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Curry fail to find extra spice after Regan turns up heat

Ballaghaderreen turned up the heat for the opening minutes of the second half at McHale Park, hitting 1-7 without reply, and that was enough to book their place in the final.

Even before Curry lost centre-back John Feeney on a straight red card 10 minutes into the second half, the Mayo champions had regained control, a stunning goal from outstanding midfielder James Kilcullen setting a lively game alight.

Points from Barry Kelly, Peter Kelly, three on the bounce from Man of the Match Barry Regan, including two frees, and another from Kilcullen and yet another Regan free saw Ballaghaderreen begin to pull away and Curry visibly wilt under the waves of pressure which hit them after the interval.

Seventeen minutes of the second half elapsed before Curry got on the board, a fine point from Adrian Marren suggesting a small revival, but Ballaghaderreen just upped the ante again.


Regan, from play and from a free, brought his tally to 0-8, closing the game out with five minutes still remaining.

Ballaghaderreen were fortunate enough to be trailing by just two points at the interval -- 1-5 to 0-6 -- as Curry always looked the more enterprising side, creating at least three goal chances.

The one they took was superbly executed, David Maye side-stepping his man after picking up a long pass from Marren and firing an unstoppable bullet of a shot to the roof of the net from 20 yards.

That goal came after just six minutes of a lively opening half -- Joe Dillon and Maye trading early scores from play before Barry Kelly shot Ballaghaderreen in front.

Back-to-back scores from Regan, the second from play, had Ballaghaderreen on terms and they were to level on two more occasions before Curry lifted the tempo in the closing few minutes of the half as they hit the front with points from Cathal Brennan and Marren (free).

Ballaghaderreen were lucky not to concede a second goal when Jason Marren had his effort blocked by David Drake, while Curry goalkeeper John O'Hora saved the blushes of his own corner-back Aidan Brennan, who almost turned the ball into his own net.

Scorers -- Ballaghaderreen: B Regan 0-8 (5f), J Kilcullen 1-1, B Kelly 0-2, J Dillon, K Rogers, P Kelly, M Tyrell 0-1 each. Curry: A Marren 0-4 (3f), D Maye 1-1, C Brennan, J Marren (f) 0-1 each.

Ballaghaderreen -- O Flanagan; S Drake, P Rogers, T Regan; P Kelly, K Rogers, D Drake; B Kelly, J Kilcullen; M Tyrell, A Hanley, S Finn; O Jordan, B Regan, J Dillon. Subs: R Conway for P Rogers (ht), C Doohan for Tyrell (45), B Solan for J Dillon (58).

Curry -- J O'Hora; K Morley, S Marren, A Brennan; S Maher, J Feeney, D McDonagh; B McDonagh, S Davey; C Brennan, A Marren, N McDonagh; C Brennan, D Maye, J Marren. Subs: E Marren for S Maher (38), M Gordon for C Brennan (40), G Maye for B McDonagh (55),

Ref -- E O'Grady (Leitrim).

Irish Independent