Ballylinan 0-12 Rosenallis 0-8
Laois Shopping Centre SFC Round 2
Eight points from the boot of Gary Walsh helped Ballylinan to get their Laois Shopping Centre SFC campaign back on track after a hard-fought win over Rosenallis tonight.
They did it the hard way too, playing most of the second half with 14 men after Pauraic McEvoy picked up a second yellow card five minutes into the second half. Just as happened in the game on the same field the night before, between Graiguecullen and The Heath, it was the team with the numerical disadvantage which responded better.
Ballylinan never really looked like a team with one less player on the field, as they defended well and picked up scores whenever they needed them. Gary Walsh provided the bulk of them, despite Ruaidhri C. Fennell doing a reasonably good job of man-marking him.
They are back in the hunt now for senior honours, while Rosenallis are consigned to the relegation playoffs. It is a disappointing outcome for them in their first year up at the grade, as it comes after narrow losses to Ballyfin and now Ballylinan. It can be dangerous to say a team are too good to go down, but if they can keep working as hard as they did here, they will certainly give themselves a great chance of staying up.
They had taken an early lead here in horrendous conditions, a Colm Poole free in the opening minutes setting them up nicely.
Ballylinan took a while to respond but when they did, it was almost with a goal. Gary Walsh cracked a shot at goal from a tight angle, which Donal Lalor managed to get a hand to. It was initially believed the ball went over the bar from Lalor’s hand, but after Maurice Deegan consulted with his umpires, a 45 was awarded which Walsh duly pointed.
Walsh and Poole then traded frees once more before another placed ball, this time from Ronan Murray, saw Rosenallis lead at the water break.
When play resumed it was Ballylinan who moved through the gears as Gary Walsh brought them back on level terms, before Alan Farrell landed the first point from play in the 26th minute. A surging run from Jamie Farrell then saw him set Gary Walsh up for a point from play, and that left Ballylinan 0-5 to 0-3 up at the break.
Rosenallis could hardly have envisaged a better start to the second half, as Cathal C Fennll and Donagh Callaly hit early points to draw them level, before McEvoy’s second yellow card saw them handed a man advantage by the 35th minute.
To Ballylinan’s credit, they responded well to the setback and actually got the next score, through another free from Gary Walsh.
Brian Fitzpatrick took advantage of some hesitant Ballylinan defending to draw Rosenallis level, but two fine scores from Cathail Dunne and Alan Farrell had Ballylinan two ahead at the second water break.
The closing stages were closely contested but Ballylinan always looked the more likely winners. Another Walsh free and then a superb effort from Jamie Farrell saw the lead go out to four, the first time in the game either team led by more than a score.
Walsh soon made it five, and Rosenallis looked like they needed a goal. They nearly got one too, only for Brian Fitzpatrick to see his effort hit the crossbar, while Marcus Redmoned also had a shot saved.
Ronan Murray (free) and Fizpatrick got them back within three to give them a glimmer of hope, but a late point from Gary Walsh put the seal on Ballylinan’s victory.
SCORERS – Ballylinan: Gary Walsh 0-8 (0-5 frees, 0-1 45), Alan Farrell 0-2, Cathail Dunne 0-1, Jamie Farrell 0-1. Rosenallis: Colm Poole 0-2 (frees), Brian Fitzpatrick 0-2, Ronan Murray 0-2 (frees), Cathal C Fennell 0-1, Donagh Callally 0-1.
BALLYLINAN: Podge Walshe; Robbie Donoher, Cathal Leonard, Kevin Byrne; Alan Farrell, Seamus Lacey, Ciaran Fennessy; Pauraic McEvoy, Jamie Farrell; Liam Kealy, Larry Kealy, Ciaran Farrell; Gary Walsh, Cathal Fennessy, Cathail Dunne.
ROSENALLIS: Donal Lalor; Ruaidhri C. Fennell, Marcus Redmond, Adam McDermott; John Maher, Cathal C. Fennell, Fiachra C. Fennell; John O’Loughlin, Eoin Dunne; Donnagh Callaly, Ronan Murray, Colm Poole; Joey Shelly, John Lennon, Brian Fitzpatrick. Subs: Tommy Keating for McDermott (29 mins, inj), Mark Dunne for Poole (50 mins).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Stradbally)
SEE ALSO – Check out all our Laois SFC coverage here