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Match Report: Close Call for Kildangan Against Ballymore

posted 22 Jul 2015, 12:25 by Kildangan PRO
Despite being twelve points ahead at the break, a very strong second half performance from Ballymore made for a nervy end to the game for Kildangan in Old Grange St Laurences on Tuesday evening.

Ballymore started the game off with a point from Mark McCarville. Robert Hanley quickly responded. Hanley got another straight afterwards from a free, followed by points from Ryan Moran and Stephen Quigley. The young Moran then added a goal to his tally seven minutes in to put Kildangan 1-4 to 0-1 ahead and looking comfortable.

The next two points went to Ballymore Eustace, with Keith Murphy and Shane Fitzpatrick scoring. Ryan Moran sent over a point in the sixteenth minute, with Hanley also pointing through a free. Minutes later, Willie Lawlor came on for the injured Ruaidhri Jacob.

Kildangan then hit a purple patch, with goals from Dara Gilbert and the effervescent Ryan Moran. Robert Hanley was awarded a free which he duly pointed.

Enda Stewart Byrne gave Ballymore the last point of the half, the score 3-7 to 0-4 at the break.

Kildangan were the first out of the traps in the second half, with Stephen Quigley sending over a point, thanks to a great build up by Jordan Kaye. Ballymore's Paul Browne was quick to cancel out Quigley's effort. Hanley hit Kildangan's next two scores. Ballymore gained a bit of momentum from here, with points coming from Enda Stewart Byrne, Mark McCarville and two from Paul Browne.

Ballymore continued to eat into the Kildangan lead; Kildangan's goalkeeper Colin Christie managed to tip the ball away from the goalmouth in the 43rd minute, but it was not enough to stop Ballymore substitute Chris Dowling hitting the back of the net.

Half forward Dermot Hickey pointed to give Kildangan an eight point lead, however both Paul Browne and Enda Stewart Bryne responded with points for Ballymore. Kildangan's Hanley again extended the lead to seven. Chris Dowling put the ball in the Kildangan net once again, reducing Ballymore's deficit to four.

Ballymore sniffed blood. Four behind, with five on the clock, not counting injury time. Question was, would Kildangan be able to recapture the form displayed before the break. A Kildangan attack down the left resulted in a free which the unerring Hanley again pointed.

Enda Stewart Byrne cancelled out Hanley's effort with a Ballymore free, four points once again separating the two sides. The pressure was really on for Kildangan when Ballymore were awarded a penalty two minutes into injury time. Gerry Fennell, the Ballymore captain and left corner forward, stepped up to take it. Kildangan keeper Colin Christie was unable to save it, and a point was all that was in it.

What was to come depended on the referee. Would Ballymore have time to mount one more attack and at least salvage a draw? The question was answered on the kick-out as referee Brendan Hickey blew the full time whistle. The final score Kildangan on 3-13 to Ballymore's 3-12.

Kildangan were given a valuable lesson by Ballymore; the game is not over until the final whistle. Credit is due to Ballymore for the way the responded in the second half. If Kildangan can recapture their first half form they could have a say in the final outcome of the championship, however a game was never won in the first half.

Ballymore go on to meet Sarsfields in the quarter final, while Kildangan take on Kilcullen. Times and venues to be advised.

Kildangan: Colin Christie, Richard Morgan, Luke Barry, Jordan Kaye, Ruaidhri Jacob, David Christie, Brian Adams, Padraig Casey, Dara Gilbert (1-0), Dermot Hickey (0-1), Stephen Quigley (0-2), Eric O'Hara (0-1), Robert Hanley (0-7), Thomas Moran, Ryan Moran (2-2).
Substitutes: Declan McGrath, Willie Lawlor (for Jacob, '21), Brandon Foley (for O'Hara, '57), James Stynes, Andrew Wilson.

Ballymore Eustace: Kevin McNally, Joshua Burke Hayes, Ollie O'Neill, Stephen Fisher, Patrick Langan, Kieran Doyle, Sean O'Sullivan, Alan Rooney, Mark McCarville (0-02), Shane Fitzpatrick (0-01), Keith Murphy (0-01), Enda Stewart Byrne (0-04), Gerry Fennell (1-00), Paul Browne (0-04) and Mark Slevin.
Substitutes: Andrew Mahon (for Slevin), Ciaran Kelleher (for O'Neill), Chris Dowling (2-00) (for McCarville), Ciaran Conway (for Langan).

By Andrew Wilson
Thanks to Gillian Murphy, Ballymore Eustace PRO, for the opposition team sheet.
The photographs are courtesy of our chairman, Michael Higgins.