County Minor B
Arravale Rovers 1-13
The conditions in Cahir were good for this County semifinal, allowing for a pre match shower of rain.
Both teams gave it their all but a spirited Arravale Rovers side certainly deserved this hard earned victory. It was fashioned from an all round team performance.
The exchanges were tough and uncompromising and the opportunism of the Rovers was the real difference. There was never much betrween the sides till the last quarter when a lack of focus and indiscipline cost the Ballybacon boys dearly, during this period they failed to raise a flag and Arravale Rovers struck four points, all from placed balls. Arravale Rovers now face J. K. Brackens in the County final.
Arravale Rovers got on the scoreboared early courtesy of a Ciarán Lowry free after James Hogan was fouled. Then on a Ballybacon Grange raid Sean Nagle spurned a gilt edge goal chance.
Early on there were signs of things to come, with Arravale Rovers defending well, in trying conditions, even though their clearances were sometimes going astray, but Ballybacon Grange were unable to convert their chances from play and placed balls.
Michael Hogan sent over one such interception after ten minutes to level the sides.
A shot from Stephen Lambert was saved at the expense of a sixty five which Colin O’Gorman pointed to put Grange Ballybacon ahead, but a minute later Ciarán Lowry levelled the sides again before Gerry Cronin restored the Grange Ballybacon lead.
At the end of the first quarter, a Peter Mulhair clearance found James Hogan and his long delivery into the Ballybacon Grange square was deflected to the net by Eoghan Lonergan. Arravale Roveras now led 1-2 to 0-3.
Ballybacon Grange then struck two wides and Arravale Rrovers fluffed a goal chance before Ciaran Lowry pointed a sixty five to increase the Rovers lead. Aaron Lonergan and Ciaran Lowry then exchanged points before Aaron Lonergan again intercepted a Ciaran Lowry pass, and fired over his sides fifth point. Eoin Lonergan the sent wide following a clumsy challenge, and later set up James Hogan for a point. With five minutes of the half remaining, Sean Nagle and Alan Condon set up Michael Hogan for a goal to level the sides at 1-5 apiece and the sides remained deadlocked until after the interval.
After the break Christopher Lambert replaced James Shine, and Colin O’Gorman was wide from a sixty five, Philip Walsh was also shot a wide from a good scoring position.
In contrast Ray Kelly and Peter Mulhair had pointed Arravale Rovers into a 1-7 to 1-5 lead after thirty seven minutes.
James Hogan was then forced off after receiving a hand injury, and he was replaced by James Kinane. Tom Kirwan and Philip Walsh set up Alan Condon for a Grange Ballybacon point, and Darragh Coughlan lofted over a long range Rovers point in reply.
At the end of the third quarter Philip Walsh pointed a free for Ballybacon Grange.
At this stage Arravale Rovers led by just a point 1-8 to 1-7. However, surprisingly, Ballybacon Grange did not raise a flag for the remainder of the game.
The South boys then seemed to lose focus, become indisciplined and frustrated leading to the concession of too many frees. Arravale Rovers too were not without fault and eventually lost Peter Mulhair after his spell on the line being patched up. The Rovers went on to add four points from placed balls by Ciaran Lowry and a point from play by James Kinane to run out worthy winners. Arravale Rovers now face J. K. Brackens in the County final, possibly next week and unfortunately for them they will now be short at least three first team players for this game.
Some decisions of the match official, sadly, did not please either side as events transpired at the end of this game.
For Arravale it was a dogged team performance. The defense was uncompromosing with Pearse Richardson, Ted Lowry, Ger Halligan and Emmett Fitzpatrick doing well.
Peter Mulhair and James Hogan along with Ciaran Lowry had an exceptional workrate. Johnny Lowry , Darragh Crowe and Eoghan Lonergaan also caught the eye.
Ballybacon Grange matched Arravale Rovers every where except on the scoreboard.
They struck too many wides from play and placed balls.
They failed to convert the chances the made, and the lost their way in the final quarter. Colin O’Gorman Darragh Boyle, Tom Kirwan - who tried to do too much - and Stephen Lambert defended tenaciously.
Up front Alan Condon, Gerry Cronin, Michael Hogan and the excellent Aaron Lonergan tried hard.
Arravale Rovers: Gary O’Callaghan; Tommy Lowry, Pearse Richardson, Ted Lowry; Darragh Coughlan (0-1), Emmett Fitzpatrick, Gerard Halligan; Seamus Kinane , Peter Mulhair (0-1): Johnny Lowry, James Hogan (0-1), Ciarán Lowry (0-8) (0-5f) (0-2, 65); Darragh Crowe, Ray Kelly (0-1), Eoghan Lonergan (1-1). Subs; James Kinane for James Hogan (injured) Ray Kelly for Peter Mulhair (blood), Conor Kissane (0-1) for Ray Kelly.
Ballybacon-Grange: Jason Burke: Adam Ross, Colin O’Gorman (0-1, 65), Darragh Boyle; Jason Ryan, Tom Kirwan, Stephen Lambert; Sean Nagle, Colm O’Shaughnessy; Alan Condon (0-1), Gerry Cronin (0-1), James Shine; Philip Walsh (0-1f), Aaron Lonergan (0-2), Michael Hogan (1-1). Subs; Christopher Lambert for James Shine, Danny O’Mahony for Christopher Lambert.
Referee; Liam Shanahan.