Friday 20 April 2018

Weir turns on style to seal deal for Ballinamere

Ballinamere 2-8 Lisdowney 0-13

Ballinamere became the first Offaly club to capture this crown when they held off a determined second-half fightback to edge a great contest by a point.

Ballinamere became the first Offaly club to capture this crown when they held off a determined second-half fightback to edge a great contest by a point.

The Faithful County's intermediate champions roared into an eight-point lead in Tullamore, but Lisdowney whittled down the deficit, and when they levelled with 12 minutes left, the momentum appeared to be with the Kilkenny champions.

However, Ballinamere showed immense heart to regain the lead and hold off all that Lisdowney could throw at them late on.

Ballinamere got the dream start with a goal from Paddy Murphy in the second minute, and when Stephen Weir made a great catch and crashed a shot to the net from 15 metres on five minutes, they were seven points clear.

Lisdowney were slow to settle and didn't get their first score from play until the 19th minute.

A Weir point on 22 minutes put Ballinamere 2-5 to 0-3 ahead but Lisdowney got the last three points of the half to cut the gap to five points at the interval, 2-5 to 0-6.

Lisdowney dominated the third quarter and five points without reply brought them level with 12 minutes to go. Ballinamere had gone 29 minutes without a score until Murphy put them back in front and although Lisdowney levelled again, Weir shot two terrific points to put the Offaly men back in front.

Rory Hickey pulled one back from a free and had another chance from the middle of the field in the last minute but his effort dropped short and Ballinamere held on for a historic victory.

Scorers – Ballinamere: S Weir 1-4, P Murphy 1-3 (2fs), J McKeogh 0-1; Lisdowney: R Hickey 0-6 (4fs), L Carroll, A Fogarty (1f) 0-2 each, E Kenny, K Sweeney, P Bergin 0-1 each.

BALLINAMERE – K McLoughlin; K Molloy, E Buggy, D Spollen; D Magner, G Spollen, P McDermott; K Mealiffe, J McKeogh; P Murphy, M Murphy, M Og Buggy; D Wyer, S Weir, N Minnock. Subs: J McEvoy for M Murphy (40), A Scully for Minnock (52), J Leonard for M Og Buggy (57).

LISDOWNEY – N Grogan; N O'Hara, M Phelan, N Mackey; R Fitzpatrick, S Phelan, P Bergin; P Carroll, K Sweeney; L Carroll, E Hickey, A Fogarty; R Hickey, P Bowden, E Kenny. Subs: M Kenny for Bowden (h-t), C O'Carroll for Kenny (42), V Fitzpatrick for E Hickey (42), E Delahunty for Fogarty (56).

REF – D Hughes (Carlow)

Irish Independent

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