Ballinasloe make light of wardrobe malfunction
They only had their jerseys in time for the presentation – but that was enough as Ballinasloe produced some wonderful football to taste glory at Croke Park.
Ballinasloe eventually took the field in the yellow and blue of Dublin club Na Fianna, rather than their own familiar black and yellow – but once the whistle blew, it was business as usual.
"We just left them behind us," beamed Ballinasloe manager Sean Riddell. "It was unfortunate but we used it as a bit of banter inside. We said, 'This is probably lucky'.
"Lads were having a joke saying, 'What Dublin team won the All-Ireland and never played in it?' – so that's how we turned it.
"But the lad that forgot the jerseys – even though it's my responsibility to see that everything is right – never forgets anything, and he was in bits.
"All the lads, they didn't care. If we had to go out in pink jerseys, we didn't care. We had a mission and we really wanted to do it."
That was evident as they were the dominant unit, apart from the opening and closing 10 minutes.
Kenmare had most of the early possession but Darragh McCormack scored from Ballinasloe's first attack, in the fifth minute. That came from his left boot and he followed up with a point off his right.
The Galway men got a grip around midfield as Padraic Cunningham, who landed a super first-half score, hoovered up the breaks.
Ballinasloe led 0-7 to 0-4 at the interval but it then became one-way traffic as they increased the margin to seven points when Paul Whelehan landed their ninth successive score in the 41st minute.
Paul O'Connor had been a threat early on for Kenmare but was starved of possession after the opening quarter. He did end a 25-minute scoreless period for his side from a free and, as Ballinasloe retreated into their shells, the margin was reduced to a goal.
Kenmare sub Stanley Harrington had a shot from a tight angle smothered by goalkeeper Nathan King – who had made a stunning save from O'Connor in the first half – and when Whelehan landed a late point for Ballinasloe, the celebrations could begin in earnest.
Scorers – Ballinasloe: D McCormack, P Whelehan, K Kelly (2f) 0-3 each, P Cunningham 0-2, D Burke, J Shaughnessy, L Lynch (f) 0-1 each. Kenmare: P O'Connor 0-5 (1f), DJ Brennan 0-4 (3f), S O'Leary 0-1
Ballinasloe – N King; E Fenton, D Nevin, J Shaughnessy; N Hynes, K Kelly, S Kenny; L Lynch, L Tierney; D Burke, P Cunningham, G Canavan; D McCormack, M Colohan, P Whelehan. Subs: C Casey for Kenny (53), S Cogavin for Colohan (56).
Kenmare – H Murphy; D Crowley, T O'Sullivan, C O'Sullivan; A O'Callaghan, S O'Leary, A Crowley; S Dolton, J Wharton; R O'Sullivan, M Crowley, A O'Leary; DJ Brennan, P O'Connor, K O'Sullivan. Subs: S Duncan for A Crowley (21), P O'Dwyer for R O'Sullivan (26), S Harrington for Dalton (45), S O'Brien for Harrington (54).
Ref – C Branagan (Down)