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Ballinasloe end 25-year wait for Fred Daly joy

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Champions: Ballinasloe edged out favourites County Sligo

Champions: Ballinasloe edged out favourites County Sligo

Champions: Ballinasloe edged out favourites County Sligo

There was elation for Ballinasloe as the club’s talented Fred Daly squad pulled off a major coup by beating hot favourites County Sligo 3-2 in the Connacht Final at Ballina.

It was Ballinasloe’s first Fred Daly Connacht title since 1997 and it came as no surprise to manager Liam Coughlan, Edwin Flynn, John Hurley Snr or boys Junior Convenor Mark Conneely.

While Ballinasloe boast Irish Boys champion Tom Cafferkey, he lost 5&4 to fellow Connacht interprovincial and international Sean McLoughlin. 

And when Hugh Killeen fell 8&7 to Co Sligo’s inspired John Paul Flanagan in the anchor match, Ballinasloe were 2-0 down.

The Galway boys did not give up, however, and Isaac Oliver produced an incredible display of golf to beat interprovincial Luke Harrison 6&4.

Charlie Mooney was one up on interprovincial Aodhagan Brady playing the last and had to make an 18 footer to win by one hole as the Co Sligo man almost holed his 90-yard approach.

It fell to Niall Conneely, the youngest player on the Ballinasloe team, to finish the job and he pulled it off in an action-packed finish, nervelessly lagging a slick 18 footer stone dead to close out a one-hole win.

Ballinasloe will be back at Ballina from August 23-24 when they join Naas, Roganstown, Carton House, Kinsale, Limerick, Massereene and Belvoir Park in the All Ireland quarter-finals.

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