Goals win games. That well worn cliché rang true once again last Saturday afternoon when Eoghan Rua’s senior hurlers hit five to help them to a 5-7 to 1-9 win over Aodh Ruadh, Ballyshannon in the Tain Ulster league Division 5B.
A hat-trick of first half goals from bustling full forward Colm McGoldrick helped Eoghan Rua to a 3-2 to 0-5 interval lead. Three minutes into the second half Ruari Leonard hit the home side’s fourth goal for a commanding nine point lead, 4-2 to 0-5, and it seemed it was going to be a bit of a rout. However the Donegal men kept battling and when Aidan Begley goled just after the mid-point of the half there was only six points between the sides, 4-5 to 1-8 the score. The sides then exchanged points but a Conor Carey goal eased Eoghan Rua clear with Ruari Mooney completing the scoring with a fine point for a 5-7 to 1-9 victory.
After the sides had exchanged wides Colm McGoldrick got on to the end of a long high ball in from Ruari Leonard to flick to the net. Further wides followed before Anton Rafferty increased the home sides lead with a point from a free. It was fully 14 minutes into the game before Aodh Ruadh got their first score, Ciaran Kilgannon scoring. Just a minute after that score the home side found the net for a second time. Colm McGoldrick did well to gather Anton Rafferty’s long cross-field pass and after holding off a couple of tackles the full forward blasted low to the corner. Aodh Ruadh then came back with a couple of points before McGoldrick was on target again, this time pointing a free. There was a flurry of scores in the last five minutes of the half as the Donegal men hit a couple of points but these were negated as Conor Carey and Liam Frizelle combined to set Colm McGoldrick up for his third goal leaving Eoghan Rua ahead by six, 3-2 to 0-5 at the break.
The home side had a very strong start to the second half as they outscored Aodh Ruadh 1-3 to 0-1 in the opening ten minutes. Just three minutes in Ruari Leonard was quickest to react as he pulled on a breaking ball to hit a ground shot to the net while Colm McGoldrick added all three points, two from frees, meanwhile Aodh Ruadh’s reply came from a Paul Sheridan free. The Donegal men then had their best spell of the game as they tacked on a goal and three points without reply to leave five points between the sides with five minutes on the clock. Hard working full forward Christopher Kilgannon started the run with a point while midfielder Paul Sheridan added two more from frees.
When full back Aidan Begley charged forward to hit a ground shot to the Eoghan Rua net a big comeback seemed to be on the cards. However central defenders Ciaran Lagan and Anton Rafferty settled their side with a couple of timely interventions while Brian Frizelle and Michael Kelly also cleared their lines effectively in the closing minutes. Any jangling nerves were settled when Eoin Carey did well to chase down a lost cause near the end line before crossing for his brother Conor to sweep to the net. Ruari Mooney’s added time point completed the scoring for a fine home win for Eoghan Rua.
Eoghan Rua team: Ciaran McGoldrick; Sean Frizelle, Kieran Lagan, Conor Carey; Brian Frizelle, Anton Rafferty, Liam Frizelle; Ruari Leonard, Liam McGoldrick; Ciaran Lagan, Michael Kelly, Ruari Mooney; Spiros Christopopulous, Colm McGoldrick, Eoin Carey.
Subs used: Declan Shiels for L McGoldrick (ht), L McGoldrick for S Christopopulous.
Eoghan Rua scorers: Colm McGoldrick (3-3), Ruari Leonard (1-0), Conor Carey (1-0).
Kevin McDermott;Peter Horan, Aidan Begley, Thomas Gallagher; Cian Dolan, Ryan O’Brien, Thomas Anderson; Paul Sheridan, Ciaran Kilgannon; Rory Cullen, Gary Loughlin, Johnny Dolan; Ciaran Breslin, Christopher Kilgannon; Michael Bowring.
Aodh Ruadh scorers: Aidan Begley (1-0), Paul Sheridan (0-4 frees), Christopher Kilgannon (0-3), Gary Loughlin (0-1), Ciaran Kilgannon (0-1).