Home Sport GAA Ballyfin withstand late Shanahoe rally to reach Senior ‘A’ semi final

Ballyfin withstand late Shanahoe rally to reach Senior ‘A’ semi final

Father and son from Trumera to play in second IHC final

Ballyfin 1-21 Shanahoe 1-13
Laois Shopping Centre S’A’HC Quarter Final

A late Richie Downey goal put the gloss on a fine win for Ballyfin as they advanced to the Senior ‘A’ hurling championship semi finals following an eight point win over Shanahoe.

In torrential rain, Ballyfin saw their eight point lead dwindle down to three with five minutes to play as Shanahoe battled right back.

But Ballyfin scored an injury time goal to hold on for the win and go on to face either Colt or The Harps in the semi final.

If Rosenallis win the next quarter final against Mountrath, Ballyfin will face The Harps but if Mountrath win, a draw will be required to determine who plays who.

There really was nothing between the teams for the first twenty minutes of this one as the lead swapped hands on several occasions.

Ballyfin hit five wides in the period while Shanahoe recorded a 100% accuracy rate which left them 0-7 to 0-6 ahead after 21 minutes.

Teenager Dylan Cuddy slotted over two great point from tight angles while Rhian Bergin was accurate as always on the frees and from play.

Gareth Dunphy, David Connolly and Eanna Lyons kept Ballyfin in it at that stage but their misses were preventing them from opening up any sort of lead.

However, that all changed in the final nine minutes of the the half as they hit six points without reply.

Dunphy, Lyons, Eamon Duff, Gary Hoffmeister, Darragh Connolly and Richie Downey did the damage but it was the way that their half back line of Kevin O’Rourke, Allan Connolly and Louis Duff won everything that came their way in that period to give their side the platform to go forward.

Shanahoe ended the scoring spree with the final act of the half via a Rhian Bergin 65 but they trailed 0-12 to 0-8 at the interval.

Gareth Dunphy extended Ballyfin’s lead on the resumption of play but Rhain Bergin hit straight back for Shanahoe before Dunphy hit his sixth free of the game.

James Finn became Ballyfin’s eight different scorer, Eanna Lyons slotted his third from in front of the terrace and then Gary Hoffmesiter landed his second to make it 0-17 to 0-9 with a quarter of the game to play.

Shanahoe needed a strong finish to have any chance and they got the next two points via Mark Kirwan and Rhian Bergin.

But Ballyfin quelled that mini rising thanks to Louis Duff and Dunphy to go seven points up after 50 minutes.

Leigh Bergin replied with a point from half way and the next shot from that area, via Rhian Bergin, sailed all the way into the net to make it 0-19 to 0-12 with five minutes to go.

Rhian Bergin added another free and the margin was down to three as we headed for four minutes of added time.

Gareth Dunphy converted his eight free though and the game was settled in the final minute when Richie Downey flicked a Dunphy free to the net.

SCORERS – Shanahoe: Rhian Bergin 1-8 (five frees, two 65s), Dayle Bergin 0-1, Martin Kirwan 0-1, Dylan Cuddy 0-2, Leigh Bergin 0-1 Ballyfin: Gareth Dunphy 0-8 (all frees), David Connolly 0-2, Eanna Lyons 0-3, Eamon Duff 0-1, Gary Hoffmeister 0-2, Darragh Connolly 0-1, Richie Downey 1-1, James Finn 0-1, Louis Duff 0-1

SHANAHOE: Darragh Hiney; Shane Bowe, Brian Guilfoyle, Paddy O’Toole; Dayle Bergin, Leigh Bergin, Anthony Kirwan; Timmy Carroll, Killian Breen; Jack Delaney, Martin Kirwan, Rhian Bergin; Josh Hickey, Mark Kirwan, Dylan Cuddy. Subs: Jimmy Kirwan for K Breen (38), David Madden for S Bowe (62, inj)

BALLYFIN: Dermot McGill; Brendan O’Neill, Max Connolly, Sean O’Neill; Kevin O’Rourke, Allan Connolly, Louis Duff; David Connolly, Eanna Lyons; Gary Hoffmeister, Darragh Connolly, James Finn; Gareth Dunphy, Eamon Duff, Richie Downey

Referee: Ronan Devanney (Camross)