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Hurlers through to Derry final

After a shaky first half when they trailed Ballinascreen reserves 1-6 to 0-6 Eoghan Rua turned in a solid second thirty minutes to come through this Derry Junior hurling championship semi-final with a 3-14 to 1-11 victory.

They will now go on to meet Derry city side Na Magha in the final next Saturday afternoon.

Ballinascreen were on top for most of the first half as they opened up an early two point lead and maintained that to the 24th minute when they led 0-5 to 0-3. Then just a minute later Barry McGuigan’s long puck to the edge of the Eoghan Rua square was collected by Kevin Rogers who smashed to the Coleraine net.

That lead was extended to six before Eoghan Rua finished the half with three unanswered points from Colm McGoldrick (2) and a Ciaran Gaile free.

The south Derry side started the second half as they had the first twice pointing to hold on to their slender two point lead early in the second half.

However they were dealt a double blow within a couple of minutes. First Ciaran Gaile got on the end of a long puck in from Ruari Leonard to fire to the net putting Eoghan Rua in front for the first time, 2-6 to 1-8.

Then a minute later Ballinascreen had Diarmaid Brunton sent off following a second yellow card.

Points from Michael Kelly and a Sean Leo McGoldrick ‘65’ then extended Eoghan Rua’s lead but Ballinascree had not given up yet as with just over ten minutes left Tarlach Conway landed a fine point to cut the deficit to two.

A superb Michael Kelly point and another from Colm McGoldrick edged the home side four up but it was soon back to three when midfielder Conway was on target yet again.

The same pattern emerged again with two strikes for points for Eoghan Rua with one in return for Ballinascreen, 2-13 to 1-11 now the score.

Then with just two minutes left on the clock a scrambled goal, Colm McGoldrick kicking the sliothar over the line from close range, put enough distance between the sides for Eoghan Rua to see this one out. A last second Colm McGoldrick point gave Coleraine an eight point cushion but that margin did not reflect how difficult this win was for the home side.

Eoghan Rua camogs in

Ulster final

Eoghan Rua senior camogs face the daunting task of taking on the mighty Rossa club from Belfast in the ulster Camogie final this Sunday at Owenbeg.

The Antrim champions will be a formidable force for Eoghan Rua to reckon with. They beat Portglenone in the county final 4-11 to 4-5 to secure their 10th Antrim title.

Amazingly two of their top players full back Grainne Connolly and wing back Colleen Doherty have been part of all ten title winning Rossa sides, that’s some experience to be taking into an Ulster final.

This Rossa side certainly knows its way to getting crucial goals, four in the Antrim final from Eimear Byrne, Pauline Green (2), Natalie McGuinness testament to the challenge that awaits the Derry champs.

In Kerrie O’Neill Rossa have a top midfielder, a player who not only sets up many attacks but also does huge work getting back to cover across the half back line. She is very good in the air, demands the sliothar from her defenders to relieve pressure and set up attacks while she loves nothing better than carrying at pace into the heart of the oppositon defence.

The Antrim side will go in to the final as favourites but Eoghan Rua will not worry too much about that the underdogs tag has sat well with them before.

They also have their ‘go to’ players the McGoldrick sisters Grainne and Meabh, they have experience in the likes of Grace McMullan and Kelly Maybin while there is plenty of energy and drive from the young players such as Maria Mooney, Eilis McNamee, Megan Kerr and Clare Tracey.

Eoghan Rua won the Derry title beating the 2012 champions, Slaughtneil, 2-11 to 2-4 but its only in the last five minutes that a Katie Mullan goal ensured their win and passage to the Ulster final.

Meetings between these sides have been rare, mainly in the Ulster league with Rossa generally holding the upper hand as Eoghan Rua came up through the ranks. While Rossa will be favourites it will be close the team that makes most of their chances will prevail.

First silverware for young ladies footballers

The Eoghan Rua Ladies footballers claimed their first silverware with a comprehensive victory over South Derry rivals Lissan in the Under 16 shield final last Sunday afternoon.

Played in ideal conditions at Faughan Vale the Coleraine girls started brightly and after Niamh Morrison saw a great effort come back off the post Shauna Doherty swept the rebound over the bar. Shauna Doherty and Sarah Moore tagged on points before Niamh Morrison finished a move to the net.

It was all one way traffic as Aoife Boorman and Anna Morrison kept the Lissan midfield under pressure. Aoife Bradley and Francesca Watson were also in the thick of it and Brenda Grant was winning her duel with the Lissan playmaker Eimear Loane.

A two goal salvo from Shauna Doherty made things comfortable for the Coleraine girls and a further Sarah Moore point and four Shauna Doherty points to a single point reply saw the Coleraine girls take a commanding 4-8 to 0-1 half time lead.

In defence Cora Lagan and Anna Frizelle were dominating in the full back line, so much so that goalkeeper Darcey Kelly had little to do. Aoife Bradley and Shauna Doherty switched positions for a time which allowed Aoife Bradley to get forward too and some great inter play with Niamh Morrison led to chances being created, one of which resulted in a Sarah Moore point. Niamh Boorman was giving an assured display in the half back line and her tenacious tackling helped break up a number of Lissan attacks.

The second half started with a goal for Lissan. However the Coleraine girls replied with a point from Shauna Doherty, followed by an Olivia Mullan goal from close range.

A period of play ensued when Lissan held the Eoghan Rua girls in check but persistent probing from the Coleraine girls eventually saw Brenda Grant grab a goal with a shot that dipped under the bar.

From then on Shauna Doherty with three more points met with a pointed reply from Lissan before Anna Morrison completed the scoring for the Coleraine girls. Lissan finished with a point from play that saw the Coleraine girls victorious on a scoreline of 6-13 to 1-3.

Again in defence Naoise Kennedy as a replacement for Niamh Boorman showed well in the second half and with Darcey Kelly switching with Cora Lagan, Darcey showed her ability to play in a number of positions. Anna Frizelle got forward to support the midfield again and some great link play and off the ball running between Anna Frizelle and Shauna Doherty led to the Olivia Mullan goal.

Ellen Ferris showed well in the second half too and some great link play with Shauna Doherty helped create chances. Anna Morrison and Aoife Boorman got through a great amount of work as they time and again battled to win and keep possession.

In attack Francesca Watson gave probably her best display to date in an Eoghan Rua jersey and her constant tackling led to a series of turnovers for the Coleraine girls. The final whistle was met with great joy from the Coleraine girls as they secured their first ever Ladies football silverware. Team captain Brenda Grant accepted the trophy on behalf of the Eoghan Rua girls, and Shauna Doherty, with an excellent tally of 2-11 collected the player of the match award.

All in all this was a thoroughly satisfying end to a long season for the girls. The first silverware in Ladies Football has been achieved and the future looks good for this group of players. All of these girls are Under 16 next year too so the challenge will be to step up to try to go for the cup in 2014.

Team: Darcey Kelly, Aimee Tweed, Cora Lagan, Ellen Ferris, Anna Frizelle, Brenda Grant (1-0), Niamh Boorman, Anna Morrison (0-1), Aoife Boorman, Olivia Mullan (1-0), Shauna Doherty (2-11), Aoife Bradley, Francesca Watson, Sarah Moore (1-1) Niamh Morrison (1-0), Subs Alana Crowe, Sorcha Duggan, Naoise Kennedy.

Ballinderry through to Ulster quarters

Ballinderry made it through to the quarter-finals of the Ulster Senior Club Championship with a solid four point win, 0-14 to 0-10., over Tyrone champions Clonoe, at Celtic Park on Sunday.

The Derry champions began the game on fire going three points up after just six minutes with scores from Aaron Devlin, Ryan Bell and Darren Lawn.

Ballinderry were dominating proceedings with three unanswered points from brothers Collie & Aaron Devlin and a wonderfully struck effort from Daniel McKinless.

Just before the break a fine effort from Conleith Gilligan saw Ballinderry go in at half-time leading 0-8 to 0-4.

Clonoe threatened a comeback but in the rain Ryan Bell came alive scoring three times to leave the final score 0-14 to 0-10. They will now play Scotstown in the quarter-finals.