Goals galore as Ballinrobe win out
DIVISION 4 FINAL
Westport B 1-14
WIND-ASSISTED Ballinrobe, only a point clear at the interval, performed impressively after the restart of the action, notably in a scoring sense, in this Mayo U-14 Championship decider at McHale Park, Castlebar.
Conditions were demanding for young players, and yet both sides provided an exciting hours’ action, marked by excellent execution of scores, by winners and losers.
Facing the very strong wind did not deter Westport from making the initial impact, as they led by 1-2 to 0-1, after four minutes, with the goal coming from Killian Kilkelly. Ballinrobe were still trailing by 1-3 to 0-4 entering the second quarter, as Westport defended resolutely under strong pressure.
The South Mayo representatives eventually edged ahead in the 19th minute through an Evan O’Brien goal from a rebound, after Patrick O’Malley, the Westport goalkeeper, diverted a menacing shot from Gerard Lynagh. Points from Gerard Lynagh and Peter Walsh extended Ballinrobe’s lead but Westport, making fine use of limited opportunities, were back on level terms, 1-6 apiece, by the 26th minute, thanks to a brace of excellent points from Óisin McLaughlin and one from Alan Kennedy.
Inside a minute, Peter Walsh, wriggling his way through the opposing backline, struck for Ballinrobe’s second goal. Westport, however, as they had being doing consistently throughout the half, countered with late points from Killian Kilkelly and Óisin McLaughlin, leaving Ballinrobe narrow interval leaders, 2-6 to 1-8.
With the stiff breeze to their backs, Westport must have felt reasonably confident entering the second half. A different scenario unfolded, however, as an exchange of points between Peter Walsh and Alan Kennedy was quickly followed by a Ballinrobe scoring surge.
It began with another Evan O’Brien goal in the 35th minute, and Kevin Vahey added another, five minutes later, after a sweeping run upfield by half-back Matthew Burke. Full-forward Ger Lynagh got the fifth one in the 44th minute, while, at the other end, Conor Burke, the Ballinrobe goalkeeper, effected a great save from Killian Kilkelly. Óisin McLaughlin and Colm Moran did hit back with Westport points but Ballinrobe were comfortably positioned at the end of the third quarter, with an advantage of 5-7 to 1-11.
That situation was bettered still further in the 47th minute, when Kevin Vahey scored his side’s sixth goal, after Patrick O’Malley had foiled an effort by Peter Walsh. The trophy was now safely in Ballinrobe’s keeping as play drew to a close, with both sides scoring two points apiece, Diarmuid Doran and Evan O’Beirne for Ballinrobe, and Alan Kennedy and Óisin McLaughlin, both frees, for Westport.
Peter Butler, Matthew Burke, Dean Shaughnessy, Evan O’Brien, Peter Walsh, Kevin Vahey, Pierce Jennings, Gerard Lynagh and Mark Finnerty performed with distinction for Ballinrobe, ably managed by Declan Corcoran and Pat Kennedy. Óisin McLaughlin, who kicked some superb points, Alan Kennedy, goalkeeper Patrick O’Malley, Killian Kilkelly, Paul Lambert, Brian O’Malley and Martin Hopkins, were well to the fore for Westport, many of whose players will be eligible again next year.
C Burke; D Shaughnessy, M Finnerty, M Lydon; P Butler, M Burke, S Óg Collins; P Jennings, E Sweeney; K Vahey (2-0), D Doran (0-3), K Quinn (0-1); E O’Brien (2-1), G Lynagh (1-2), P Walsh (1-2).
Subs used: J Hughes for Vahey (59mins); J O’Toole for Doran (59mins).
P O’Malley; M Reilly, P O’Haire, P Duffy; P Lambert, M Hopkins, E Rowley; B O’Malley, O McLaughlin (0-7, 1f); M O’Brien, C Moran (0-1), S Tierney; K Kilkelly (1-2, 1f), S Roddy, A Kennedy (0-4, 1f).
Subs used: A O’Flaherty for Duffy (35 mins); D Walsh for Roddy (40mins); J Carroll for Tierney (46mins).
Referee: R Devine (Bonniconlon)