Wednesday 7 December 2016

O'Brien earns Ballyhaunis a second bite

Connacht IHC final (AET): Ballyhaunis 2-13 Ahascragh-Fohenagh 0-19

Published 07/11/2016 | 02:30

It was always going to be a big ask to turn out so soon for Ballyhaunis who defeated Oran of Roscommon in the semi-final on Wednesday, but they showed no ill effects as they took the game to the title favourites. Stock photo: Sportsfile
It was always going to be a big ask to turn out so soon for Ballyhaunis who defeated Oran of Roscommon in the semi-final on Wednesday, but they showed no ill effects as they took the game to the title favourites. Stock photo: Sportsfile

It ended all square after extra-time in a thrilling Connacht intermediate hurling final in Athleague yesterday where Mayo champions Ballyhaunis came within a whisker of a major upset when they led Galway champions Ahascragh-Fohenagh by a point in normal time following a dramatic finish.

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It was always going to be a big ask to turn out so soon for Ballyhaunis who defeated Oran of Roscommon in the semi-final on Wednesday, but they showed no ill effects as they took the game to the title favourites.

The Galway champions led at one stage in the second half by five points but a goal from Jason Coyne brought Ballyhaunis back into the reckoning before an injury-time goal from dual star Keith Higgins shot his side in front, only for a Stephen Kelly point to send this tie to extra-time.

It was 2-11 to 0-17 at half-time in extra-time and just when it looked as if a Cathal Mannion point had bagged the title for the Galway team, Ballyhaunis goalkeeper Donal O'Brien pulled another big free out of the fire, his third of the game, to send this tie to a replay. The Galway side led by 0-9 to 0-6 at half-time and at end of normal time it was 0-16 to 2-10, those goals from Higgins and Coyne keeping the Mayo lads in the hunt but neither side deserved to lose after such an enthralling battle.

SCORERS - Ballyhaunis: K Higgins 1-7 (4f, 1 '65), D O'Brien 0-3 (3f), J Coyne 1-0, O Collins S Hoban and K Kielty 0-1 each. Ahascragh Fohenagh: C Mannion 0-7 (5f), S Smyth 0-4 (2f, 1 '65), S Kelly and E Delaney 0-2 each, F Donlon, R Kelly, L Tully and M Kelly 0-1 each.

BALLYHAUNIS - D O'Brien; A Brennan, P Healy, B Hunt; K Kiely, D Keadin, F Lyons; A Lyons, E Collins; A Phillips, K Higgins, K McDermott; P Higgins, S Hoban, P Kiely. Subs: J Coyne for P Kiely (39), T Buckley for P Higgins (44), L Cribben for A Lyons (47), J Cribben for Phillips (57).

AHASCRAGH/FOHENAGH - D Kelly; B Kilroy, J Kelly, P Galvin; JP Egan, P Mannion, J Finnerty; S Kelly, L Tully; S Connelly, R Kelly, E Delaney; C Mannion, S Smyth, F Donnellan. Subs: Mark Kelly for Connelly (h-t), E O Ceallaigh for Smyth (43), C Cosgrove for Donnellan (69), T Barrett for Delaney (80).

REF - J Murphy (Limerick)

Gilmartin grabs late winner 

Connacht club JHC final (AET): Calry/St Joseph's 3-9 Micheál Breathnach 2-10

An extra-time Michael Gilmartin goal ensured Sligo champions Calry/St Joseph's won the Connacht Junior Hurling title at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Ballyhaunis.

Mícheál Breathnach looked well on top and led 2-5 to 1-3 at the break, but Calry fought back in the second-half.

Calry/St Joseph's looked down and out when second yellow cards to Michael O'Callaghan and David Collery left the Sligo outfit with 13 men for 16 minutes, but they dug deep to mount a stirring comeback.

They fired over a succession of points to leave three points between the sides before Gilmartin pounced to grab his first goal of the match to bring the game into extra-time and he then found the net again late on to seal a dramatic win.

Scorers - Calry/St Joseph's: Keith Raymond 0-7 (6f, 65), Michael Gilmartin 2-0, Danny Keown 1-1, Kevin Gilmartin 0-1.

Mícheál Breathnach: Brendan Ó Conghaile 1-4, Cian Ó Griallis 1-4 (3f), Anthaine Ó Finneadha 0-1, Maidhc Ó Conghaile 0-1.

CALRY ST JOSEPHS - C Madden; T Kelly, J Kenny, J Kerwin; F Coyne, L Reidy, N McDermott; R Cox, K Raymond; K Gilmartin, D Collery, M O'Callaghan; E McCarthy, M Gilmartin, D Keown. Subs: C Griffin for F Coyne (41). Extra-time replacements: D Cox and B Shannon.

MICHEAL BREATHNACH - R Ó Beoláin; M Ó Béarra, J Mac Giolla Bhríde, F Ó Béarra; R Ó Béarra, A Ó Finneadha, C Mac Giolla Bhríde; A Ó Tuathail, C Ó Griallis; M Ó Conghaile, K Ó Conghaile, O Ó Ceallaigh; B Ó Conghaile, M Ó Duibhir, P Mac Giolla Bhríde. Subs: D Ó Héallaithe for M Ó Duibhir 39.

Ref - Kevin McGeeney (Roscommon).

Irish Independent

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