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HURLING | The Story of Eoghan Ruadh’s Feile Success

Tuesday 30.06.2015
Team Talk Mag
Club


 

A couple of weeks ago Dungannon Eoghan Ruadh lifted the Division Two Feile na nGael title following a very impressive series of displays. Included in this piece is the story of one of the most exciting and fulfilling weekends of hurling this club has ever experienced.
Eoghan Ruadh 5-5 v Mount Leinster Rangers (Carlow) 1-4

 

Tyrone champions Eoghan Ruadh faced a tough start in their opening game of Feile coming up against a strong Mount Leinster Rangers team. This team plies its trade in the Kilkenny Leagues. The Leinster outfit started off brightly and led 1-2pts to 1pt after 7minutes. Their tall, physically imposing full-forward was causing serious damage to the Eoghan Ruadh defence but it was scores the Dungannon lads needed and they managed to add another point before half time to leave the score at the break 1-3 to 2pts for the Carlow lads.

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Once the second half got underway Eoghan Ruadh started to dust off the cobwebs and began to express themselves with 3 goals in quick succession from Cain Ferguson (2) and Cormac Hughes to put the Dungannon team in front. Mount Leinster Rangers still looked dangerous though but Eoghan Ruadh full back Brian Rush was now winning his battle with the Carlow full forward. Eoghan Ruadh kept the pressure on with Rory Weir and Conn Fearon turning defence into attack enabling Matthew McCann and Fionn Devlin to supply the full-forward with quality ball. Ferguson hit another 2 goals while Cormac Hughes and Sean Paul McKernan knocked over a couple of nice points to lead Eoaghan Ruadh to victory.

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Eoghan Ruadh 3-6 v Keady (Derry) 0-4

 

In their second fixture Eoghan Ruadh faced fellow Ulster side Keady knowing that a win in this game would guarantee progression to the Cup 1/4 finals. The Tyrone side made a strong start and inside ten minutes Cain Ferguson had bagged himself 3-4.  Eoghan Ruadh totally dominant and were able to relax. Cathaoir Molloy, Niall Daly, Fiachra O’Faoilan were introduced to the attack, and with Gareth Hughes, Sean Doran, Kevin Canavan & Donal Sheerin keeping the Keady attack at bay the Ogra Ruadh went in at half time comfortable leaders.

In the Second half, Philip Kevin, Dualtach McKee, Connor MacGinty & Eoghain Molloy threw off the shackles to play some superb hurling. Liam McLoughlin, Fionn Devlin and Cormac Hughes tagged on points to see the Dungannon side over the line with lots to spare.

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Eoghan Ruadh 1-5 v Silvermines (Tipperary) 0-2

 

After an hour and half delay, due to no referee landing, the third game in the section eventually started in front of a huge and expectant crowd. Both teams put on quite a show producing a highly entertaining game.

Eoghan Ruadh began brightly with Devlin and Hughes getting two quick points each. The Tipperary lads settled to the task hitting two fine points to leave the game in the balance. An under pressure Dungannon side worked to keep their opponents at bay.  Captain Fergal Donaghy was outstanding at full-back continuously repelling the Silvermines attacks. Dungannon’s half back line of Michael Little, Conall Devlin & Rory Weir in the second half hurled like demons repelling attack after attack. One such turnover led to a great goal from Ferguson after he had been sent through by a fine direct ball from Matthew McCann. The Dungannon midfield pair of Sean Paul McKernan and Brian Rush worked hard to curb the influence of the Silvermines midfield and set up wave after wave of attack leading to two more points from Ferguson and a well deserved six point victory. This win was the perfect shot in the arm for the team as they pprepared for their quarter final against Trim of Meath.

 

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All-Ireland Feile na nGael 1/4 Final

 

Eoghan Ruadh 3-6 v Trim (Meath) 1-3

 

Next up for the Dungannon lads was a really tough game against Meath side Trim.

The Leinster lads were quick out of the blocks and began brightly taking an early lead. Things were looking slightly edgy for Eoghan Ruadh before Cain Ferguson took the game by the scruff of the neck hitting three nearly identical points from the left wing. The third one was arguably the point of the tournament when he collected, turned three men, and drove the ball over his opposite shoulder from 40 yards out on the sideline. Ferguson continued to dominate the game and added 2 goals and a point before half time.

In the second half with Brian Rush, Connall Molloy, Gareth Hughes, Ryan McCrory and Sean Doran keeping the Trim attack at bay, up stepped Michael Little to play a delightful ball into Liam McLoughlin in corner forward. Liam turned his man and played a defence splitting ball across the goals to the inrushing Cormac Hughes to drive it to the net! A fine sequence of passes, lovely finish and a real team goal. Hughes added another point before young Ferguson rounded off the scoring with another goal and 2 points to seal victory taking his personal tally for the game to 2-5 from play.

 

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All-Ireland Feile na nGael Semi Final
Eoghan Ruadh 1-8 v Clonlara (Clare) 0-4

 

Clonlara County Clare stood between Eoghan Ruadh and a place in the final. They had senior stars John Conlon, Colm Galvin, Domhnall O’Donavan, Darach Horan, Nicky & Cathal ‘Tots’ O’Connell with them and would be formidable opposition.

The Tyrone lads  lost the toss and played against a strong breeze in the first half. However they started off brightly and opened an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead through points from Cain Ferguson and Cormac Hughes. The midfield duo of Sean Paul and Fergal Donaghy were having to work exceptionally hard to deal with the elements and the quality of the opposition but their industrious play ensured that the Banner outfit struggled for scores in the opening half. Indeed as fatigue set in the Clare side managed to tag on two points leaving it all square at half time.

Half time Score: Eoghan Ruadh 0-3 v Clonlara (Clare) 0-3

 

In the second half again the Ogra Ruadh started like a steam train with Ferguson getting the game’s only goal after great work by Eoghain Molloy & Darragh Hamill. The moment of the game came from Liam McLoughlin when he won a ball in the half forward line and ran the whole way to the corner and bent it straight over the bar, literately from the corner flag, score of the game by a mile.

After such an inspirational score it was battle stations once again as Eoghan Ruadh’s midfield dominated in particular Sean Paul McKernan who put in a Man of the Match performance. Unfortunately for Sean Paul he became involved in a bit of an incident as tempers frayed and was given his marching orders with seconds to go. His leadership throughout the tournament had paved the way for Eoghan Ruadh to get through to the All-Ireland Final.

 

All-Ireland Feile na nGael Division 2 Final Eoghan Ruadh v Ballinascreen.

 

What a spectacle! Both clubs had wanted to be in Division One and the fact that both made the final proved they were well worth the claim. Dungannon won the toss and decided to play against a strong breeze in the first half, and instead of battling the storm, the Tyrone outfit took the game to Ballinascreen. In the opening seven minutes they went 1-1 to no score up through a goal and point from Cain Ferguson. Full Back Brian Rush was a rock in defence as he stemmed the Ballinascreen tide for much of the first half. However tiredness began to set in and as the half went on ‘Screen began to get on top. The Derry side managed to get a goal and 5 points to go in half time 1-5 to 1-2 up.

 

Eoghan Ruadh took stock at the break and knew they were well capable of closing the gap. They got the perfect start when captain Fergal Donaghy won the throw in and passed to the on running Ferguson who finished high to the net! That start was just what the Eoghan Ruadh lads needed and they never looked back.

 

Changes were made and Liam McLoughlin slipped back into the half back line. Along with his team mate Rory Weir they cleared anything that came their way. Connall Devlin put in a Man of the Match performance from centre back and with Michael Little and Donaghy mopping up ball around the middle this give Eoghan Ruadh the platform for Ferguson to hit another goal and point to drive the Ogra Ruadh onto victory. Once again Cain Ferguson finished as top scorer with a very impressive 3-4. Interestingly Cain scored 14-18 throughout the tournament and is still U14 next year, a prodigious talent!

 

The final whistle blew, leading to jubilant scenes from the massive travelling Eoghan Ruadh support. The crowd moved to the main presentation stand to witness Fergal Donaghy being presented with the Canon Fogarty Division 2 All-Ireland Feile na nGael trophy from GAA president Aogan O’ Fearghail.

 

Final Score

Eoghan Ruadh 3-4 v Ballinascreen (Derry) 1-5

 

Eoghan Ruadh U14 Squad

  1. Conall Molloy 2. Conn Fearon 3. Brian Rush 4. Connor MacGinty 5. Michael Little 6. Connall Devlin 7. Rory Weir 8. Sean Paul McKernan 9. Fergal Donaghy 10. Philip Kevin 11. Fionn Devlin 12. Matthew McCann 13. Cormac Hughes 14. Cain Ferguson 15. Liam McLoughlin 16. James Fearon 17. Cathaoir Molloy 18. Gareth Hughes 19. Darragh Hamill  20. Ryan McCrory 21. Kevin Canavan 22. Eoghain Molloy 23. Sean Doran 24. Fiachra O’Faolian 25. Niall Daly 26. Donal Sheerin 27. Dualtach McKee
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