick 53).

Eoghan Rua scorers: Ciaran McGoldrick (0-3 frees), Sean Leo McGoldrick (0-1), Mark McTaggart (0-1), Barry McGoldrick (0-1)

Ballinascreen: Danny Devlin; Phillip McGlade, Michael McShane, Dermot Scullion; Ronan Devlin, Dermot McBride, Kieran Conway; Michael McBride, Phillip Bradley; John Scullion, Benny Heron, Carlus McWilliams; Seamus Bradley, Gavin Kelly, Eamon Murray.

Substitutes used: Eunan Murray for John Scullion (40), Emmett McKillion for Eamon Murray (53), Gary Conway for Seamus Bradley (58).

Ballinascreen scorers: Benny Heron (0-2 frees), Kieran Conway (0-1), Michael McBride (0-1), Seamus Bradley (0-1 free), Phillip Bradley (0-1).

HOLDERS BALLINDERRY EASE IN TO FINAL

Ballinderry left no one in any doubt about their clear intentions to defend their county title successfully as they demolished Lavey 2-20 to 0-11 in last weekend’s first semi-final at Owenbeg.

After Lavey started off superbly rattling off the first four points in the opening ten minutes, Paul Hearty (3) and Caolan O’Boyle scoring, Ballinderry very efficiently set about reeling them in, there was no sense of panic.

Over the next twenty minutes of the half Ballinderry took command of the game, they outscored Lavey 1-9 to 0-1 to take a commanding 1-9 to 0-5 lead into the break and effectively seal their final berth.

When Conleth Gilligan hit the net in the 20th minute that put to rest any real hopes Lavey had of upsetting the odds, Gilligan went on to score a fantastic 2-9 in a superb performance of score taking. Ballinderry eschewed any notion of massed ranks permanently stationed in defence as they tore forward at every opportunity, six of their twenty points coming from their marauding defenders, Conor Nevin (1), Michael McIver (2) and Darren Lawn (3).

Whichever team emerges from the Eoghan Rua v Ballinascreen semi-final replay will face a daunting challenge in the final from a Shamrocks side on a mission for three-in-a-row!

UNDER-16 GIRLS WIN FINAL LEAGUE GAME

Eoghan Rua’s Under 16 Ladies Football team completed their league campaign with an impressive home win against Lissan last Sunday evening at Pairc Eoghan Rua.

In the first half Brenda Grant and Anna Morrison held sway at midfield, with Anna Frizelle and Aoife Boorman dominating the middle of the defence. A Shauna Doherty point was soon cancelled out by a Lissan equaliser, however two goals and a one point from the impressive Shauna Doherty opened a gap for the home team.

Aoife Kelly got in on the scoring act too with a point before Lissan replied with a similar score. Good link play from Sarah Moore, Aoife Bradley and Shauna Doherty resulted in Lissan conceding a penalty when Shauna Doherty was brought down and she stood up to strike the confidently to the corner of the net.

With Grace Taylor and Niamh Morrison not giving their direct opponents any leeway to get out of defence the Eoghan Rua girls stayed on top. When Lissan did get the ball forward for another point this was quickly cancelled out by a Shauna Doherty point. A Lissan goal following a mix up in the Coleraine defence closed the gap, but following an injury to Brenda Grant, her replacement Olivia Mullan notched the final point of the first half to leave the Eoghan Rua girls leading 3-5 to 1-3 at half time.

The second half started with Francesca Watson moving to the forward line to replace Grace Taylor and Brenda Grant coming on again in goal. Aoife Kelly and Aoife Bradley reverted to the defence and both girls gave accomplished second half displays. Naoise Kennedy moved to the forward line and opened the second half scoring for the home side with a fine point.

A Shauna Doherty goal was followed by a point from Lissan and for the next ten minutes the Coleraine girls took over as Anna Morrison and Aoife Boorman dominated the midfield area with their incessant workrate. The defence was rarely worked but when called upon Anna Frizelle and Aoife Kelly snuffed out any danger. Aoife Bradley was performin

g well along with Aimee Tweed while the forward line went on to score 2-4 without reply. Good support play from Sorcha Duggan and Niamh Morrison led to Anna Morrison notching a point followed by a brace from Shauna Doherty and one from Naoise Kennedy.

Goals from Naoise Kennedy and Olivia Mullan following good play from Aoife Boorman and Sarah Moore were followed by a point from Lissan.

Shauna Doherty finished the home team’s scoring with another two points from frees. Lissan pointed with the last kick of the game to see the Coleraine girls winning on a scoreline of 6-12 to 1-06 to end their league campaign on a high note.

They now look forward to a championship outing against Claudy in two weeks time.

Eoghan Rua team and scores: Francesca Watson, Aimee Tweed, Anna Frizelle, Naoise Kennedy (1-2), Darcey Kelly, Aoife Boorman, Niamh Boorman, Anna Morrison (0-1), Brenda Grant, Aoife Bradley, Shauna Doherty (4-7), Niamh Morrison, Grace Taylor, Aoife Kelly (0-1), Sarah Moore. Subs: Olivia Mullan (1-1) for Brenda Grant, Brenda Grant for Grace Taylor, Sorcha Duggan for Francesca Watson