April 14th 2018-Kelly Cup Semi-Final
Reported by Oisin McGovern
Ballintubber 1-11 Louisburgh 0-8
Our seniors advanced to the final of the Kelly Cup in a blustery Clogher this evening with a victory of a stubborn Louisburgh outfit. While the wind certainly made conditions less than ideal we ground out a win against the Intermediate opposition who certainly made a game of it for our lads.
At the end of a cagey opening 15 minutes, two Kevin Gibbons frees cancelled out a dead-ball converted by Alan Dillon to give the visitors the lead for the first and only time in this encounter. ‘Tubber wing-back John Kerrigan then pointed the first of his two scores of the match before Stephen Finnerty and Alan Plunkett added a point each.
The fact that visitors failed to register a score from play in the first half spoke volumes of our full-back line, with Gary Loftus in particular putting in a fine shift on his return from injury. When Stephen O’Malley shook the back of the Louisburg net near the half-time whistle after receiving a superb long-ball from Alan Dillon it was hard to see a way back for the West Mayo men. The aforementioned Loftus, Brian Murphy and Jarlath Staunton marshalled their full-forward line manfully, thus depriving the visitors of a clear scoring outlet. A Padraic Prendergast free then brought what was an otherwise unspectacular half to a close.
While certainly not playing to the best of their ability, the Abbeysiders saw it through in the second half in the face of a miserly Louisburgh defence. John Kerrigan and Alan Plunkett doubled their tallies for their evening midway through the half with a point each before substitute Darragh McGovern set up Joe Geraghty who pointed from close range. Ciarán Gavin’s recent good form with our Junior team was rewarded when he replaced Alan Dillon for his senior debut before converting a tidy free to close the game out.
Kevin Johnson’s men will now defend their Kelly Cup title against Burrishoole in the final.
Ballintubber team that lined out: (1)Brendan Walsh (2)Gary Loftus (3)Brian Murphy (4) Jarlath Staunton (5)Joe Geraghty (0-1) (6)Damien Coleman (7)John Kerrigan (0-2) (8) David McHale (9)Jason Gibbons (0-1) (10)Stephen Finnerty (0-1) (11)Alan Dillon (0-3, 1f) (12)Damien McGing (13)Stephen O’Malley (1-0) (14)Alan Plunkett (0-2) (15)Noel Geraghty
Substitutions used: Hugh Geraghty for Damien McGing, Darragh McGovern for Stephen Finnerty, Ciaran Gavin (0-1, 1f) for Alan Dillon, Kevin Shannon for Jarlath Staunton, Keith Coleman for John Kerrigan, Michael Conway for Noel Geraghy