Clinical Wilkinson puts Kilrea to the sword
Ballinderry 2-5 Kilrea 0-6
Two first-half goals from Raymond Wilkinson and a platform of midfield dominance built by Kevin McGuckin and Martin Harney saw an experienced Ballinderry Shamrocks side see off the challenge of first-time finalists Kilrea at Celtic Park yesterday.
Kilrea were given scant time to adjust to their heady new surroundings as the Shamrocks rocked them with a goal after only 43 seconds. Harney's long ball was palmed down by Enda Muldoon to Wilkinson who finished low past Paul Morgan.
Kilrea pulled a score back through Benny Quigg but a long-range Harney point and a Conleith Gilligan free stretched the Shamrocks' lead to 1-2 to 0-1. James Kielt scored Kilrea's second point from a free but on 25 minutes Ballinderry repeated the formula that led to their first goal as Muldoon again knocked a long ball down to Wilkinson to thump the ball to the net. Kilrea did manage the final score of the half with a point from Enda McAleese but trailed by 2-2 to 0-3 at the break.
Ballinderry withdrew Muldoon to midfield at the start of the second half and it proved a very effective tactic as the former All Star won a feast of possession throughout the second half.
In the course of the second half Kilrea would kick 10 wides and it took the Pearses until the 46th minute before they managed to trouble the scorers again as Charlie Kielt pointed from a free which was soon cancelled out with a similar effort from Gilligan.
The closest Kilrea came to a goal was when substitute Denvir Johnston saw his shot blocked at the near post by Ballinderry 'keeper Michael Conlan.
Kilrea did manage a couple of late scores from Tiernan Rafferty and a James Donaghy free but the last word went to Gilligan who pointed from play to complete a comfortable win for the Shamrocks.
Scorers -- Ballinderry: R Wilkinson 2-0, C Gilligan 0-4 (2f), M Harney 0-1. Kilrea: B Quigg, J Kielt (f), E McAleese, C Kielt, (f), T Rafferty, J Donaghy (f) 0-1 each.
Ballinderry -- M Conlan; D Bell, Kevin McGuckin, C Wilkinson; M McIver, C Nevin, R Scott; Kevin 'Moss' McGuckin, M Harney; D Conway, R Wilkinson, T Martin; R Bell, E Muldoon, C Gilligan. Subs: A Devlin for Martin (37), D McGuckin for D Conway (48), N McCusker for Bell (59), R Wilson for McIver (60).
Kilrea -- P Morgan; J Darragh, A Rainey, M McWilliams; B Og McAlary, L Morrow, Joe Morgan; C Kielt, J Kielt; Eamon Morgan, J Donaghy, E McAleese; G McWilliams, B Quigg, P McNeill. Subs: P McAlary for E Morgan (19), T Rafferty for G McWilliams (40), D Johnston for P McNeill (45), E Darragh for Quigg (54), Jack Kielt for J Morgan (60).
Ref -- D Loughrey (Limavady).