As Reported by Oisin McGovern
March 19th 2017 - Kelly Cup – Ballintubber 2-16 Westport 0-16
Our seniors claimed an impressive victory away to Westport today in fresh, sunny conditions in the Kelly Cup today. In what was a fast-paced and entertaining affair, James Horan’s men were unable to make their dominance in possession count at vital stages as his former side yielded an almost perfect shot conversion ratio. Our full-back line were solid in the absence of at least three regulars while Jason Gibbons gave a superb display at midfield, marking on at least three occasions. Particularly impressive up front for the Abbeysiders was the experienced Alan Plunkett while Jamesie Finnerty gave another excellent performance in what was only the second appearance of his fledgling senior career.
Playing with a strong eastern breeze in the first half the Covies cancelled out three early Ballintubber points with four unanswered scores, with centre-forward Paul Lambert giving our defence plenty to think about. However we regained the lead after twenty minutes when Jamesie Finnerty rattled the net after a clever dummy and solo run through the Wesport defence. Four further points before the break, including a fine outside-of-the-boot effort from Padraic O’Connor was enough give us a two point half-time lead in the face of a Westport side playing with a direct, attacking mentality.
Despite dominating possession early in the second half the home side were unable to claw back the lead as white flags from Jamsie Finnerty, Alan Dillon, Alan Plunkett and the superb Jason Gibbons stretched our lead to six. ‘Tubber corner-back Jarlath Staunton was forced to block a goal bound effort midway through the second half after the home side created their only genuine goal chance of the match.
The contest was put well and truly out of Wesport’s reach when a long ball from Jason Gibbons was assisted by Noel Geraghty into the path of Alan Dillon for the Mayo veteran who slotted home our second goal from the right-hand side. Two more white flags, including a superb strike from Jamsie Finnerty rendered three unanswered Westport points largely tokenistic as Kevin Johnson’s charges made it two wins from two for the season so far.
Ballintubber team that line out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Keith Coleman (3)Joe Geraghty (4)Jarlath Staunton (5) Myle Kelly (6)Damien Coleman (7)John Kerrigan (8)David McHale (9)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (10)Padraic O’Connor (0-1) (11)Alan Dillon (1-4, 4f) (12)Stephen Finnerty (0-1) (13)Jamesie Finnerty (1-3) (14)Alan Plunkett (0-5,4f) (15)Noel Geraghty (0-1)
Substitutions used: Darragh McGovern for David McHale (h-t), Hugh Geraghty for Stephen Finnerty, Ray Geraghty for Jamesie Finnerty, Johnny Duffy for Noel Geraghty