Senior League Division 1D Saturday June 4th
Ballintubber B 0-13 1-5 Balla
Our Junior team put in their best performance of the Division 1D League campaign following a more than convincing 5 points win over Balla in balmy Clogher on Saturday evening. The fact that Ballintubber had to play most of the game with only 14 players and still run out comfortable winners added to the interest. As with local derbies there certainly were plenty of incidents and the sending-off of Ballintubber full-back Gary Loftus seemed controversial. However the boys of the ‘tubber playing in their alternative white strip played some fantastic football particularly in the second half. The hosts were able to field their strongest team although early on it was the visitors who looked more impressive. With Mayo under 21 ‘keeper Matthew Flanagan lining out at full-forward for Balla he opened the scoring with a pointed free. A direct high ball to full-forward Eoghan Vahey saw Eoin Heneghan kick over his sides levelling point from a free and when John Duffy kicked over a fine long distant point it pushed the homeside out in front. But a sending off then followed when Gary Loftus was shown red for something the referee seen and when Balla levelled and then pushed on with a fine goal it was looking ominous for the Abbeysiders. When the visitors scored again with a pointed free it suddenly put 4 points between the teams at 1-3 to 0-2. At times like this you really find out who your leaders are and the boys in white kicked over 4 points in quick succession to level. With Stephen Broderick controlling the Ballintubber strings, it allowed Stephen Finnerty and Conor Finnerty (2) to kick over some classy points from distance while further pressure yielded a pointed free from Eoin Heneghan to level at 0-6 to 1-3. Just before the half ended Balla kicked over the last score of the half to lead at the break.
Despite being a players down the Abbeysiders played some fantastic football in the second half where the youthful Gavin Roache came from the half-back-line to earn a free after his was tripped with the accurate Eoin Heneghan levelling the match at 0-7 to 1-4. Further raids into the Balla half saw a sharp pass from Gavin Roache to Stephen Finnerty which saw the nifty wing forward kick over a fine point to put his side out in front again. The next point came from the impressive Conor Finnerty when he pointed with his left foot while it was back to Stephen Finnerty on the right wing for Ballintubber’s 10th point. It looked more like Ballintubber had the extra player such was their dominance although Balla did kick over the next point to reduce the lead to 0-10 to 1-5. But their was no stopping the Abbeysiders and when playmaker Stephen Broderick kicked over his own point it gave Ballintubber the extra cushion of a 3 points lead. The games final scores came from substitute Daire Summerville (long distant free) while another substitute Damien McGing kicked over the games last point following a rebound after the Balla goalkeeper had made a fine stop from the penalty spot. The result puts Ballintubber into the promotion reckoning again as they are just 2 points behind leaders Knockmore B with 4 games to go. There were a number of fine performances all over the field where Joe Geraghty impressed when switched to full-back where he had loads of help from John Kerrigan and Seamus Thomas in the corners. Kevin Shannon and teenager Gavin Roache impressed in the half-back-line while the midfield pairing of Danny Geraghty and Stephen Broderick got through a lot of work. It was the attack that really worked well where the Finnerty cousins Conor & Stephen used their pace and accuracy to good effect as they kicked 0-3 apiece. With Bryan Walsh and John Duffy working hard around it created extra scoring opportunities for those inside. In the full-forward line Eoghan Vahey was ideal target man inside at 14 with Eoin Heneghan also showing well while kicking over 3 important frees. At number 15 Conor Finnerty seems to be coming into a bit of form if his performance was anything to go by following his 3 excellent points. While the substitutes of Damien McGing and Daire Summerville who both contributed to the scoreboard were an added bonus with Alan Larkin also introduced before the end.
Ballintubber team that lined out : Frank Walsh, John Kerrigan, Gary Loftus, Seamus Thomas, Joe Geraghty, Kevin Shannon, Gavin Roache, Danny Geraghty, Stephen Broderick (0-1), Stephen Finnerty (0-3), Bryan Walsh, John Duffy (0-1), Eoin Heneghan (0-3,3f), Eoghan Vahey, Conor Finnerty (0-3). Subs used : Damien McGing (0-1) for Eoin Heneghan, Daire Summerville (0-1) for Gavin Roache, Alan Larkin for John Duffy