Ballyfin 3-10 Rosenallis 2-12
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 1
Ballyfin recovered from a sluggish first half to record a deserved win over neighbours Rosenallis in an entertaining Laois SFC opener in Portarlington this evening.
Played behind closed doors with no supporters present only for those who managed to sit on the wall on the train station side of the ground, this was a good win for last year’s beaten semi-finalists who were once again inspired by the ever-dangerous Sean Moore, who finished with 1-7.
Rosenallis, playing their first senior game since 1996, played a very controlled game in the first half and were 2-5 to 0-5 up late in the first half after goals from Ronan Murray and Eoin Dunne.
John O’Loughlin, playing his first adult game for his native Rosenallis, saw plenty of ball in the opening half and enjoyed a right good battle with former county colleague James Finn.
Ronan Murray, Cillian Cillally and Colm Poole were all very impressive for Rosenallis in that opening half.
But after Murray poked home Rosenallis’s second goal after a pass from Joey Shelley, Ballyfin hit back brilliantly.
Louis Duff replied straight away with a fantastic goal and Moore got two points to bring the deficit back to a point. At half time it was Rosenallis 2-5 Ballyfin 1-7.
Ballyfin struck for a goal within minutes of the restart when Sean Moore converted a penalty after being fouled himself. And Ballyfin were well on top thereafter with Moore causing all sorts of problems.
They opened up a three-point lead but Rosenallis did get a much-needed point just on the water break when sub Brian Fitzpatrick popped over a lovely point.
Moore extended the lead with a free on the restart but Rosenallis had the gap back to one with frees from Murray and Poole.
But Ballyfin then struck for the game’s crucial goal – Jack Priestley finishig to the net soccer style after his first shot was blocked.
That was to be their last score as Rosenallis fought back brilliantly.
But despite points from Murray (free), Poole and a long-range free from goalkeeper Donal Lalor, Ballyfin held on.
SCORERS – Ballyfin: Sean Moore 1-7 (1-0 penalty, 0-4 frees), Louis Duff 1-0, Jack Priestley 1-0, James Finn 0-2 (one free), Allan Connolly 0-1. Rosenallis: Ronan Murray 1-5 (0-5 frees), Eoin Dunne 1-1, Colm Poole 0-4 (two frees), Brian Fitzpatrick 0-1, Donal Lalor 0-1 (free).
ROSENALLIS: Donal Lalor; John Maher, Ruadhri C Fennell, Adam McDermott; Marcus Redmond, Cathal C Fennell, Fiachra C Fennell; Eoin Dunne, John O’Loughlin; Paddy Keating, Ronan Murray, Colm Poole; Cillian Callally, Donagh Cillally, Joey Shelley. Subs: Brian Fitzpatrick for Keating (40), Jack Friel for McDermot (40)
BALLYFIN: Robbie Foran; Jack Cleary, David Connolly, Allan Connolly; Will Reilly, Ciaran Fingleton, Darragh Connolly; James Finn, Max Connolly; Nick Cosgrave, James Moore, Dan Molloy; Sean Moore, Louis Duff, Jack Priestley. Sub: George Lanham for Cleary (35), Eamon Duff for Molloy (45)
REFEREE: Des Cooney (St Joseph’s)