Home Sport GAA Ballyroan-Abbey see out second half thriller to earn Feile place

Ballyroan-Abbey see out second half thriller to earn Feile place

Ballyroan Abbey 2-2 The Harps 2-1
Feile na nÓg final group B

Ballyroan-Abbey are through to the All-Ireland Feile after defeating The Harps by a single point in the LOETB Centre of Excellence today.

There was little or nothing between these two teams at the end of the game as The Harps came back from a seven point deficit at half-time to come up just one shy by the final whistle.

It was the second weekend in a row that The Harps have experienced final heartache after losing the hurling decider to Camross seven days ago.

Ballyroan Abbey were aided by a cutting wind in the opening 15 minutes. Midfielder Kyle Mullin made his intent known from the start, blasting the ball into the net 30 seconds after the ball was thrown in to show he meant business today.

Fionn Delaney won the resulting kickout and struck the ball over the crossbar to make it 1-1 to Ballyroan Abbey after just one minute.

Much of the play revolved around the centre of the field, with neither side giving an inch until Ballyroan-Abbey raised the green flag for a second time in the 11th minute.

Full forward Ted Whelan sent a ball across the box which hit off the upright and into the back of The Harps net.

Multiple stoppages in the first half meant five minutes of added time, in which Bobby Murphy showed his class as he turned his man for a point to get The Harps on the scoreboard.

A 20th minute Darren Mulhall free signalled the end of the opening half as Ballyroan Abbey led 2-2 to 0-1.

Many a team would have put their heads down being seven points behind with 15 minutes to play, but not The Harps.

A mere three mintes into the second half, Darragh Townsend sent a long ball into dangerman Bobby Murphy, who finished with the ball in the back of the net for The Harps to stage a mini revivial.

Darragh Mulhall made a brilliant catch and save on the Ballyroan-Abbey end line to deny The Harps another three points, but as Simon Comerford passed the ball to Townsend, the centre-forward made no mistake in finding the net to put just one between the sides.

The pressure was on but Ballyroan-Abbey dealt with it well, primarily through Luke and Cormac Byrne.

A sigh of relief and enjoy swept through the Ballyroan-Abbey ranks as referee Tom Kennedy blew the final whistle to see the sky blue boys finish one point victors for a place in the All-Ireland competition.

SCORERS – Ballyroan Abbey: Kyle Mullin 1-0, Ted Whelan 1-0, Darren Mulhall 0-1 (0-1 frees), Fionn Delaney 0-1 The Harps: Bobby Murphy 1-1, Darragh Townsend 1-0

BALLYROAN ABBEY: Jake Keane, Rian Moloney, Daniel Cass, Luke Byrne; Jamie Ward, Tom O’Keeffe, Cormac Byrne; Darren Mulhall, Kyle Mullin; Jack Finlay, Fionn Delaney, Eli Quinn; Kallum Fitzpatrick, Ted Whelan, Stephen O’Donnell. Subs: Ethan Robinson, Eoin Prendergast, James Walker, Tommy Ward, Colin Scully

THE HARPS: Lochlan Curran; Shane Shortall, Mark Downey, Rory Walsh; Eoghan Murphy, Liam Kirby, Donal Deegan; Neil Stanley, Ciaran Flynn; Jack Dunphy, Darragh Townsend, Mark Bergin; Martin Drennan, Bobby Murphy, Justin Duggan. Subs: Ross Deegan, Mark Downey, Will Duggan, Aaron Houlihan, Simon Comerford, John Delahunty, Ned Duggan, Tom Kennedy, Bobby Murphy, Eoin Sheppard, Ciaran Walsh.

Referee: Tom Kennedy (Killeshin)

SEE ALSO – Captain Corey leads Portarlington to first ever Feile football title