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2010 County Intermediate Football QuarterFinal

posted 7 Jan 2011, 14:20 by Unknown user

Ballinahinch exit despite gutsy effort

Ballinahinch 1-06
Ballyporeen 0-15

County Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final

Photographs by Andy Jay in Dundrum

Smarting from their defeat in the South Final, Ballyporeen got back on the winning trail when they had an unimpressive six point win over the North champions Ballinahinch at Dundrum. The winners entered this match without arguably their best player Darragh Lyons, however, despite this setback they gave a very low-key performance and will need to improve considerably when their Semi Final game comes around. For long periods they had to give second best to Ballinahinch but one would have to say they were more adept at taking their scores and credit here goes to their Inter County player Conor Sweeney who was the best player on view.

For Ballinahinch, they defended very well but once they got the ball inside the forty five-metre line they were lacking in ideas. Despite having plenty of chances they were unable to avail of them. They lined out with All Ireland Senior Hurling hero Shane McGrath at midfield and he contributed 1-4 from placed balls.

Weather conditions were very bad and the game started in a downpour but luckily it did not persist. Ballyporeen were quickly into their stride. Sean Sweeney got possession after two minutes, a goal looked to be on the cards but he shot over the bar. 
Ballinahinch went on to enjoy a good spell but had nothing to show for it.

After ten minutes they had a great chance of a goal when Brendan Ryan got possession at an acute angle only for his shot to go across the goal and the chance was lost. Ballyporeen were the more economical with their chances. Conor Sweeney put Eoin Kearney through for a point. Shane Molan, coming up from defence, did likewise and Conor Sweeney, from a free, put them four points clear after seventeen minutes.   

Two minutes later Ballinahinch had their opening score when Shane McGrath pointed a free. Again Ballyporeen hit back with a point from Larry Brophy but this was cancelled out with a Shane McGrath pointed free. M.J. Meaney, who was performing well, was 
rewarded with a point and Conor Sweeney went on to shoot a classy point and after twenty-four minutes his side led by 0-7 to 0-2.

The only goal of the game arrived one minute later. Sloppy defence by Ballyporeen resulted in one of their players touching the ball on the ground and Ballinahinch were awarded a penalty. Shane McGrath showed that he was equally adept with the big ball when he drove a piledriver to the corner of the net. 

Just on the break Sean Sweeney put Dave Hyland through for another Ballyporeen point. At half time Ballyporeen led by 0-8 to 1-2 and indeed they could have been in arrears had the losers attack been more effective.

When proceedings resumed Dave Hyland increased Ballyporeen’s lead but this was cancelled out by a Shane McGrath point from a free. The Ballyporeen’s ploy of getting the ball to Conor Sweeney was now reaping the benefits and he had a further point.

The Ballinahinch attack up to this had not yet scored from play. This was rectified in the 42nd minute when John Foley gave possession to Paidi Berkery and he sent over the bar. A further point by M.J. Meaney left his side leading by 0-11 to 1-4 at the three quarter stage. Ballinahinch continued to create chances and their only reply was a pointed free by Mark Kelly.

Despite holding a narrow lead throughout this half Ballyporeen never looked in danger of defeat. Conor Sweeney pointed and added another from a free. After this Ballinahinch were reduced in numbers when their full forward Donnacha McGrath was sent off.

Two minutes later Conor Sweeney was again on the mark. With three minutes left on the clock M.J. Meaney had his side’s last score while Shane McGrath finished the scoring with a point from a free.

Best for Ballyporeen were Paul Hyland, John O’Callaghan, Eoin Kearney, Dave Hyland, Conor Sweeney and M J Meaney. Michael Clifford, Marcus Ryan, Shane McGrath and Paidi Berkery served their side best.

  Shane McGrath of Ballinahinch, tackles Conor Sweeny of Ballyporeen during the County Intermediate Football Championship Quarter Final.
  Allan Kelly of Ballinahinch and Ballyporeen's captain, Eoin Kearney jostle for possession during Saturday's quarter final played in Dundrum.