Neither side could complain about the end result in Colt on Sunday morning as both teams dominated a half each, as Ballyfin got the better of the first while Rathdowney- Errill finished the stronger in the second.
Both teams will rue missed opportunities and some wayward shooting from both forward divisions, particularly in the second period. Had either of the teams tuned in their scoring radar they could have been marching into the second round with a win underneath their belts.
Ballyfin settled the quicker and were three points to the good inside the first ten minutes with Gareth Dunphy’s free taking to the fore. Rathdowney Errill’s opening score was simplicity itself, a quick side line puck to Damien Bowe who converted from fifty yards. Amazingly, Bowe would go on to register every score for his side.
Another Dunphy free in the 17th minute stretched the score to 0-7 to 0-3 as Ballyfin began to dominate, however Rathdowney struck back a minute later with the game’s only goal. John Delaney found Bowe on the twenty yard line and he bustled his way into danger zone before dispatching from eight yards to put one between them. Dunphy was on hand to point two free as the first period drew to a close to give his side a 0-11 to 1-6 lead at the break.
Bowe and Dunphy traded a free and ‘65 each at the opening stages of the second half before Bowe converted a long range effort from play. It could have been worse for Ballyfin as only a super save by their net minder Tom McHugh denied Ciaran Bowe a goal, although he did point the rebound.
Ballyfin’s Sean O’Neill showed good composure to point from 50 yards for Ballyfin following good work from Gary Dunne to stretch his sides lead to two, 0-13 to 1-9 midway through the second period. The villagers George Lanham pointed from forty yards on the fifty minute mark to maintain a two point lead.
A free and an excellent score from play by Bowe tied the sides with five to play. A neat George Lanham point gave Ballyfin the lead back with three minutes left but a fifty eight minute ’65 from the deadly Bowe brought the scoring to the an end to ensure the sides would have another crack at each other next weekend, the game finishing honours even.
SCORERS - Ballyfin: Gareth Dunphy 0-8 (0-6 frees, 0-1’65), George Lanham 0-4, Sean O’Neill, Sean Lowry, Louis Duff 0-1 each. Rathdowney-Errill: Damien Bowe 1-12 (0-8 frees, 0-1 ‘65)
BALLYFIN: Tom McHugh; Daniel Molloy, JJ McHugh, Ciaran Fingleton; Gary Dunne, Eamon Duff, Owen Dunphy; George Lanham, Sean O’Neil; Richie Dunphy, Gareth Dunphy, James Finn; Sean Lowry, Dermot McGill, Louis Duff. Subs: David Connolly for D McGill (24 mins), Ricky Quillinan for L Duff (45 mins)
RATHDOWNEY-ERRILL: Philip Bergin; Mark Tracey, Niall Delaney, Paddy Meehan; Jake Creagh, Shane Clear, Colm Ryan; Owen Burke, John Delaney; Jack Kelly, Liam Tynan, Mark Dunne; Ciaran Bowe, Damien Bowe, Sean Delaney. Subs: Ray Bowe for S Delaney (39 mins), Vinny Clear for S Clear (45 mins), David Poynton for C Bowe (53 mins)