Borris Kilcotton certainly didn’t have it all their own way but they produced an impressively efficient display to bring an end to Ballinakill’s championship that promised much but petered out without really delivering.
Senior Hurling Championship
Borris Kilcotton certainly didn’t have it all their own way but they produced an impressively efficient display to bring an end to Ballinakill’s championship that promised much but petered out without really delivering. They will look to a couple of costly errors at both ends of the field but Borris Kilcotton were comfortably the better side and with Matthew Whelan inspirational at the back they can now look forward to their last four meeting against the winners of the Clough Ballacolla and Castletown Slieve Bloom replay.
Ballinakill mightn’t be considered to be one of the top contenders for the title but they are always capable of ruffling more than a few feathers and from the outset this had the makings of a finely poised encounter. It certainly proved to be just that for most of the first half at least with the sides exchanging the lead before Borris just shaded it in the last two minutes of the opening period.
Neil Foyle and PJ Scully got Borris Kilcotton off to a steady start with early points before those were cancelled out by Ballinakill duo Cha Dwyer and TJ Lalor, who helped each other to a point apiece at the other end. Foyle’s free briefly got his side back in front but Fergal O’Shaughnessy’s efforts saw him earn a brace of frees that were converted by Cha Dwyer and Brian O’Meara respectively to guide their side into the lead for the first time.
That lead didn’t last too long however, with Neil Foyle’s third of the game restoring parity before a rare and quite bizarre goal from Matthew Whelan put some daylight between the sides for the first time. Whelan drove a huge ball in that sailed towards an isolated Tony O’Shaughnessy but with perhaps too much time on his hands to contemplate his next move the Ballinakill keeper allowed the ball to slip from his grasp and over the line.
Martin Coss and Colm Delaney added to the Borris Kilcotton lead and Ballinakill looked to be struggling as the first half neared it’s conclusion. However Brian O’Shaughnessy’s charges refused to lie down and within four minutes they were right back in it. Brian O’Mara’s free cut the lead to four and then that Dwyer-Lalor partnership conjured up a fine Ballinakill goal. Barry Dunne’s long ball in was caught by Dwyer who off-loaded a clever pass to Lalor and the Ballinakill forward buried neatly beyond Trevor Moore.
There was only one minute remaining at that stage but Borris Kilcotton rattled three late points over in that short space if time to go in with a healthy four point advantage. Patrick Whelan, Robert Jones and Neil Foyle all found the target and Barney Naughnane’s men chose to spend their break discussing how best to build on that lead over in the far corner of the Abbeyleix end rather than the comforts of the O’Moore Park dressing rooms.
They started equally as bright as the first half after the restart and Patrick Whelan’s early point extended their advantage before Damien Carter’s first point of the game cancelled that out two minute later. The game died out after that and neither side managed a score for a full ten minutes until Borris Kilcotton finally injected some life into it with a flurry of scores that all but sealed their win midway through the half.
Matthew Whelan’s long range free was followed quickly by a carbon copy a minute later and then it was the turn of Neil Foyle to sparkle with a moment of real individual quality. He gathered a low ball in and manufactured the space to bear down on goal with a superb side-step to the right. He still had plenty to do but he finished his chance with style by dispatching low beyond Tony O’Shaughnessy and Borris were nine points clear.
There was a bit of afters that saw Foyle joined by Robert Jones and Ballinakill’s Brendan O’Mara and James Walsh in Anthony Stapleton’s notebook. That suggested that Ballinakill weren’t completely subdued and a goal three minutes later confirmed that. Brian O’Mara reacted quickest to a loose ball after confusion in the danger zone to fire a low shot just inside Trevor Moore’s right hand post and a point from Cha Dwyer reduced the deficit to five points with the four minutes left.
A comeback never really seemed likely however, and two points from Neil Foyle made sure of that. Ballinakill’s late search for a goal proved fruitless and they had to do with a late Mick Jackman point that brought the curtain down on their campaign for another year.
SCORERS - Borris-Kilcotton: Neil Foyle 1-6 (0-5 frees), Matthew Whelan 1-3 (0-1 ’65, 0-2 frees), Patrick Whelan 0-2, Robert Jones, Colm Delaney, Martin Coss and PJ Scully 0-1 each; Ballinakill: Brian O’Mara 1-3 (0-2 frees, 0-1’65), TJ Lalor 1-1, Cha Dwyer 0-3 (0-1 free), Damien Carter and Mick Jackman 0-1 each.
BORRIS-IN-OSSORY/KILCOTTON: Trevor Moore; Jim Fitzpatrick, Eoin Bergin, Eric Abraham; Robert Jones, Matthew Whelan, Brian Stapleton; Danny Fitzpatrick, Kevin Finlay; Colm Delaney, Noel Delaney, Patrick Whelan; Martin Coss, Neil Foyle, PJ Scully. Subs: Joe Campion for Delaney (33 mins), Enda Kelly for Abraham (41 mins), Ciaran Comerford for Coss (58 mins)
BALLINAKILL: Tony O’Shaughnessy; Brendan O’Mara, Eoin Delaney, Pauric Lalor; Barry Dunne, James Walsh, Patrick Dwyer; Brian O’Mara, Eamon Jackman; Edward Dwyer, Seamus Dwyer, Fergal O’Shaughnessy; TJ Lalor, Cha Dwyer, Damien Carter. Subs: Mick Jackman for E Dwyer (46 mins), Willie Barry for F O’Shaughnessy (46 mins).
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Rathdowney-Errill)