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North Intermediate Football Final

posted 7 Jan 2011, 14:14 by Unknown user

Ballinahinch win first Intermediate title     

Ballinahinch 1-08
Newport 1-05

in Borrisileigh, by Liam Hogan.

Ballinahinch came from behind to capture their first ever North Tipperary Intermediate football title following a three point win over neighbours, Newport last Thursday evening. 

Newport hit the front from the start when Conor O’Mahony blasted to the net having ran on to a high delivery from Vinnie Moloney. Ballinahinch responded but John Ryan’s shot on goal from ten metres was well saved by a despairing Mike Coffey. Play continued before Ballinahinch won a free in and Mark Kelly pointed.

Over the next ten minutes, Ballinahinch forced three 45s but each dropped short as Newport full back, Mike Coffey had the upper hand making sure his defence remained firm.

 Paul Ryan on the left wing set up a clever passing movement, linking up with Kieran Doheny before Conor O’Mahony was put through for a point. It was a let off for Ballinahinch but they managed to keep their focus and another attack yielded a Mark Kelly point from play followed by a Brendan Ryan score after 16 minutes.

Ballinahinch had to wait until the 26th minute before Shane McGrath levelled matters with a 30 metre free. Two minutes later, O’Mahony found space when blasting the ball over the bar leaving Newport 1-2 Ballinahinch 0-4 at the interval.

With the arrival of Darren Moore and Eoin Bonfield, Newport looked the more impressive side for much of the third quarter. The Ballinahinch backline deserve much credit and their hard work cut the scoring rate to a minimum resulting in just two Newport scores, the first from Kieran Doheny after just three minutes followed by a Conor O’Mahony pointed free on 38 minutes.

Two minutes later, Mark Kelly narrowed the gap for Ballinahinch following a thirteen metre free.

Ballinahinch soaked up more pressure and following a rare attack, Mark Kelly grabbed a vital thirteen metre free. It was much of the same over the next nine minutes until John Foley put Ballinahinch back in the frame following a very good point. In response, Ross McGrath helped Newport regain their two point advantage but that was as good as it got for the Mulcair men.

After regaining lost ground with eight minutes remaining, they won a thirteen metre free, close to the sidleline and suitable for a left footed kicker like Shane McGrath. McGrath’s effort for a point hit the upright. The ball came back into play and Donnacha McGrath pounced on the loose ball before squeezing low past the crowded goal from ten metres.

A Donnacha McGrath goal, eight minutes from time followed by a Mark Kelly free and Shane McGrath point gave Ballinahinch the win as the Saffron and Blue suddenly realised that the game was there for the taking after allowing Newport dominate the third quarter.

Ballinahinch now had a real pep in their step and four minutes from time, John Ryan won a free, twenty five metres out. Mark Kelly pointed. The Ballinahinch pressure continued and two minutes later, Shane McGrath raced in from the left wing and running parallel to the end line he fisted the ball over the bar to leave three points between the teams, a margin that was enough for victory.

For a period, Conor O’Mahony was Newport’s best forward. Both Ross McGrath and Kieran Doheny tried hard while the half backline of Sean O’Brien, Tom Moylan and Paul Ryan never gave up. Mike Coffey did well at full back and Bobby Carroll made two very good saves in goal. 

The winners have to thank the persistence of Shane McGrath and John Foley. Donnacha McGrath and eighteen year old John Ryan were always a threat near goal. Mark Kelly held his nerve on frees while the defence kept cool with Ger Grace, Alan Kelly and Paudie Berkery catching the eye while full back, Marcus Ryan played a captain’s part.

Man of the Match: Marcus Ryan.

Team: Michael Fitzgerald; Michael Lynch, Marcus Ryan, Michael Clifford; Ger Grace, Alan Kelly, Padraig Berkery; John Foley, Shane McGrath; Shane Healy, Donnacha McGrath, John Ryan; Mark Kelly, Stephen Ryan, Brendan Ryan. Subs: Tommy Kelly for S. Ryan, Liam Berkery for S. Healy.

Ballinahinch captain Marcus Ryan is presented with the Brian O’Reilly Cup by North Bórd Chairman, Michael Sheehy.