All hands to the pump in Ballyshannon as players of Aodh Ruadh and Buncrana contest a loose ball in the Donegal SHC. Photo Thomas Gallagher
Aodh Ruadh’s return to senior hurling championship was not a happy one as they succumbed to a much stronger Buncrana side on a chilly May evening in Pairc Aoidh Ruaidh.
Aodh Ruadh 0-9
The Inishowen team made light of the long journey and took command from the start against the Ballyshannon team. Buncrana welcomed back county player Jack O’Loughlin, who was a commanding figure throughout.
Equally impressive was Oisin Grant who hit two early goals for Buncrana to give them the perfect platform that they never lost. Aodh Ruadh replied through some well taken frees from Aaron Cullen and Brendan Drummond, while Ryan Ayres and Kyle McNulty shone in patches.
Buncrana had a superb start with Grant causing real panic in an inexperienced Aodh Ruadjh defence. The right-half forward had notched two goals - both well finished by the 5th minute with Cullen replying with two pointed frees for Aodh Ruadh.
It got even better for Buncrana when big full forward Paul Tourish found the net after a clever pass from Grant.
Buncrana were on top in all departments, winning the puck outs and the individual jousts and were well worth their half-time lead of 3-4 to 0-5 with young Kyle McNulty hitting a fine effort from the side-line.
The visitors had the benefit of the slight slope in the second half and grabbed their fourth goal in the 40th minute when former county man Dylan Duffy’s shot deceived Ballyshannon keeper Ciaran Daly.
The game was well over by this stage with O’Loughlin, Caolan O’Neill and youngster Fiachra Gill on target for the visitors. Brendan Drummond tried hard to rally Aodh Ruadh and he was well supported by Ayres and Keenaghan, but Buncrana cruised to the easiest of victories.
Aodh Ruadh: Ciaran Daly; Adam Rami, Conor Kennedy, Peter Horan; Patrick Cassidy, Caolan Drummond, Kyle McNulty (0-1), Ryan Ayres (0-1), Brendan Gillespie (0-1); Dan Downey, Martin Larkin, Rory Cullen; Aaron Cullen (0-6f), Michael Reddin, Ryan Keenaghan. Subs; Adam Clarke for Conor Kennedy (43), Daithi Breen for Dan Downey (53), Jason Patterson for Martin Larkin (56), Dan Downey for Adam Rami (59)
Buncrana: Tom Clare (Jnr); Gary McLaughlin, James Doherty, Luke McClafferty; Peter Grant (0-1), Caolan O’Neill (0-2, 2f), Aedan Stokes; Darren Doherty (Roe) (0-1); Jack O’Loughlin (0-3, 1f); Oisin Grant (2-2), Dylan Duffy (1-1), David Carey; Conor Grant, Paul Tourish (1-0), Fiachra Gill (0-3). Subs; Martin Óg Shiels for Paul Tourish (20).
Referee: James Callaghan (Setanta)
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.