Connacht Senior Quarter Final 2019

November 3rd 2019
Connacht Senior Club Championship Quarter-Final
Ballintubber 1-11 Glencar/Manhorhamilton 0-9
Our seniors ground out yet another hard-fought win today against Leitrim champions Glencar/Manorhamilton to book their place in the Connacht Semi-Final for the second year in a row.
With Noel Geraghty and Cillian O’Connor among our chief injury concerns, an almighty challenge awaits us as we prepare for battle with All-Ireland champions Corofin yet again next Sunday.
With the wind and wet making for difficult playing conditions, our lads had that bit extra in defence and midfield against a valiant opposition. The difficult playing conditions saw both teams hit their fair share of wide and concede several turnovers. Alan Plunkett’s goal early in the second half proved to be the game’s key moment as the men from Leitrim pushed us all the way to end. The sending off of Killian McGriskin for Glencar/Manorhamilton early in the second half also proved to be decisive in ensuring we maintained our lead.
Decked out with at least seven current and former Leitrim county panellists, the likes of James Glancy, Evan Sweeney and captain Conor Dolan clicked well as a unit and posed a threat up front, particularly in the first half.
However, the Ballintubber defence came out on top in the second half, with key interventions from the likes of Brian Murphy and Gary Loftus restricting them to two points from play.
Similarly, Jason Gibbons excelled at midfield and out-fetched Leitrim panellists Darren Sweeney and Paddy McGuire to help drive us forward. In the end, the scores dried up for Glencar/Hamilton as points from Alan Dillon and Stephen
O’Malley saw us prevail by five points.
The game started very positively for the Abbeysiders as we landed the opening three scores. Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley pointed a free each before Ciaran kicked our first point from play after a good move.
In the absence of Cillian O’Connor, we kicked some good long ball into Stephen early on. Indeed, he had the ball in the net at one stage but the goal was ruled out due to him picking the ball off the ground.
Glencar/Manorhamilton then got up and running with three successive scores to level the game. Former Leitrim star James Glancy kicked their first before captain Conor Dolan kicked two frees from near the goal.
A tightly-contested first half ticked along, with three scores from Ciaran Gavin and Stephen O’Malley helping us to a narrow 0-6 0-5 half-time lead.
Needing an improvement in the second half, we landed our only goal not long after the throw-in. A good team move saw Damien Coleman assist Alan Plunkett to blast the ball to the roof of the net with barely a minute played in the third quarter.
Glencar/Manorhamilton responded with a massive free from James Glancy and were still very much in contention.
However, we upped our game as the excellent Jason Gibbons pointed to put us four in front. As the Annies man got the better of the Leitrim champions at midfield, we took greater control of the game. Our opponents were reduced to 14 men when Killian McGriskin received a second yellow but still defended stubbornly, turning over a lot of our attacks.
What scores Glencar/Hamilton did manage were cancelled out by points from Alan Plunkett, Alan Dillon and Stephen O’Malley, meaning we got over the line with 5 points to spare.
Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftys (3)Brian Murphy (4)Ruaidhri O’Connor (5)Damien Coleman (6)Michael Plunkett (7)Myles Kelly (8)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (9)Diarmuid O’Connor (10)Ciarán Gavin (0-4, 1f) (20)Alan Plunkett (1-1) (12)Bryan Walsh (13)Noel Geraghty (14)Alan Dillon (0-1) (15)Stephen O’Malley (0-4, 4f)
Substitutions used: Keelan McDonnell for Noel Geraghty (inj.), Joe Geraghty for Myles Kelly, Padraic O’Connor for Alan Plunkett, Jamsie Finnerty for Alan Dillon
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