This was a commendable victory for Aodh Ruadh with a skeleton squad of 16 players in Glenties. They led by 4 points at half-time but trailed by one with only 8 minutes remaining in the contest.
Scores by the powerful Jim McGuinness and Johnny McLoone had Aodh Ruadh on the backfoot early in the game. Then, however a piece of good fortune came the Ballyshannon club's way. A 35 metre free from the hands of Val Murray hopped all the way to the Glenties net squeezing through a ruck of players. Brian Roper, Shane Ward and Michael Ward all added points to this to leave the Ballyshannon boys looking good in the first half. Naomh Chonaill rallied as one would expect, wing forward Conal McKelvey in fine form shooting three points in all.
The home side began the second half in vastly superior form, Gildea hit two early scores to leave only a pair of points between the sides. Aodh Ruadh wing-backs, John Gillespie and Packie McGrath were performing solidly at this stage, Michael Gurn was also a pillar of industry at centrefield. Shane Ward was involved in much productive labour for Ballyshannon, Val Murray hit two frees to level the match with 6 minutes left. County man, Roper struck the winner from the right wing with 4 minutes left, a positive victory was secured for Aodh Ruadh. With a few weeks still to spare before championship, Eugene McHale, Maurice McLaughlin and Gary Walsh are sweating on the fitness of Barry and Stephen Ward as well as former Antrim county panelist, Anthony McGrath.
Aodh Ruadh team and scorers:
David Greene; Martin Gallagher, Eamon O'Donnell, Kerry Ryan; Packie McGrath, Damien Conlon, John Gillespie; Michael Gurn, John Muldoon; Shane Ward (0-1), Shane McShea, Brian Roper (0-3); Michael Ward (0-3), Val Murray (1-2) Garret Blake. Sub: Anthony Boyle