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North Junior 'C' Hurling Championship Final 2012

posted 5 Jan 2013, 12:44 by Unknown user
Kelly inspires Ballinahinch to Junior 'C' title
Ballinahinch 1-13
Borrisokane 0-11
in Templederry
Report by James Hayden.
An inspired performance from midfielder, Paddy Kelly ensured Ballinahinch captured the North Junior 'C' title following an absorbing battle with Borrisokane on Sunday week last.
Played in excellent conditions both sides gave their all and but it was a hugely impressive performance from Kelly and his Ballinahinch team mates which saw them prevail over an equally determined Borrisokane side.
Ballinahinch qualified for the final after they were pushed hard by Silvermines in the semifinal with extra-time needed to separate the sides while Borrisokane booked their place in the decider thanks to a deserved win over Borris-Ileigh in the other semi.
Going into this encounter many fancied the Bally boys to prevail and from the start they took the game to their Lower Ormond oppo nents. Early points from Paddy Kelly (free) and midfielder, Tommy Kelly gave Ballinahinch an early platform to build upon while Borrisokane struggled to bisect the uprights despite a number of early chances.
Paddy Kelly, who was in fine form from frees all day, added a third point from a placed ball in the ninth minute before Borrisokane's Pierce Ryan knifed over a closerange free after Michael Fahy was penalised for taking too many steps in his attempt to clear his lines in the 13th minute.
Ballinahinch's dominance continued as the half progressed with Kelly adding a long-range free to his tally after Andy Nevin's overly robust challenge on Sean Berkery. However, for the closing ten minutes of the half the men in saffron and blue were really pushed to the pin of their collar by a resurgent Borrisokane side.
The Lower Ormond men had fired four wides at this stage but successive frees from Ger Reddan and Pierce Ryan suddenly cut the deficit to a solitary point with nine minutes to the break. Borrisokane continued to turn the screw but wide after wide confounded their efforts to get back on terms.
Despite being under the kosh Ballinahinch found the wherewithal to open the gap to two points in the 24th minute after Michael Fahy knifed over from close-range following great approach play from James Healy.
Borrisokane's Ger Reddan once more cut the deficit to the bare minimum with a well-taken 25th minute effort before Ballinahinch grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck once more. A hardearned point from fullforward, Joe Fitzgerald opened the gap back out to two before Borrisokane almost bagged the opening goal of the game after Brian Donnelly saw his low effort ricochet off the butt of the upright and away to safety.
Ballinahinch surged back up field with John Skehan raising a white flag with a fine effort, but the most crucial score of the game came deep in injury time and Skehan was once again instrumental in this decisive score. Ballinahinch were awarded a sideline cut on the stand sideline and up stepped Skehan to cut the sliotar low and straight into the left hand corner of the net.
Amazingly, not one Borrisokane defender nor any Ballinahinch attackers got a touch to the sliotar as it flew straight to the back of the net to ensure Ballinahinch took an unexpected, yet comfortable, 1-7 to 0-4 lead to the dressing room.
Borrisokane emerged determined to get back into contention but it was Ballinahinch who were first to register with a well-taken Paddy Kelly free. Borris' responded with a brace of long-range frees from midfielder, Shane Stapleton but successive points from Kelly mid-way through the half served to once again quell any hopes of a Borris' fightback.
Borris' cut the gap to six again thanks to a 47th minute Willie Brooks free but once more Ballinahinch responded with Paddy Kelly knocking over a close-range free after Niall Reddan was adjudged to have fouled Joe Fitzgerald.
Borrisokane kept plugging away but further points from Paddy Kelly and Joe Fitzgerald frustrated their efforts. Late points from Ger Reddan (free) and Shane Stapleton served to put a kinder look on the scoreboard but it was Ballinahinch who ran out deserving five point winners.

Ballinahinch had fine performances on the day and were worthy victors. Darragh McGrath was commanding between the sticks while in defence Sean Finn, Colin Hogan, Michael Lynch, Sean Sheehy, James O'Connor and Shane Fitzgerald did little to merit any criticism. At midfield Paddy Kelly and Tommy Kelly worked tirelessly with Kelly bagging a whopping eight points. Meanwhile in attack, Michael Fahy, John Skehan and Joe Fitzgerald bagged the scores although they were ably assisted by the battling qualities of Sean Berkery, James Haely, Thomas Kennedy and substitute, Cathal Kennedy.
Borrisokane can rightly feel disappointed and without doubt provided a stern test for Ballinahinch. However, that crucial period on the cusp of half-time which saw them concede 1-2 in the space of three minutes impacted heavily to their title bid. Impressive for Borrisokane were Niall Reddan, Paddy Gavin, Shane Stapleton, Andy Nevin, Willie Brooks, Rob Raleigh, Conor Darcy, Pierce Ryan and Ger Reddan.
Match Digest
Man of the Match: Paddy Kelly (Ballinahinch) Scorers - Ballinahinch: Paddy Kelly 0-8, 6 frees; John Skehan 1-1; Joe Fitzgerald 0-2; Tommy Kelly, Michael Fahy 0-1 each. Borrisokane: Shane Stapleton 0-4 frees; Ger Reddan 0-3, 2 frees; Pierce Ryan, Willie Brooks 0-2 frees each.

Ballinahinch: Darragh McGrath (8); Sean Finn (8), Colin Egan (8), Michael Lynch (8); Shane Fitzgerald (8), Sean Sheehy (8), James O'Connor (8); Paddy Kelly (9), Tommy Kelly (8); Michael Fahy (8), John Skehan (8), Sean Berkery (8); James Healy (8), Joe Fitzgerald (8), Thomas Kennedy (8). SUBS: Cathal Kennedy (7) for T Kennedy (ht); Martin Ryan (NR) for Fahy (55); Bill Lynch (NR) for Fitzgerald (60).

Borrisokane: David Nevin (8); Sean Hartnett (8), Niall Reddan (8), David Coen (8); Brian Dooley (7), Paddy Gavin (7), Rob Raleigh (7); Andy Nevin (7), Shane Stapleton (8); Brian Donnelly (7), Conor Darcy (7), Pierce Ryan (8); Ger Reddan (8), Willie Brooks (8), John Gleeson (7). SUBS: Sean Brennan (6) for Gleeson (40); Tom Tully (6) for Donnelly (40); Barry Ahern (NR) Darcy (58); Rob Nevin (NR) for Brooks (58).
Referee: Jim Lees (Newport).