GAA: First league win for Eoghan Rua girls

EOGHAN Rua’s Ladies footballers recorded their first win in the Foyleside Under 14 league last Wednesday evening when they beat Ballinderry at home in a game played in continual rain and difficult underfoot conditions.

The Coleraine side came under pressure at the start of the game, as Ballinderry started well and scored the first two points of the match. Slowly though the home side s started to force themselves into the game and great pressure and dispossessing of the Ballinderry players from Anna Frizelle and Niamh Boorman helped settle their team mates. Anna Morrison and Shauna Doherty began to provide the outlet for the defence and Shannon Neill, Naoise Kennedy and Aoife Bradley started to find their players with some good spells of interplay out of defence.

It came as a bit of a surprise then when Anna Morrison was yellow carded and sin binned for ten minutes for a seemingly innocuous challenge as she was trying to break free from a tackle. This seemed to spur on the Ballinderry girls who scored a goal with an effort that gave goalkeeper Grace Taylor no chance. Aoife Boorman and Brenda Grant began to nullify the threat of Emma Jo O’Neill and Shauna McCusker around the midfield area and when they got the ball forward, the Eoghan Rua girls looked threatening. A free won by Brenda Grant and taken directly to Shauna Doherty ended with her hitting the ball wide. A goalmouth scramble ensued after some good link play from Sarah Moore, Leah Dollard and Niamh Morrison, and the scramble was ended with Shauna Doherty striking the ball to the net. Another Shauna Doherty point reduced the gap to one. Ballinderry then reasserted themselves and went back on the front foot to score two points to open the gap to three points again. A great stop and goal-line clearance from Grace Taylor helped keep the home team in the game during this stage.

There was some great wing play from Anna Morrison, who was back on, and Eve Lundy which led to another goalmouth incident – this time finished with a great strike to the net by Eve Lundy to bring the teams level. Shauna Doherty landed the final score of the first half to send the home side in at half time leading 2-2, Ballinderry 1-4.

In the second half Eoghan Rua carried on from where they had left off in the first half challenging for every ball and for probably the first time began playing with a level of confidence that was great to see. The first score of the second half arrived as Aoife Boorman won a ball at midfield and linked with Anna Morrison, Sarah Moore and Shauna Doherty culminating with the latter striking to the net to open a four point gap.

In a move soon after Shauna Doherty was brought down for a penalty after being played in by Sarah Moore and Leah Dollard, Doherty got up to strike the resulting penalty high to the net, giving the Ballinderry goalkeeper no chance. The match was beginning to develop into one way traffic now and after some great tackling by Niamh Morrison and Aoife Bradley led to a free for over carrying, a replica of the free kick move from the first half from Brenda Grant to Shauna Doherty resulted in a sweetly struck point to leave the home side ahead 4-3 to 1-4. When the ball did get up to threaten the Eoghan Rua goals great covering and defensive work by Anna Frizelle, Naoise Kennedy and Shannon Neill ensured no way through. The half backs of Niamh Boorman and Aoife Bradley were providing the outlet for the clearances. Ballinderry did score a further two points but the route to goal was continually blocked as the defence tackled for every ball. Eoghan Rua finished the game with a couple of goal chances but after Leah Dollard set up Sarah Moore for a chance on goal she was thwarted by a goal line clearance. Further attempts for points by Shauna Doherty and Brenda Grant were also off target. The scoring was completed with a long range effort from Aoife Bradley that dipped under the bar to nestle in the net and leave the final scoreline Eoghan Rua 5-3, Ballinderry 1-6.

Eoghan Rua team and scorers: Grace Taylor, Shannon Neill, Anna Frizelle, Naoise Kennedy, Niamh Boorman, Brenda Grant, Aoife Bradley (1-0), Aoife Boorman, Anna Morrison, Shauna Doherty (3-3), Niamh Morrison, Sarah Moore, Leah Dollard, Eve Lundy (1-0).

Under-12 girls in football blitz

UNDER-12 girls footballers from Eoghan Rua took part in an inter-club blitz last Saturday morning in wet conditions in Glen. The Eoghan Rua side was grouped along with recognised Ladies football strongholds of Dungiven, Glen and Steelstown. Despite their inexperience they did extremely well and played in fixtures against the A teams from Dungiven and Glen. While Glen proved too strong in the first match the Coleraine outfit fared much better against Dungiven, competing well for the duration of the game. Indeed the move of the match saw some intricate passing as the Coleraine girls showed no little skill turning defence into attack leading to a great scoring chance. In the final match against Steelstown in a score for score game Eve Lundy and Naoise Kennedy kept the Coleraine girls in touch on the scoreboard. They were unfortunate not to win as the referee blew for full time just as Lucy Wells had dispossessed the full back and was on for a shot at goal. It wasn’t to be however and the match finished in a draw.

The Eoghan Rua panel all showed off the skills of the game that they are learning from coaches Marty McGonigle, Damien McLaughlin and Frances Lundy, and the girls all enjoyed their outing. They can look forward to the next blitz to be played over the summer.

Eoghan Rua: Annie Wells, Naoise Kennedy, Eve Lundy, Aine Devine, Bronagh McGonigle, Carmen Owens, Cara McLaughlin, Gabby Boorman, Lucy Wells, Aoife Lafferty, Erin Ferguson, Molly McKenna, Sarah McLaughlin.

Oaks cut down by Longford

DERRY crashed out of the All-Ireland series with a 0-17 to 2-8 defeat away to Longford in this first round qualifier.

A desperately disappointing season for the Oak Leaf county came to an almost inevitable conclusion with this loss in the midlands, a poor league campaign, first round Ulster championship defeat to Donegal and now out of the championship race at the first hurdle.

Derry team: Danny Devlin;Ryan Dillon, Chrissy McKaigue, Barry McGoldrick; Ryan Scott, Mark Craig, Sean Leo McGoldrick; Michael Friel, Patsy Bradley; Martin Donaghy, Mark Lynch, John McCamley; Eoin Bradley, Paddy Bradley, Emmett McGuckin.

Subs used: Conleth Gilligan for M Donaghy, Neil Forrester for E Bradley, Joe Diver for Patsy Bradley, Brian McCallion for E McGuckin

Derry scorers: Barry McGoldrick (2-0), Paddy Bradley (0-3, 0-1 free), John McCamley (0-2), Mark Lynch (0-1), Emmett McGuckin (0-1), Eoin Bradley (0-1).

Longford: D Sheridan; D Brady, B Gilleran, D Reilly; C P Smyth, M Quinn, S Mulligan; B McElvaney, J Keegan; F McGee, P Barden, N Mulligan; D McElligot, B Kavanagh, S McCormack.

Subs: D Barden for J Keegan, P McCormack for N Mulligan, F Foy for F McGee, P Gill f or D McElligot.

Longford scorers: David McCormack (0-11, 0-9 frees), C P Smyth (0-1), M Quinn (0-1), B McElvaney (0-1), B Kavanagh (0-1), P McCormack (0-1), F McGee (0-1).