Eoghan Rua run out comfortable winners ahead of Ballinderry clash

Eoghan Rua Ladies Footballers Anna Morrison, Anna Frizelle and Brenda Grant featured for Derry in the National Under 17 Development Blitz hosted by Naomh Mearnog, Portmarnock in Dublin last Thursday. The three Eoghan Rua girls played a big part in all of the Derry games.'Derry were drawn in a group with Dublin, Limerick and Cork and while losing narrowly to Limerick and Dublin the highlight of the event was defeating the Cork U17 Development squad. The girls went on to the Shield semi final where Dublin again ran out winners to progress to the final.
Eoghan Rua Ladies Footballers Anna Morrison, Anna Frizelle and Brenda Grant featured for Derry in the National Under 17 Development Blitz hosted by Naomh Mearnog, Portmarnock in Dublin last Thursday. The three Eoghan Rua girls played a big part in all of the Derry games.'Derry were drawn in a group with Dublin, Limerick and Cork and while losing narrowly to Limerick and Dublin the highlight of the event was defeating the Cork U17 Development squad. The girls went on to the Shield semi final where Dublin again ran out winners to progress to the final.
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Leading nine points to nil going into added time at the end of the first half Eoghan Rua conceded a free which Mark Lynch converted to give his side, Banagher their only score of the entire first period.

When Colm McGoldrick found the net with a trademark finish just four minutes into the second half this game was well and truly over as a contest, Eoghan Rua leading 1-10 to 0-2.

Following that dominant start there was never much doubt as to where the Division 1 league points were going and the home side seen out the game to win comfortably 1-13 to 0-6.

Eoghan Rua blitzed Banagher in the first quarter reeling off six points, five of them from open play, Conor Carey in fine form hitting three of those scores. After Ciaran McGoldrick added Eoghan Rua’s seventh point Banagher began to make some headway but their shooting was way off target hitting three wides in a row, all from scoreable positions.

Conor Carey and Liam McGoldrick then added further points before Mark Lynch had Banagher’s nly score of the half, the visitor’s going in 0-9 to 0-1 ahead.

Early in the second half Hugh Casey was black carded with Barry McGoldrick coming in to get some valuable game time following his 9 months lay-off due to a cruciate injury late last year.

The sides exchanged points before the only goal that effectively ensured this game was over as a contest, Eoghan Rua extending their lead to eleven points. A high ball to the edge of the small square was fielded by Colm McGoldrick, he turned his marker before shooting low to the corner of the Banagher net, game over and just 34 minutes gone.

Banagher also introduced P J McCloskey from the bench, like Barry McGoldrick the county man is on the comeback trail from a long term injury. While McCloskey won his fair share of ball around midfield it was never going to be enough to make serious inroads against an Eoghan Rua defence well marshalled by Sean Leo McGoldrick. Gavin O’Neill did find his range and knocked over a couple of frees midway through the half but Eoghan Rua were able to keep the scoreboard ticking over as Colm McGoldrick and Conor Carey added points.

The last quarter petered out to its inevitable conclusion with little by way of a real contest, Eoghan Rua comfortable ten point winners.

Current champions Ballinderry haven’t been beaten in the Derry senior football championship since the final of 2010 when they lost to Eoghan Rua, Coleraine in a thriller.

The sides have not met in the championship since then but they will lock horns in a second round game this Sunday evening in the tie of the round at Owenbeg (throw-in 6.30pm). While defeat will not spell the end of the championship road for either team the winners will go straight through to the quarter-finals with the losers getting a second chance through the qualifier route.

Still, both teams will be targeting a quarter-final place through the direct route and a win on Sunday evening will see to that. Ballinderry are still on course for a fourth county title in a row and will be clear favourites to get past Eoghan Rua. The sides met in the league back in April when Ballinderry won 2-13 to 3-7 at the south Derry venue. Indeed the closest Eoghan Rua have got to Ballinderry in their leauge encounters was a draw last year, a game played in Owenbeg.

Ballinderry have swept all before them in this year’s league campaign with 14 wins from 14 games while they had a facile 1-17 to 0-5 first round championship win over Newbridge.

Meanwhile Eoghan Rua’s league campaign has been a mixed bag as they have won 6 and lost 5 of their eleven games to date. They did secure a fine 2-14 to 0-14 win over Kilrea in their first round championship tie to set up this second round tilt at the title holders Ballinderry.

The Derry and Ulster champions will provide a formidable hurdle for the Eoghan Rua men and are rightly strong favourites to go straiht through to the quarter-finals. They have an array of talent at their disposal with virtually every one of their starting 15 either current or former county players.

The likes of Mickey Conlan, Ryan Scott, Kevin McGuckin, Aaron Devlin, Gareth McKinless, Coilín Devlin and Ryan Bell are among their most recent representatives on the Derry senior football panel while former county men Conleith Gilligan, Enda Muldoon, Raymond Wilkinson and Michael McIver are still all key members of the Shamrocks side.

Eoghan Rua have a serious level of experience in their side with as many as ten or eleven from the historic 2010 title winning team likely to line out against Ballinderry on Sunday. The McGoldricks, Sean Leo, Ciaran and Colm, Niall Holly, Sean Paul Henry, Ciaran Lenehan, the Mullans, Declan and Ciaran, Ryan McGeough, Richard Carey and Mark McTaggart are all likely to start.

The centre half on that side Barry McGoldrick is still on the recovery trail from his cruciate injury suffered in the championship semi-final replay against Ballinascreen last September. Although he has made a tentative comeback as a substitute in their last two games it is very unlikely he will feature against Ballinderry. The Shamrocks are rightly favourites and on current form look to be well on course to retain their title.

The underdogs, Eoghan Rua are likely to put up a right good challenge to Ballinderry but the south Derry men are hugely experienced and might just have too much firepower to eventually see off the Coleraine men in the latter stages.

It’s a big weekend of senior championship second round games with a ‘winners’ side, the losers of these games will get a second chance. In the ‘losers’ side it is straight knock-out.

On the winners’ side of the second round the games are as follows:

Wednesday, August 13th in Owenbeg at 7.30pm: Lavey v Magherafelt;

Friday, August 15th in Owenbeg at 7.30pm: Glenullin v Loup

Sunday, August 17th in Owenbeg at 5.00pm: Dungiven v Slaughtneil and

Sunday August 17th in Owenbeg at 6.30pm: Ballinderry v Coleraine

On the losers side the second round games are as follows:

Saturday, August 16th in Foreglen at 7.00pm: Steelstown v Bellaghy

Saturday, August 16th in Glen at 5.00pm: Banagher v Ballinascreen

Saturday, August 16th in Lavey at 7.00pm: Kilrea v Newbridge and

Sunday, August 17th in Dungiven at 2.30pm: Foreglen v Swatragh

The Eoghan Rua Under 14 Ladies Football team have had mixed fortunes in their recent matches. Having won their League game against North Derry Rvals Craigbane at Pairc Eoghan Rua they have suffered defeats away to Claudy and Dungiven in their more recent outings. 

In a good run out at home to Craigbane, despite continued pressure on the visitors goal a point from an Eve Lundy free was all they could muster in the first ten minutes. Craigbane equalised but from then to the end the Eoghan Rua girls worked hard to keep ahead and when Brona McGonagle forced the ball to the net followed by a Naoise Kennedy point the home side were looking comfortable at half time, leading 1-2 to -0-1. 

Naoise Kennedy and Olivia Mullan opened the second half with a brace of points before Sorcha Duggan effectively killed the contest off with a well taken goal. Ellen Ferris completed the scoring with a sweetly struck shot to the net to leave the Eoghan Rua girls winning on a final scoreline of Eoghan Rua 3-4 Craigbane 0-1. 

Whatever little Charlie Walls had to do in goal she coped well and indeed when moved to the forward line in the second half posed a threat when the ball was moved up to her.

Molly McKenna, Aimee Tweed and Anna Lagan dealt with anything Craigbane had to offer, while the half back line of Cara McLaughlin, Ellen Ferris and Brooke Walls kept the Craigbane half forwards in check. With Naoise Kennedy and Eve Lundy operating well at midfield this gave the attack the platform to keep the scoreboard ticking over. 

In the half forwards Olivia Mullan covered a lot of ground and with Gabby Boorman and India Cameron on the wings  Craigbane got nothing easy.

The full forward line were the first line of defence when the ball wasn’t in Eoghan Rua possession. Tenacious tackling brought just rewards as Sorcha Duggan and Brona McGonagle both registered on the scoreboard and hard work by Kate Hanway also helped keep the pressure on the Craigbane defence. 

Second half subs Erin Ferguson, Aine Devine, Aoife Lafferty and Kerry Mulholland were introduced and the transition was seamless as all played their part in a good win for the Under 14 girls.