HISTORY was made in Dunlavin on Saturday when Tinahely became the first team from outside the old west district to take the Allen Cup to the south end of the area.
History was made in Dunlavin on Saturday when Tinahely became the first team from outside the old west district to take the Allen Cup to the south end of the area.
It was the 30th final in one of the most popular juvenile competitions west of the hills and straight away it must be said that Tinahely were fully deserving of their success.
It was close, very close, Baltinglass made sure of that. In fact it was a game that could have gone either way but Tinahely did hold that wee bit in overall strength.
Lively corner forward Liam Fisher opened the scoring for Baltinglass but that brought a quick reply from Dainiel Ging.
In fact this pair were to figure prominently in scoring and general play right through this close and hard fought match.
The game was level for a second time when Cillian Kelly and Mathew Ging exchanges points.
Daniel Ging put Tinahely ahead for the first time but another point by Killian Kelly had the sides level again. The game was level for a fourth time when the irrepressible Ging pointed. Daniel Ging and Baltinglass full forward Willian Rodgers had another exchange of points. Cormac Kenny had what was the point of the match up to that stage but Baltinglass hit back again and Sean Doody brought the sides level at 0-06 apiece at half time
Baltinglass got off to a flying start in the second half, Killian Kelly and Liam Fisher had points inside of two minutes and for the first time the Slaneysiders were looking real good.
The Tinahely mentors took action and brought their big star Daniel Ging to midfield and that swung the game in their favour.
Eoin Darcy and Ging had points and the game was level once more but this time Tinahely were able to push on.
The younger of the Ging brothers, Mathew, and Eoin Darcy sent over points to open up a gap. Jason Sinnott, Karl Furlong and Darragh Doyle, were defending like tigers for Baltinglass but there was no stopping Tinahely at that stage.
Daniel Ging used his strength to break through for a point and then had the score of the match from long range a minute later. Four up and less than that number of minutes to go - surely it was Tinahely's day. There was still fight in Baltinglass. Jordan Deans who was a tower of strength around midfield drove them forward and Sean Doody sent over a point.
The Tinahely defence were called into action; Eoghan Byrne who had a mighty game at full back cleared his lines time and again and Conor Breslin also steped up his game.
Fionn Furlong and Daniel Hedderman were showing up well but still Baltinglass managed another point, kicked from a nearly hopeless position by Johnny Keogh. Two between the sides but the game was in injury time.
Damien Byrne's final whistle brought the Tinahely supporters charging down from the bank to congratulate their heroes.
Kevin Mullhall, James Hedderman , Bradley Hickey, and Cillien McDonald were others to stand out for Tinahely.
Tadhg O'Toole, Christopher Grimes, Lorcan Martin and Patrick Whelan played well for Baltinglass.
Tinahely - Daniel Ging 0-6; Mathew Ging 0-3; Eoin Darcy 0-2; Cormac Kenny and Reid Byrne 0-1 each.
Baltinglass - Liam Fisher 0-4; Killian Kelly 0-3; Sean Doody 0-2; Johnny Keogh and William Rodgers 0-1 each.
Alan Barrett, a key player on the team broke his finger in the warm-up and could take no part in the match.
Pat Dunne, Chairman of the South/West Board congratulated both teams on a great game and called in Tony Allen to present the Dick Allen Memorial Cup to the Tinahely captain James Hedderman.
Tony also had a nice few words to say afterwards. He congratulated the referee, Damien Byrne, and the two teams, and thanked the Dunlavin club on having the pitch in such fine shape.
Everybody then retired to the club house where the Allen family and their helpers had tea and refreshments for all. A nice end to a good sporting occasion.