Home Sport GAA Ballyfin and Killeshin finish level in enthralling senior football semi-final

Ballyfin and Killeshin finish level in enthralling senior football semi-final

Photo - Paul Dargan

Ballyfin 1-11 Killeshin 2-8
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Semi-Final

Ballyfin and Killeshin will have to do it all again after they finished level in their Laois SFC semi-final clash in O’Moore Park this afternoon.

On an incredibly sticky pitch and with both sides looking to reach the final for the first time ever, this one could have went either way.

Instead they’ll have to meet again in the replay on Wednesday night meaning a busy week for Ballyfin as they’re in hurling championship action next Saturday.

Both teams duly went at it in the right spirit from the off.

Sean Moore and David Aston exchanged early frees and Eoin Lowry nudged Killeshin into then lead with the first of his scores but Ballyfin then hit a purple patch.

Darragh Connolly came up from wing-back and spun one over, then Sean Moore added a free and then Ballyfin had the game’s first goal when they capitalised on a poor short kickout and Moore calmly finished past Shane Coakley.

Louis Duff added a point moments later and at the end of the first quarter, Ballyfin led 1-4 to 0-2.

David Aston pulled a free back for Killeshin and they were back in business when Cathal Brennan cracked home a great goal after Killeshin made the most of a Ballyfin kickout that went wrong.

The sides were level when Aston added another free and though Allan Connolly replied, Killeshin took the lead after points from Lowry and Michael Doran.

But the sides went in level 1-6 apiece at the break when Darragh Connolly got an almost identical effort to his first.

The second half was slow-burning affair but the crucial moment came only five minutes after the restart when Eoin Lowry got a scrappy goal for Killeshin after initially forcing a great save out of Robert Foran.

Cathal Brennan followed up with a free and for the first time Killeshin had a bit of breathing space.

But Ballyfin hit the next four points.

Louis Duff pointed from play and James Finn landed an excellent free in tough conditions to bring it back to two.

Ricky Quillinan punched a Finn ’45 over the bar to reduce it further and James Moore levelled it up with four minutes of normal time remaining.

Eoin Lowry nudged Killeshin back into the lead almost straight away but James Finn tied things again in injury time.

Was there to be another twist? Laois captain Stephen Attride, who had done a great marking job on Sean Moore all afternoon, had a late chance to win it for Killeshin but his shot off the outside of the boot went wide and Seamus Mulhare blew the full-time whistle straight away.

They’ll do battle again. Portlaoise await the winners in the final.

SCORERS – Ballyfin: Sean Moore 1-2 (0-2 frees), Darragh Connolly 0-2, Louis Duff 0-2, James Finn 0-2, Ricky Quillinan 0-1, Allan Connolly 0-1, (free), James Moore 0-1. Killeshin: Eoin Lowry 1-3, Cathal Brennan 1-1 (0-1 free), David Aston 0-3 (frees), Michael Doran 0-1

BALLYFIN: Robbie Foran; George Lanham, David Connolly, Allan Connolly; Max Connolly, Ciaran Fingleton, Darragh Connolly; James Finn, Ricky Quillinan; Nick Cosgrave, James Moore, Dan Molloy; Sean Moore, Louis Duff, Jack Priestley. Subs: Barry O’Rourke for Cosgrave (HT), Barry Roche for M Connolly (55)

KILLESHIN: Shane Coakley; Jeremy Mahon, Kevin Ryan, Stephen Attride; Keelan Galligan, Shane Bolger, Arnie Mahon; Gavin Brennan, Brian Lowry; Ross Bolger, David Aston, Evan Lowry, Michael Doran, Cathal Brennan, Eoin Lowry. Subs: Adam Deering for Evan Lowry (Black Card – 7), Mark McDermott for R Bolger (37), Luke Attride for B Lowry (54), Pauric Bolton for Galligan (58)

SEE ALSO – Portlaoise fight back to see off Portarlington in thrilling semi-final