They outscored Rockwell Rovers by 4 points to 1 in the second half of extra time and that was good enough to send Ballyporeen into the County Intermediate Football Championship Final, following Saturday’s semi-final at Bansha.
The scores were level 9 times until three late points from Conor Sweeney (one from a free) and another from Tommy Sweeney finally put daylight between the sides.
They were deadlocked at 1-4 to 0-7 at half time, Rovers having benefited from a gift of a goal in the 20th minute when a defender dropped John Heaney’s high and hopeful delivery and Eoin Shine kicked the loose ball to the net.
With Conor Sweeney, Darragh Lyons and Tommy Sweeney spearheading their fluid attack Ballyporeen made an early second half spurt that saw them score 4 points without reply and put them on course for the decider. However Rovers refused to surrender and Alan Moloney equalised with a free in the second minute of injury to tie the scores at 1-10 to 0-13.
Moloney typified the spirit that kept Rovers afloat for so long as did Eoin Shine, Pat Prendergast, Barry Shortall, John Heaney and Gavin Ryan.
There was still no separating them at half time in extra time (1-12 to 0-15) but Ballyporeen, for whom John O’Callaghan, Shane Molan, Rian O’Callaghan and substitute Anthony Crotty were also prominent, did enough to earn their passage into the final.
Ballyporeen - Mikey Sweeney, Seamus O’Callaghan, Dave Russell, Rian O’Callaghan, Shane Molan (0-1), William English, Eoin Morrissey, John O’Callaghan, Tommy Sweeney (0-2), Paudie Fitzgerald, Conor Sweeney (0-9 including 5 frees and 1 ‘45), Darragh Lyons (0-3), Fionnan O’Sullivan, John Martin (0-1) and Shane Lynch (0-1). Subs - A. Crotty (0-2) for P. Fitzgerald, B. Breedy for D. Russell, E. Kearney for S. O’Callaghan, P. Fitzgerald for S. Molan and N. Barrett for F. O’Sullivan.
Rockwell Rovers - John Keating, Stephen Quirke, Paul Halley, Robert O’Donnell, John Heaney (0-1), Pat Halley, Liam Lonergan, Eoin Shine (1-1), Gavin Ryan (0-2 frees), Barry Shortall, Jack Sullivan, Pat Prendergast, TJ Ryan, Alan Moloney (0-9 including 4 frees) and James O’Halloran. Subs - E. Byrne for J. Sullivan, P. Prendergast for J. Heaney, J. Sullivan for P. Prendergast, J. Heaney for TJ Ryan and TJ Ryan for G. Ryan.
Ref - Paddy Russell (Emly).