Killeshin 1-16 Ballylinan 0-12
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2 Winners
What a difference a year makes. Less than 12 months ago, Ballylinan and Killeshin met in the Laois SFC quarter-final and Ballylinan won 3-8 to 1-5 en route to their first county final appearance in 30 years.
This evening in O’Moore Park the tables were reversed emphatically. Killeshin eased to a seven-point win in this Round 2 game, a result that sends them into the last eight once again.
Killeshin were at a different level altogether and were more tuned in and brought a greater intensity from the start. They also had a number of forwards in top form – and they shot the lights out in the opening half, building a 13-point lead by the 27th minute.
Ballylinan have struggled all year to recapture their 2017 form and while they’re not gone from the championship – and instead go into Round 3 – their season is in bits at the moment.
Killeshin were very quick out of the traps, their first point coming from Evan Lowry after he got on the end of a move initiated by Laois captain Stephen Attride, back for his first appearance since fracturing his skull playing for Laois in the Leinster championship semi-final in June.
Attride picked up his county colleague Gary Walsh from the start and while Attride got on top of that battle, most of the play was down at the other end.
Eoin Lowry doubled their lead with the first point of his tally and on eight minutes he got the game’s first goal when he reacted quickest after Aidan Walsh saved Mark McDermott’s initial effort.
Ballylinan badly needed something to get them into the game but the scores kept coming thick and fast for Killeshin – a Cathal Brennan free, two from Eoin Lowry and one from Evan had them 1-6 to no score up midway through the half.
Two more from Brennan and one from Lowry and sub David Aston – in for the unfortunate Brian Lowry who went off injured after crashing into big John Kealy – had Killeshin 13 points up with 27 minutes on the clock.
Liam Kealy finally got Ballylinan off the mark when he blasted over from close range but that was cancelled out by the impressive Aston. Cieran Farrell pointed twice before the break for Ballylinan – either side of another Brennan free – but at half time Killeshin led 1-12 to 0-3.
Ballylinan improved with the wind in the second half and the Farrells – Cieran, Alan and Jamie all kicked some good points from play – with Gary Walsh tapping over a couple of frees.
But Killeshin did enough to stay well ahead with Barry Ryan, the Lowrys, Brennan and sub Kevin Brennan all pointing.
SCORERS – Killeshin: Eoin Lowry 1-5, Cathal Brennan 0-5 (four frees), Evan Lowry 0-3, David Aston 0-2, Barry Ryan 0-1;Ballylinan: Gary Walsh 0-4 (all frees), Cieran Farrell 0-4, Alan Farrell 0-2, Jamie Farrell 0-1, Liam Kealy 0-1
KILLESHIN: Shane Coakley; Stephen Attride, Jeremy Mahon, Barry Ryan; Shane Bolger, Kevin Ryan, Pauric Bolton; Eoin Lowry, Brian Lowry; Arnie Mahon, Cathal Brennan, Simon Attride; Mark McDermott, Michael Doran, Evan Lowry. Sub: David Aston for B Lowry (injured – 24), Luke Attride for K Ryan (injured – 40), Paddy Walsh for M Doran (56), Kevin Brennan for C Brennan (61)
BALLYLINAN: Aidan Walsh; Eric Kenna, Cathal Leonard, Kevin Byrne; Robbie Donoher, Richie Ryan, Gary ‘Soldier’ Walsh; Jamie Farrell, Padraig McEvoy; Alan Farrell, Seamus Lacey, James Redmond; Cieran Farrell, Gary Walsh, Liam Kealy. Subs: Ciaran Fennessy for Donoher (20), John Kealy for McEvoy (injured – 22), Dermot Leonard for Gary ‘Soldier’ Walsh (29), Laurence Kealy for Redmond (41), Podge Walsh for Liam Kealy (52),
REFEREE: Clifford Ward (Portarlington)