Ballinamore CS recorded their 3rd victory at U14 level in Connacht with a 3:1 to 0:6 victory in a tense windswept encounter against Calasanctius Oranmore at Ballinlough GAA, Co. Roscommon.
Ballinamore’s previous victories came in 2008 and 2012 and thanks tnco an outstanding work rate and the rub of the green our third success was completed.
Ballinamore started well in the first half but missed a few half chances leaving Calasanctius Oranmore the honour of first score as they grew in confidence and started to exert their influence. Ballinamore settled the nerves with a well taken point from Emma Gill who started at corner forward but was now operating at full forward.
Despite a number of hard won ball throughout the field a misplaced pass or a fumble from Ballinamore thwarted any chance of registering more on the scoreboard. In fact Calasanctius made better use of their possession and registered three more points before half time despite resolute defending and excellent goalkeeping from the outstanding Megan Taylor. Ballinamore had a fairy tale ending to the half when a wonderful pass over the top saw Laoise Moran King through on goals and her expert finish to the right corner gave Ballinamore the pep they needed to settle the nerves and a stalemate with their Galway opposition of 1:1 to 0:4 at half time.
At the resumption Ballinamore started to find their form and got a strong foothold in midfield through the hardworking Sarah Rowley and Aoibhinn Mc Goldrick. The diamond was completed with outstanding performances from Lisa Cull now opetating at centre forward and captain Shonagh O Sullivan whose presence and determination broke down many of the Galway’s sides attacks. The first score of the second half yielded a fortuitous goal from a 25m free for Ballinamore, from a Lisa Cull free which went in just under the crossbar against a very strong cross wind. Ballinamore continued their dominance and in less than 5 minutes an excellent finish from close range by midfielder whose strong running had a major say in where the Cup would end up. This gave Ballinamore a 6 point lead with about 13 min to go but Calasanctius now turned the tide and laid siege to the Ballinamore goals. Resolute defending and many confident saves by Megan Taylor limited Calasanof ctius to 2 points leaving Ballinamore with a four point cushion with 5 minutes left. Calasanctius last point coming from a penalty which was kicked over the bar. In a helter skelter finish of missed chances on both sides, Ballinamore were ecstatic and relieved to hear the final whistle which sounded after 2 minutes of injury time. All in all it was a gritty performance from Ballinamore who rode their luck and great credit and commiserations to Calasanctius Oranmore who will feel that lady luck was not on their side on the day through a series of near misses and strong defending by Ballinamore when scores looked imminent.
A delighted captain, Shonagh O Sullivan received the cup for a jubilant Ballinamore team. To cap off the day Ella Quinn, who lined out at centre forward but later moved to wing back received player of the match.
Full Panel and more pics to follow.
See full report in next week’s Leitrim Observer.