A disastrous five minute spell at the start of the second half when they conceded 1-2 proved to be very costly for Eoghan Rua as they eventually lost 1-6 to 0-6 to Ballinderry in this Derry SFC second round tie at wet and windy Owenbeg on Sunday evening.
The low scoring was as much to do with the appalling conditions as the ultra-defensive styles adopted by both teams in this dour struggle.
The reigning champions led by a single point, 0-3 to 0-2, at the break. Eoghan Rua would have been content enough with this scoreline at the break as they had the strong wind in their favour for the second half.
However just two minutes into the second half they conceded the only goal of the game, Ciaran Lagan’s attempted clearance from the edge of his own ‘square’ was blocked by Dermot McGuckin, the ball flying into the roof of the net.
A minute later Enda Muldoon swung over a majestic point from the left side to put five between the teams. It got worse for Eoghan Rua a couple of minutes later when centre back Sean Leo McGoldrick was sent off on a black card.
Although substitute Barry McGoldrick did well in only his second game back following his long injury lay-off Eoghan Rua missed Sean Leo’s penetrating runs from deep. Ballinderry then added another point, now 1-5 to 0-2 ahead, as they threatened to pull away from Eoghan Rua.
However over the next 25 minutes the Coleraine men battled their way back into contention and actually outscored the county champions 0-4 to 0-1 leaving them just three short of pulling off a shock win.
Despite playing against the strong downfield wind Eoghan Rua opened the better taking a two point lead by the 4th minute, Gavan McWilliams from a free and Liam McGoldrick with a well struck ‘45’ the scorers.
It took Ballindery all of ten minutes to open their account after a series of missed opportunities, they left a couple of shots into goalkeeper Ryan McGeough’s safe hands while also shooting four wides in the opening quarter.
Conleith Gilligan pointed from a free in the 10th minute before James Conway’s run and finish levelled matters 18 minutes in. Ballinderry’s wastefulness continued as their constant pressure in a ten minute spell yielded just one more point from Conor Nevin in the 27th minute.
During that lean spell the Shamrocks shot six wides while Ryan McGeough made a fine close range save in the 25th minute.
Balinderry went in just one point ahead, 0-3 to 0-2, at the break despite dominating for long periods of the first half.
The opening five minutes of the second half contained virtually all of the game-changers as Ballinderry grabbed that all important goal and edged six point clear.
Then came Sean Leo McGoldrick’s black card which robbed the Coleraine men of one of their ‘go to’ player in defence.
Ballinderry also showed all their craft and experience of championship football as they never allowed Eoghan Rua to build from defence.
Time and time again they committed fouls in the Eoghan Rua half which stopped the Coleraine men getting any real momentum.
Still Eoghan Rua battled back and scored four points in a row between the 37th and 48th minutes to leave just two between the sides at 1-5 to 0-6. All bar one, from Conor Carey, of those points came from frees, from Conor Carey.
Colm McGoldrick landed two of the frees while Gavan McWilliams added the other. During that period when Eoghan Rua were just three adrift a cynical foul on Ciaran McGoldrick who was through on goal seen Ryan Scott black carded for a diving hand trip on the Eoghan Rua player.
Five minutes from the end Raymond Wilkinson pointed to put three between the sides and despite having a couple of attacks Eoghan Rua never really threatened to get the goal that would have sent the game into extra time.
Coleraine’s Richard Carey was red carded in the closing minutes as a frustrated Eoghan Rua team seen a glorious chance of upsetting the odds against an out of sorts Ballinderry team pass them by.
Ballinderry now go straight through to the quarter-finals while Eoghan Rua have a second chance as they enter the play-offs for a last eight berth, the draws for which will be made on Thursday evening.
Eoghan Rua: Ryan McGeough; Sean McWilliams, Ciaran Mullan, Mark McTaggart; Ciaran Lenehan, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Ciaran Lagan; Niall Holly, Liam McGoldrick; Hugh Casey, Colm McGoldrick, Gavan McWilliams; Richard Carey, Ciaran McGoldrick, Conor Carey.
Substitutes used: Barry McGoldrick for Sean Leo Mcoldrick (black card 35), Stephen Coyles for C Carey (58)
Scorers: Colm McGoldrick ( 0-3frees), Gavan Mcwilliams (0-2 frees), Conor Carey (0-1).
Quarter flourish earns Eoghan Rua camogs victory
A final quarter scoring surge in which Eoghan Rua outscored Swatragh 1-9 to 0-2 seen them earn a 3-11 to 0-10 win in this first round Derry senior camogie championship tie at Glenullin last week.
The sides were level three times in a low scoring first half.
A Grace McMullan goal in the first minute had the current Derry and Ulster senior champions ahead but Swatragh scored the next three points to level matters by the 5th minute, all three scores from Maread McNicholl, two frees. McNicholl than had Swatragh ahead with a well struck ‘45’ by the end of the first quarter.
The sides were level again when Swatragh goalkeeper Niamh McQuillan brilliantly tipped over a rasping shot from Grainne McGoldrick in the 17th minute. Swatragh were back in front with a well taken Noeleen McKenna point going into the last ten minutes of the half. Swatragh had goalkeeper McQuillan to thank for a fine save which was blocked out for a ‘45’ which Grainne McGoldrick sent wide.
A Grace McMullan point levelled matters for the third time before both sides wasted chances to take the lead going into the second half. As they had in the first half Eoghan Rua opened the scoring with a goal this time Grace McMullan the provider for Grainne McGoldrick to blast to the net.
Swatragh responded well to that early setback and stormed back with three unanswered points to level matters yet again, Noeleen McKenna (2) and Maeve Quinn the scorers. In that third quarter Eoghan Rua missed several good chances and with Swatragh going so well the holders grip on their title seemed to be slipping.
A Grace McMullan point had Coleraine ahead but in the 49th minute the same player rocked Swatragh with a close range goal that just slipped over the line.
That score seemed to knock the stuffing out of Swatragh and although they did et a couple of points back Eoghan Rua closed out the game with five Grainne McGoldrick points in a row to ease to a comfortable ten point win at the finish.
Eoghan Rua scorers: Grainne McGoldrick (1-7, 0-3 frees), Grace McMullan (2-2), Megan Kerr (0-1), Rosanna McAleese (0-1).
Under 14’s fall to
The Eoghan Rua Under-14 girls fell to a disappointing narrow one point defeat in the Under 14 B Championship at the hands of South Derry team Glen in a game played in wet and windy conditions at Maghera last Sunday.
Playing against the breeze in the first half the Eoghan Rua girls held the Glen girls to a 4-2 to 2-3 half time advantage and when turning to play with the elements in the second half things were looking good for the Eoghan Rua girls.
However the old adage that the wind never wins a game came home to roost. After the Coleraine girls added 1-6 to a 0-1 reply to lead 3-9 to 4-3 things were looking good. Glen kept plugging away though and a late goal and point saw the home side win by a point on a scoreline of Glen 5-4, Eoghan Rua 3-9.
The Eoghan Rua girls go on to play Craigbane now in the Shield competition, due for decision next Sunday with the winners to meet Ballerin in the Shield final.
For the Eoghan Rua team the more senior girls in the starting fifteen all played well – Aimee Tweed commanding in defence while Eve Lundy, Olivia Mullan and Naoise Kennedy kept going in the middle of the park.
In the forward line Sorcha Duggan kept posing the questions of the Glen defence, especially in the first half when her speed and athleticism helped keep the pressure off the defence and create the opportunities for scores.
Hard luck to the girls – always difficult to accept a one point defeat but hopefully can bounce back next week against Craigbane in the shield semi final.
Team: Erin Ferguson, Anna Lagan, Aimee Tweed, Charlie Walls, Brooke Walls, Eve Lundy (1-1), Cara McLaughlin, Olivia Mullan (1-5), Naoise Kennedy (0-2), Lucy O’Kane, Sorcha Duggan (1-1), India Cameron, Kate Hanway, Molly McKenna, Aoife Lafferty, Hannah Mullan, Ciarrai Mulholland, Aine Devine, Grainne Purcell, Kara Kealey, Molly O’Hara.