GAA: Four in a row

EOGHAN Rua chalked up their fourth league win in a row with a fine thirteen point victory at home, 2-12 to 0-5, over an injury hit Newbridge side last Sunday afternoon.

Once again the home side was slow out of the blocks and was just two points in front, 0-3 to 0-1, by the end of the first quarter.

Despite having wind advantage and the lion's share of possession Eoghan Rua failed to capitalize on their dominance in that period. They did up the ante from the 16th minute on when Barry McGoldrick goaled from a penalty, Colm McGoldrick hauled down, to lead 1-3 to 0-1.

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The second quarter saw the Coleraine side add a further three points to one in return from Newbridge to go in 1-6 to 0-2 ahead.

The sides exchanged points early in the second half but it was clear by that stage that Newbridge were really struggling to break down a dominant home defence, they had still to register a score from open play by that stage.

By the end of the third quarter Eoghan Rua were well in command nine points ahead and when Gregory Bradley palmed to an empty net in the 53rd minute to leave it 2-11 to 0-3 it really was all over as a contest. Such was the paucity of the Newbridge attack that it took all of 57 minutes before they registered their first score from open play, Danny Mulholland the scorer.

Newbridge did get the last score of the afternoon, Kevin Sweeney pointing a free, but the two league points had long been bagged by the Pairc Eoghain Rua men.

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Newbridge traveled to Pairc Eoghain Rua having lost their opening four league games and badly hit by injuries to key players to face a home side buoyed by a run of three wins in a row.

The opening quarter exchanges certainly did not reflect the form line of these two sides as Eoghan Rua struggled to turn possession into scores. The home side had shot three wides before opening their account in the 7th minute with a point from a free, Barry McGoldrick scoring.

Newbridge were level four minutes later when Tom Walls converted for a free kick. Eoghan Rua then took a two point lead by the end of the first quarter, Ciaran McGoldrick from play and Barry McGoldrick from a free, before they struck their first goal.

A quickly taken free by Ciaran McGoldrick found Colm McGoldrick in behind full back Brendan Donnelly, the Coleraine man was hauled down with Barry McGoldrick ramming the ball high to the Newbridge net. The south Derry men responded well to that setback as they had the next score, Tom Walls knocking over his second for a free.

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However Eoghan Rua began to get on top around the middle through Barry McGoldrick and Niall Holly and went on to dominate the rest of the half scoring three more points. Newbridge did have a couple of opportunities but solid defending from Ciaran Mullan, with a couple of timely interventions, and a good save from Ryan McGeough ensured the umpire's flags were not needed to herald a score as Eoghan Rua went in 1-6 to 0-2 ahead at the break.

Newbridge introduced the experienced Dermot Dougan at half-time but despite some brief forays he was well contained by a solid home defence. Ciaran McGoldrick extended the home side’s lead before Newbridge replied from a free nine minutes in through Kevin Sweeney. That was to be their only score for almost twenty minutes as the Coleraine side hit 1-5 in a period of virtually unrelenting attacks.

The McGoldrick brothers Barry and Colm chipped in two points each while Sean Leo swung over a spectacular effort four minutes form time. Ciaran Mullan burst forward from his full back berth to lay on the final pass to allow Gregory Bradley to palm to the net for Eoghan Rua’s second goal seven minutes from time.

Late points from Danny Mulholland, Newbridge’s first from play, and Kevin Sweeney proved much too little, too late for the depleted south Derry side.

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Eoghan Rua team: Ryan McGeough; Mark Mearns, Ciaran Mullan, Sean McWilliams; Ciaran Lenehan, Mark McTaggart, Anton Rafferty; Barry McGoldrick, Niall Holly; Paul Daly, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Leo Sweeney; Gregory Bradley, Colm McGoldrick, Ciaran McGoldrick.

Substitutes used: Hugh Casey for M McTaggart (6 mins), Conor Carey for L Sweeney (54 mins), Declan Lafferty for A Rafferty (56 mins), Liam Frizelle for G Bradley (58 mins), Ruari Leonard for Colm McGoldrick (59 mins).

Eoghan Rua scorers: Barry McGoldrick (1-6 1-0 pen, 0-5 frees), Gregory Bradley (1-0), Ciaran McGoldrick (0-2), Colm McGoldrick (0-2), Sean Leo McGoldrick (0-1), Ciaran McGoldrick (0-1)

Stalemates weekend in Division 1

It was a weekend of draws in Division 1 with the very rare event of three games ending all square.

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Table toppers Ballinderry still hold the number one position despite dropping a point to improving Loup, 2-12 each the final score, certainly a boost for the current county champions ahead of this weekends first round championship games.

Slaughtmanus also earned their first point of the season as they hit a stunning five goals in a high scoring thriller to draw with Kilrea 5-6 to 1-18. Kilrea alos suffered an injury blow to their county star James Kielt who must be doubtful for their championship game against Swatragh. Ballinascreen and Glenullin also shared the spoils, 1-10 to 0-13 the final score, as Eoin Bradley earned the Glen men a point with a stunning effort late on.

Lavey ended Dungiven’s winning start to the season with a 1-12 to 1-9 victory while Slaughtneil made it four wins from four outings with a fine 0-14 to 0-9 victory over Bellaghy. Banagher had a big win over Swatragh, 0-14 to 0-4 to earn their second win of the season while Glen took their first victory after three defeats and a draw beating Magherafelt 1-12 to 0-9.