Castletown 2-16 Clough-Ballacolla 3-23
ACHL Division 1
Stephen ‘Picky’ Maher hit 1-13 as Clough-Ballacolla made it four wins from four games with a ten point win over Castletown this evening.
In a very entertaining game played in perfect conditions which produced 44 scores, Picky was the main man for the victors.
Indeed the margin of victory could even had been bigger had it not been for the heroics of Castletown keeper JP Bennett who pulled off a string of fine saves and stopped a second half penalty from Maher after Stephen Bergin had been fouled.
Teenager Mark Hennessy helped Ballacolla into an early lead when he combined with Maher and Jordan Walsh to score the game’s first goal.
Castletown were competitive early on and points from Gearoid Gaughan, Joe Phelan, James Hooban and Ryan Mullaney helped them narrow the gap to two points after 13 minutes.
But Ballacolla got back on top when Willie Dunphy set up a Stephen Maher goal and then points followed from Sean Corby, Stephen Bergin and Maher to see them go nine points clear.
The pendulum then swung back Castletown’s way as Brendan Reddin drove home their opening goal after a great sideline cut by Martin Phelan.
Gearoid Gaughan and Shane Phelan pointed to leave four between them but Ballacolla finished the half with a Stephen Bergin goal and a free from Maher to lead 3-10 to 1-8 at the break.
Ballacolla stretched their advantage on the resumption of play with Maher, Aidan Corby, Jordan Walsh and Stephen Bergin all splitting the posts.
Dylan Phelan led Castletown’s resistance in the second half as he hit three fine points but Ballacolla kept scoring down the other end to keep themselves well ahead.
Gearoid Gaughan managed to grab a second goal for the home side from a free in injury time but Ballacolla would not be caught.
With games against Rosenallis and Abbeyleix to come, Ballacolla are looking good for a league final place.
Castletown remain clear of relegation for now with Abbeyleix and The Harps pointless below them.
SCORERS – CASTLETOWN: Gearoid Gaughan 1-7 (all frees), Brendan Reddin 1-0, Joe Phelan 0-1, James Hooban 0-2, Ryan Mullaney 0-1, Shane Phelan 0-1, Dylan Phelan 0-4 CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Stephen Maher 1-13 (eight frees), Stephen Bergin 1-3, Mark Hennessy 1-0, Brian Corby 0-1, Sean Corby 0-1, Aidan Corby 0-3, Jordan Walsh 0-1, Willie Dunphy 0-1
CASTLETOWN: JP Bennett; Shane Cuddy, Eoin Peters, Evan Cuddy; Fionnan Cuddy, Ryan Mullaney, Shane Phelan, Dylan Conroy, Joe Phelan; Brendan Reddin, Conor Phelan, Martin Phelan; Conor Walsh, Gearoid Gaughen, James Hooban. Subs: Aaron Gaughen for J Phelan (51)
CLOUGH-BALLACOLLA: Danny Hanlon; Diarmaid Conway, John Delaney, Finbarr Conway; Michael McEvoy, Lee Cleere, Tom Delaney; Aidan Corby, Brian Corby; Willie Dunphy, Jordan Walsh, Sean Corby; Stephen Maher, Mark Hennessy, Stephen Bergin. Subs: John O’Dwyer for T Delaney (20 inj), Brendan McEvoy for M McEvoy (43), Shane Hanlon for A Corby (46), Chris Rafter for Walsh (50), Damien Bergin for Hennessey (55)
Referee: Mick Cleere