Inches were all that denied Ballyroan a last gasp winner in the minor league final last Friday night against Portlaoise. Trailing by seven points with nine minutes remaining in Timahoe, Ballyroan staged a dramatic comeback narrowing that gap to the minimum, and could have won it at the death had Pat O Keeffe’s fisted effort sailed slightly under the bar rather than over it.
MFL A Final
Ballyroan Abbey Gaels 2-5
In truth Portlaoise could and should have won by a great deal more. A single point victory doesn’t accurately reflect the difference in quality between the two teams. Ballyroan failed to score from play in the first half, and gave away far too many frees all over the pitch trying to cope with a Portlaoise who from one to fifteen played for fifty minutes as though they were senior veterans.
However a thrilling finale was set in the 58th minute when Sean Murphy’s goal, struck high into the net after dogged work from Evan McEvoy, reduced the deficit to three points.
Impact sub Martin Scully pointed from way out the field just one minute later, giving Ballyroan time to mount one more attack.
More pressure resulted in Ballyroan being awarded a free 30 yards from goal, which was lobbed into an extremely crowded goal mouth by Jaime Bartley. Corner forward Patrick O Keefe rose highest and got a good fisted connection with the delivery, but unfortunately for him it sailed just above the cross bar, leaving Portlaoise one point to the good after a very exciting finish.
See this week’s Leinster Express for full report.