Over an action-packed two weeks for Ballylooby N.S. we had glory for the boys and heartbreak for the girls as we competed in a record four finals in under eleven boys and girls football finals and under thirteen boys and girls finals.
The first game was the intense battle between our under thirteen boys and their opponents from Roscrea. The first half flew by and we found ourselves a goal down and up against it. Luckily we flew out of the blocks in the second half and strong performances from Cian Murphy and Linda Murphy were complemented by goals from Kenneth Cunningham, Shane Crosse and a hat-trick from the in-form Paddy Doyle. A number of points from Nathan Crosse and co. saw the cup back on its way to Ballylooby once more.
Next up was the closely fought battle of the under thirteen girls who came up against a mighty Mount Bruis side in New Inn. An early goal for us from Ciara Morrissey was quickly cancelled out by another from Mount Bruis and the game was to continue as such. With the sides level and the game looking to end in a draw after a closely fought, thrilling encounter, a stunning goal from Mount Bruis put an end to our girls’ campaign. It ended in bitter disappointment but we were proud to have reached the final. Notable performances from the ever dedicated Mary Kenneally, Emma White, Linda Murphy, Róisín Murray, Shannon Morrissey, Lorraine Burke, Nadia Keating, Caoimhe Ryan, Ciara Morrissey, Róisín Condon and Helen Burke.
Next on the agenda that wet day in New Inn was the meeting of our under eleven boys with Boherlahan N.S. Before the game we were apprehensive as most of the under elevens had never played in a final before and Boherlahan are always formidable opponents. However, once the game began we soon found our feet. Having played a blinder in the under thirteen final, it was that man again, Shane Crosse, that ran the show. With shades of a young Maurice Fitzgerald, he weaved his way through the Boherlahan defence time and time again, pulling the strings from all over the field. Racking up a total of six goals and five points, helped along by goals from Liam Ryan, Jack O’Shea and Dylan Curry, Ballylooby ran out deserved winners.
Our final game was the also closely contested under eleven girls final versus Rosegreen. Having never won a final before it was a huge occasion for Rosegreen and their determination showed on the day. When we took an early lead of a goal and a point, Rosegreen showed great spirit and quickly rattled in two goals. With great efforts from Shannon Morrissey, Helen Burke, Ciara Morrissey, Robin Carey, Niamh Lonergan, Róisín Flannery and Róisín Condon, the performance from the Rosegreen girls proved too strong and a late goal from Rosegreen saw them win by three points. All in all, two county finals add up to a wonderfully successful year by any school’s standards, here’s hoping we can do it all again next year.