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Late Carey point earns Eoghan Rua a draw

The top of the table clash in Division 1 between Eoghan Rua and leaders Ballinderry ended all square as a late Richard Carey point earned the Coleraine men a share of the spoils on a score of 2-10 to 1-13 at Owenbeg in mid-week.

With the senior football championship under way neither side seemed prepared to show their full hand as they were both short a few regular starters. While there were some good scores and decent passages of play it was a fairly low key affair in front of a decent crowd in Owenbeg. Both teams had their good spells and built up what seemed to be commanding leads but were reeled in with honours even at the finish probably a fair result although the Shamrocks did miss a ‘45’ right at the end that would have won the game for them for sure.

Ballinderry had come out of the blocks firing on all cylinders and raced into a 1-3 to nil lead by the 7th minute. After landing three quick points their goal in the 7th minute was a comedy of errors in the Coleraine defence with Conleth Gilligan eventually tapping into an empty net. However two well taken goals inside a minute pulled Eoghan Rua right back into the game as they levelled matters in the 20th minute.

Eoghan Rua opened their account in the 11th minute with a Ciaran McGodrick free after that early 1-3 scoring blitz by Bllinderry. The Shamrocks restored their six point lead by the end of the first quarter with a well taken long range free from Conleth Gilligan. The Coleraine then began to make some inroads on the Ballinderry defence but twice they were wide of the target before their double goal strike from the 19th minute.

A good move out of defence ended with Ciaran McGoldrick placing Gregory Bradley in space to shoot low to the far corner of the Ballinderry net. Seconds later provider Ciaran McGoldrick turned finisher as he calmly slotted low to Conlan’s net, suddenly from being in real trouble six adrift Coleraine were right back in the game on level terms after 20 minutes. Ballinderry responded well to that double goal strike with two quick points in reply from Conleth Gilligan and Ryan Bell but Eoghan Rua were now competing around the middle and Ciaran McGoldrick pulled a point back.

Ballinderry missed a couple of chances but the sides traded points before the break with the Shamrocks going in a point up 1-7 to 2-3 at half-time. Within seconds of the restart midfielder Richard Carey intercepted a pass in the middle of the field before racing through to level matters.

Eoghan Rua went on to dominate the third quarter and went on to lead by four, 2-9 to 1-8, going into the last ten minutes. Just after getting the second of his points in that sequence Eoghan Rua’s Barry McGoldrick was injured and had to leave the field, he could be a doubt for their upcoming championship tie. Ballinderry reacted to that slum by introducing a couple of substitutes martin Harney and Daniel McKinless coming in and they helped to get the Shamrocks back on track in the closing minutes.

Two points inside a minute from Ryan Bell and substitute McKinless kick-started Ballinderry’s comeback. Bell again and second substitute Harney added two more to level matters before Collie Devlin pointed a free from near the sideline to put the Shamrocks ahead with their fifth unanswered point in a row with less than three minutes left. Eoghan Rua did well to stop what seemed an inexorable march to victory for Ballinderry with a well worked equaliser in the 59th minute.

A good carry out of defence by Sean Leo McGoldrick and neat inside pass from Conor carey set up Richrd Carey for a calmly taken leveller. Ballindery did have a last gasp chance to grab a winner but Ryan Bell’s attempt from a ‘45’ tailed off wide with the referee calling time on the kick out, honours even at the finish.

Comfortable win for Camogs

Eoghan Rua’s camogs came through this preliminary round Derry senior championship tie with Swatragh for a comfortable 3-12 to 2-5 win after a stuttering first half.

The first ten minutes was a nervy enough affair with both sides fluffing their lines in front of goal on a number of occasions, the only score, a point from a free from Grainne McGoldrick putting Eoghan Rua ahead after 4 minutes. Swatragh’s first score in the 12th minute put them ahead when Grainne McNicholl’s long puck in was not dealt properly allowing Dervla O’Kane to tap into an empty net.The sides traded points before Eoghan Rua opened up a six point gap with a Grainne McGoldrick goal following good work by Claire Tracey in the 18th minute. However just a minute after that goal Swatragh hit back with a second goal of their own as again a high ball in unhinged the Eoghan Rua defence for Aidene Mullan to fire to the net leaving just three between the sides again.

Twice the Coleraine side spurned goal chances while Dervla O’Kane did well to turn her marker stride forward and send over the bar to bring Swatragh to within just two points off the pace. At the break only three points separated the sides as Grainne McGoldrick’s point from a free left Eoghan Rua 2-6 to 2-3 ahead.

Three quick points within two minutes of the restart, Grainne McGoldrick (2) and Claire Tracey scoring gave Eoghan Rua momentum early on. Even though Nicola Kearney replied with a neat point after just four minutes for Swatragh, Eoghan Rua replied with a stunning Rosanna McAleese point and then a brilliant solo goal from Katey Mullan just three minutes later put the Coleraine side very much in the driving seat.

Mullan gathered the sliothar some 60 meters out on the left hand side leaving a number of defenders in her wake before blasting to the roof of the netway back for the gallant Swatragh side, their only response a point from a ’45’ through Grainne McNicholl midway through the half.

The final quarter, played out in fading light at Slaughtneil, seen Eoghan Rua add just two more points but it was always enough to hold on for a comfortable enough win in the end.

Ladies footballers settle for a draw

The Eoghan Rua Under-14 ladies football team played their final league match of the year last Friday away to North Derry rivals Craigbane. Eoghan Rua girls could easily have come away with a satisfying win.

Instead they had to settle for a share of the spoils as the game finished Craigbane 4-2 Eoghan Rua 1-11.

The game started well for the Coleraine girls. This was rewarded on the scoreboard as Sarah Moore opened the scoring to be followed by points from Aoife Kelly and Olivia Mullan.

Indeed the Eoghan Rua forwards spurned a few chances during this period too, but continual prompting from Naoise Kennedy and Anna Frizelle in the half back line and Sorcha Duggan from wing half forward helped create the chances for Olivia Mullan and then Anna Morrison to put the Eoghan Rua girls into a five point lead – 0-5 to no score.

Craigbane reasserted themselves and began to make some inroads into the Eoghan Rua defence. Two points for the home side was followed by a goal to bring the sides level. Two more goals for Craigbane left the home side six points ahead at the break, 3-2 to 0-5.

The second half however started as the first half finished with another Craigbane goal.

Of all four goals the Eoghan Rua goalkeeper could not be faulted for any of the major scores. This left Craigbane ahead by nine and seemingly out of sight. However in a second half display reminiscent of their Feile match against Faughan Vale, the Eoghan Rua girls virtually camped in the Craigbane half for the rest of the game.

An Olivia Mullan pointed free was followed by a shot at goal that rebounded off the post. Sarah Moore and Anna Morrison pointed to reduce the margin to six. Eoghan Rua were beginning to dominate around the middle third with Anna Morrison, Aoife Boorman and Sarah Moore were all winning their battles.

Craigbane switched their full forward out to centre half to try to get some possession, but Anna Frizelle was again too strong for her here. Aimee Tweed and Niamh Boorman were also clearing their lines when needed and this gave the platform for Sorcha Duggan and Olivia Mullan to keep the pressure on the Craigbane defence.

A Sarah Moore point after good link play with Hannah Mullan and Sorcha Duggan was followed by an Olivia Mullan goal to bring the deficit down to a point.

At this stage there only looked to be one winner as the Eoghan Rua girls kept the pressure up.

When Craigbane did get the ball out of defence the tenacious Naoise Kennedy and Anna Frizelle gobbled up the possession and got it forward to their team mates in the forward line again.

A few wides from Sarah Moore, Olivia Mullan and Anna Morrison seemed to spell the falling short of the Eoghan Rua girls but with virtually the last kick of the game Sarah Moore kicked a great point to draw the match on a scoreline of Craigbane 4.02, Eoghan Rua 1.11.

A satisfying end to the league campaign in a match that they could have won but as is the case in drawn matches they could so easily have lost also. .