Ballingarry keep survival hopes alive with win over Kickhams.
Ballingarry took a major step towards safeguarding their senior status when they handed Knockavilla Kickhams a fourteen points drubbing in the Tipperary Water Seamus O Riain cup relegation first round game at Cashel, 4-16 to 0-14.
With four teams involved in the relegation battle and two to drop down a grade, there is little room for manoeuvre for the clubs involved and so this first round win is a huge boost to Ballingarry while at the same time putting Knockavilla on the back foot.
All the damage was done in the first half as wind-aided Ballingarry blasted home four goals.
Some naive defending made things easy for the South side. Dylan Walsh in the second minute and again in the 10th minute bagged goals to give Ballingarry a 2-1 to 0-3 lead against Kickhams for whom Brendan Ryan was showing lots of promise in attack.
Ballingarry knew they needed a good cushion for what was to come in the second half and a third goal by Philip Ivers, a big threat in attack, followed after 14 minutes for a 3-3 to 0-4 lead, all Kickhams scores coming from Brendan Ryan.
Ivers struck again in the 17th minute and at the break the South side were 4-9 to 0-7 ahead, leaving Knockavilla with a near impossible task after the break.
A Nathan Ryan point for Kickhams, followed by three from Brendan Ryan, made some inroads into the deficit but Ballingarry, with Philip Ivers, Adrian Cleere, and Ian Ivers showing the way, were doing enough to keep themselves out of trouble.
Kickhams badly need a goal or two to ignite their challenge but they lacked incisiveness in front of goal and Ballingarry coasted home for a win that really sets them up to defend their senior status.
It was a most heartening display from Ballingarry and one which will have their followers wondering how they came to find themselves in this relegation lottery. Clearly there is a lot of talent in their side and spurred on by this win, they should make a bold bid to get themselves out of the trouble they are in.
Adrian Cleere and Philip and Ian Ivers were their key men and along with Ger Fennelly, Dylan Walsh, Paul Butler and Dickie Norton, have done much to keep the flag flying for Ballingarry.
Knockavilla Kickhams are paying dearly for defensive frailties which have hampered their progress all year. However, on this occasion, their attack also came up short and they have a serious fight on their hands to avoid dropping down to intermediate.
Brendan Ryan was their main source of scores, notching eleven of their points, nine from frees. Three points from the remainder of the team tells its own story but Nathan Ryan, Kieran Breen, Eoin McCormack, and Michael Shanahan also made a mighty effort.
Ballingarry scorers- P Ivers (2-5,0-4fs), D Walsh(2-0), A Cleere(0-5), I Ivers, P Butler,(0-2 each), J Fennelly, E Tuohy,(0-1 each);
Knockavilla scorers- B Ryan(0-11,9fs), D Browne, N Ryan, S Morrissey(0-1 each);
Ballingarry - James Logue; John Walsh, Dickie Norton, John Edward Molloy; Ciaran Shelley, Ger Fennelly, Sean Doheny; Paul Butler, Gus Fitzgerald; Ian Ivers, Adrian Cleere, Jack Fennelly; Dylan Walsh, Philip Ivers, Eamon Tuohy;
Knockavilla Kickhams - Paddy Ryan; Michael Shanahan, Cathal Morrissey, Paudie Hayes; Nathan Ryan, Eoin Carew, Eoin McCormack; Kieran Breen, Shane Morrissey; Ger Browne, Michael McCormack, Brendan Ryan; Davy Butler, Dara Browne, Johnny Ryan; Subs-Killian Loughman, Dean Thompson, Paudie O Connell;
Referee: Johnny Ryan, Boherlahan-Dualla.