County ace Burke makes senior grade at long last
Meath GAA IFC Final: Longwood 0-11 Ballinlough 0-7
County player Mickey Burke will get his first taste of senior club action in 2019 after his side completed a memorable year following a deserved victory in the IFC Final at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.
Longwood were rank outsiders at the start of the campaign, having contested the relegation play-off for the past two years. Their last intermediate final appearance was 76 years ago when they also came out on top.
The eventual winners made a promising start with four points in the first seven minutes when assisted by a strong breeze, with three of those points coming from Ryan Moore.
Evan Coyle was denied a goal by the width of a post before the end of the opening quarter. Mickey Burke then spurned a great opportunity to increase his side's lead from the penalty spot, with his effort saved by keeper Derek Muldoon.
Ballinlough seemed to gain heart from that let-off and Robert Farrell opened their account on 28 minutes. Sean Geraghty and Peadar Byrne added further points before the break to leave it 0-3 to 0-5 at the interval.
Mickey Burke hit his only score early in the third quarter as Ballinlough reduced the deficit to the minimum. Substitute Coran Byrne made an almost immediate impact for Longwood with a precious point to leave it 0-7 to 0-5 on 41 minutes.
With their talisman Peadar Byrne less effective than in previous games, Ballinlough struggled for scores throughout, while target man Simon Deevey twice had efforts charged down in the closing stages.
The accuracy of Moore proved invaluable for Longwood who finished worthy winners.
LONGWOOD: Gary Heneghan; Sean Sheridan, Christopher Lynch, Bob Maguire; Joey Stenson, Eoin Lynch, Karl Ennis; Niall Mulvey, Anthony Healy; Damien Healy, Ryan Moore 0-7 (6f), Evan Coyle; Aaron Ennis 0-2, Michael Burke 0-1, Wayne Leonard. Sub: Coran Byrne 0-1 for Leonard (40).
BALLINLOUGH: Derek Muldoon; Robert Farrell 0-1, Padraig Muldoon, Matthew Farrell; Emmet Smith, Michael Geraghty 0-1, Johnny Reilly 0-2; Lorcan Maguire, Thomas McCullen; Sean Geraghty 0-2, James Baugh, Mark McCullen; Benji Smith, Simon Deevey, Peader Byrne 0-1f. Subs: Gary Reilly for Baugh (43), Niall Farrelly for Smith (46).
REF: Paul Mooney (Syddan)