A battling Lattin Cullen Gaels side succumbed to North champions Ballina by 0-19 to 2-11 following an absorbing County Intermediate Hurling semi-final at Drombane on Saturday afternoon last.
In what proved a hard fought and tension-filled encounter the West combination side belied their underdogs tag to really put it up to a strong Ballina outfit. Level on five occasions throughout the hour, the difference between the sides in the finish was a stronger closing quarter from the Ballina men. Having seized a two-point advantage following Cathal Dillon’s 47th minute penalty Lattin were pegged back and outscored by 0-6 to 0-2 as a resilient Ballina side refused to capitulate.
Lattin threw everything at Ballina in injury time but despite going close on a number of occasions they just couldn’t break down a resolute Ballina defence.
In a frantic finish Lattin pegged the gap back to one with a long-range effort from the impressive Thomas Hanley before substitue Brian Stritch converted from close to the sideline on the stand side. Lattin Cullen’s best were Cathal Dillon, Brendan Hanley and Evan Hanley.
Scorers: Ballina: M. Breen 0-11 (0-10f); D. Hickey 0-4; K. Cosgrove, S. Stritch, E. Sheehy and B. Stritch 0-1 each.
Lattin Cullen Gaels: C. Dillon 1-7 (1-0 pen, 0-6f); E. Hanley 1-0; C. O’Shea 0-2; T. Hanley and B. Hanley 0-1 each.
Lattin Cullen Gaels: Stephen Chapman, Laurence Coskeran, Mark O’Shea, Mark Hanley; Aidan Kiely, Thomas Hanley, Shane Russell; Barry Grogan, Michael Hanley; Lenny Leahy, Evan Hanley, Brendan Hanley; Mark Russell, Cathal Dillon, Cathal O’ Shea. Subs: Sean Cunningham for S. Russell (19); Ed O’Meara for Leahy (41); Pat Power for Cunningham (50).
Ballina: Martin McKeogh, Donal Kent, Pat Cosgrove , Brian McKeogh; Kevin Cosgrove , Thomas Collins, Donal McKeogh; Jerry O’Brien, Sean McKeogh; Stephen O’Brien, Michael Breen, David Hickey; Eoin Sheehy, Eoin Kent , TJ O’Connell.
Referee: Willie Clohessy (Drom/Inch).