February 24th 2019

Kelly Cup Round 2

Ballintubber 0-11 Westport 1-9

Our seniors fell short this afternoon against a Westport side that were a fraction sharper and more clinical both on and off the ball. It could’ve gone either way, but our lads lacked a killer edge that might’ve seen us come away with a win today. Stephen O’Malley was our main man up front while last year’s Minor captain Finian Bourke marked his first Senior start with a typical no-nonsense display at corner-back.

It was a brilliantly-taken goal from Westport that proved to be the game’s decisive moment, as it drove a wedge between both teams that we couldn’t plug in the second half. Deprived of the services of three of the O’Connors and Mayo U20s Jamsie Finnerty and Ciarán Gavin, the Red and White will no doubt shift gears in the coming weeks as the Senior League approaches.

With Clogher temporarily decommissioned, Ballintubber Resource Centre hosted Tony Duffy’s up-and-coming Westport team. Playing on a heavy surface, it was the visitors who started stronger. Their tally read 1-6 by the 22nd minute after Westport’s wing-back nestled the ball in the back of the net after firing a bullet of a shot across the goal past the outstretched Tom McGing. Two Noel Geraghty frees were all we accumulated in that period of time before Brian Walsh pointed our first score from play. Points from Alan Plunkett and another Noel Geraghty free followed, brining our half-time tally to 0-5.

Stephen O’Malley was our stand-out player over the sixty minutes, winning plenty of frees in the first half before swinging over his first dead ball shortly after the restart. The former Rice College marksmen pointed a lovely effort from play before the evergreen Alan Dillon kicked a peach of a point from distance shortly after being introduced.

Colm Moran was a constant thorn in our side, kicking a fine score along with midfielder Shane Scott to push the Covies three-points in front again. O’Malley and substitute Stephen Finnerty swung over frees before the end, but an equaliser proved elusive. The fresh legs of Damien Coleman, Jarlath Staunton, and Stephen Finnerty helped us make one last push for a draw, but Westport did not yield. Stephen O’Malley saw a final shot fly wide at the very end, as the whistle blew exactly on the hour mark, leaving Tony Duffy’s side to come away with both points.

Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Tom McGing (2)Gary Loftus (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Finian Bourke (5)Seanie Larkin (6)Hugh Geraghty (7)John Kerrigan (8)David McHale (9)Jason Gibbons (10)Noel Geraghty (0-4, 4f) (11)Brian Walsh (0-1) (12)Keelan McDonnell (13)Alan Plunkett (0-1) (14)Padraig O’Connor (15) Stephen O’Malley (0-3, 2f)

Substitutions used: Alan Dillon (0-1) for David McHale, Damien Coleman for Seanie Larkin, Jarlath Staunton for John Kerrigan, Stephen Finnerty (0-1, 1f) for Alan Plunkett

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