Dunphy points Spink into semi-finals

Spink goalkeeper John Dunphy played a starring role for his side in their unlikely win over Ballyfin last Thursday, as he hit four points to help secure a place in the semi-finals.

Spink goalkeeper John Dunphy played a starring role for his side in their unlikely win over Ballyfin last Thursday, as he hit four points to help secure a place in the semi-finals.

The former Laois netminder scored two long range frees and two 45s, with three of those scores coming in the second half to keep his side firmly in control.

Ballyfin will be left kicking themselves as they had made a strong start to the game, but wilted when Spink came back at them late in the first half.

The first ten minutes of the game were evenly contested, with Mark Carroll opening the scoring with a free for Spink, and James Finn responding in kind for Ballyfin.

Eamon Jackman and Finn, again from a free, saw the teams level at 0-2 apiece after ten minutes, but Ballyfin took control after that.

It was Finn who was doing all the damage for Ballyfin, and he put them ahead for the first time with his third free. He almost struck for a goal moments later when a wonderful long ball from Cathal Brophy found him 20 yards out, but his rasping shot grazed the crossbar and went over for a point.

He added another from play soon after to open up a three point lead, but then a Damien Carter point a superb goal from Mark Carroll brought Spink back into it. Both team managed two more points apiece before the break as Spink lead 1-5 to 0-7 at half time.

They pushed on at the start of the second half, with Dunphy and James Walsh pointing to put them three clear, and they were able to maintain that lead for much of the game as Ballyfin struggled to find any fluency in attack, and Spink held on for the win.

SCORERS - Spink: John Dunphy (0-2 frees, 0-2 45s), Mark Carroll 1-1 (0-1 free), Damien Carter 0-2, Eamon Jackman, James Walsh 0-1 each; Ballyfin: James Finn 0-8 (0-5 frees), Joe Brophy, Louis Duff 0-1 each

SPINK: John Dunphy; Padraig Lalor, Paddy Gorman, Ciaran Bowe; Eamon Jackman, Seamus Dwyer, Míchael Downey; Brian O’Mara, Seamus Miller; Jimmy Walsh, Cha Dwyer, Paul Simms; MJ Lalor, Mark Carroll, Damien Carter. Subs: Daithí Brennan for Downey (33 mins), Robert Miller for Carroll (61 mins)

BALLYFIN: Paul Holohan; Barry Roche, Eoin Dunphy, Michael McHugh; Alan Strong, Gary Dunne, Richie Downey; Cathal Phelan, George Lanham; Dan Molloy, Ciaran Fingleton, Joe Brophy; Louis Duff, Cathal Brophy, James Finn. Subs: Chris Dunne for Fingleton (30 mins), Damien Holohan for Molloy (47 mins), Dermot McGill for C Brophy (58 mins - injured)

Referee: Vincent Dowling (O’Dempsey’s)