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2010 North IHC Ballinahinch Vs Shannon Rovers

posted 7 Jan 2011, 14:05 by Unknown user

Goals prove to be the key for Rovers

Goals at either end of a well-contested game helped Shannon Rovers earn their second win in this year’s North Tipperary Intermediate hurling championship on Friday evening. The victory helped Rovers make it two wins out of four games, taking a step closer to the knockout stages, that’s if, they overcome Knockshe and Newport in their final games.

Rovers were the better all round side with George Hannigan and Alan Byrne forming a strong defensive spine in a hard working Rovers backline where Michael Hourigan, Pat O’Meara, Barry Cahalan and Michael Harding made life difficult for the Ballinahinch attack. In what was a busy weekend for Derek Horan, the Louth inter-county player kept a close eye on Tipp star, Shane McGrath while Cian McLoughney, Martin Burke, Philip Donnellan and Andrew Byrne went about their business with plenty confidence.

Ballinahinch will need to win the remainder of their games to have a chance of knockout action but based on their latest effort their attack will need to make more of their chances where Paudie Berkery looked the best bet for a score. Donnacha McGrath gave it everything while Shane McGrath troubled the Rovers defense with his many runs. Shane Healy had his moments until he was surprisingly taken off while John Foley, John Ryan at wing back plus fellow defenders Tomas Grace, Marcus Ryan and Brendan Healy kept the backline in tact.

Rovers made the best possible opening to the game when Padraic O’Meara pointed after 39 seconds followed by a powerful Ross Ryan goal forty seconds later before Padraig O’Meara made it 1-2 to nil on six minutes.

Ballinahinch responded with a Donnacha McGrath point followed by a second from Shane McGrath. Ballinahinch struck two further points from Donnacha McGrath (free) and Paudie Berkery to bring them back in touch.

However the next seven minutes saw both sides amass six wides before a second Donnacha McGrath free brought the sides level after 18 minutes.

Rovers regained the lead when goalkeeper, Jamie Burke converted two long range frees but Donnacha McGrath then narrowed the gap with a 65 metre free. Rovers saw further chances go astray and allowed Ballinahinch to level again when Shane McGrath put Sean Berkery through for a point before two injury time scores by Martin Burke and Padraig O’Meara helped put Rovers 1-6 to 0-7 clear at the break.

A Donnacha McGrath pointed free directly after the break helped reduce the margin to one but points by Martin Burke accompanied by two Padraig O’Meara frees gave Rovers a four point lead after 35 minutes. The lead was extended further through Alan Hannigan who had been reintroduced having been substituted in the first half. Donnacha McGrath (free) and Liam Berkery pointed to reduce the margin to three.

A converted 65 by Padraig O’Meara helped Rovers regain their four point lead but another Donnacha McGrath free gave the saffron and blue some encouragement. But eight minutes from time, a Ballinahinch attack was cut off when Derek Horan’s first time ground stroke turned defense into attack for Padraig O’Meara to score out on the wing.

Three minutes later a long range free from Jamie Burke landed in the Ballinahinch danger area for Philip Donnellan to turn the ball into the Ballinahinch net.

Ballinahinch managed to hit back with four unanswered points, two from Ger Griffen followed by two Donnacha McGrath 65’s before Ballinahinch received a set back as McGrath was sent off for a second yellow card offence. Sensing victory, Rovers forced a sixty-five. Padraig O’Meara’s effort dropped short but seconds later he intercepted a Ballinahinch clearance before scoring. Deep into added time Roy Darcy put Andrew Byrne through for another score before Byrne was then fouled, close in and O’Meara converted.

Play continued into the third minute of added time when Rovers wing back, Michael Harding was dismissed for a second cautionable offence. At that stage, Rovers had done enough to win.