Three first half goals edged Ballina into a lead they failed to relinquish in the County MHC ‘B’ Final over a plucky and resilient Sean Treacys/Emly on Sunday in Semple Stadium.
For Sean Treacys/Emly this result will be seen as a disappointing one, as losing all finals are, but on reflection this combination outfit should find massive positives from the campaign as the development of their players would definitely have increased from playing on the hallowed Semple Stadium turf.
An early Ballina goal was cancelled out with a thunderous response from the West Tipperary men as Sean Ryan made a tremendous run collecting on the 50 yard line and lashing to the back of the net. Two points from play by centre forward Daragh Kennedy surrounded this wonderful goal giving Treacys/Emly a foothold in the contest.
Ballina made their decisive move just prior to the interval as goals from Murtagh and King we accompanied by a free from Conor Maguire to lead 3-3 to 1-4 at the break.
The second half produced a far higher standard as both teams settled with early frees from Conor Maguire and Brian Carey cancelling each other out. Sean Ryan stroked over the point of the match with a delightful effort 60 yards out, losing his marker with a beautiful side step. Brian Carey then sparked real optimism into the combination side’s cause with a goal as he latched onto a breaking ball delivered from the middle of the field and finished off his left. Points from Ben King and two from Conor Maguire steadied the ship for Ballina but the never say die attitude of the combination outfit again surfaced when Sean Ryan fed Patrick Carey for a goal but late points secured the win for Ballina
Ballina: A. Power; D. Kelly, E. Healy, P. O Donovan; J. Collins, A. Hanley (Joint Capt.), R. Bourke; C. Maguire (0-6, 4F, 1-65), B. King (1-1); B. Connolly, D. Finnerty (Joint Capt.), J. Murtagh (2-2); B. Floyd, T. O Halloran (0-1), P. O Hagan. Subs: P. O Leary, T. McGrath (0-2), J. Slevin.
Sean Treacys/ Emly: S. Stapleton; J. Condon, W. Mackey, D. Fahey; T. Lyons, A. O Brien, M. Feehan; S. Ryan (1-1), P. Deegan (0-1); G. Egan (0-1), D. Kennedy (0-2), S. Burke; T. Ryan, B. Carey (1-3, 0-3F), P. Ryan. Subs: E. Ryan for T. Lyons (26), P. Carey (1-2, 0-1F) for P. Ryan (36), B. O Meara for T. Ryan (47).
Referee: John Butler