Bal­li­na­cor blitz brave Aughrim

Bray People - - SPORT -

BAL­LI­NA­COR AUGHRIM 2-14 1-09

A blis­ter­ing open­ing 20 min­utes was enough for Bal­li­na­cor to com­fort­ably see off the chal­lenge of Aughrim in this IFC Group 2 game at Pearse’s Park, Ark­low on Satur­day evening.

The men in green and white were out to get back on the win­ning trail, after last week’s de­feat to Rath­new and after 20 min­utes they led by 13 points. It looked set to be a com­plete de­mo­li­tion job as they also faced an Aughrim team down a man after Wil­lie Ka­vanagh re­ceived a straight red after 10 min­utes for an in­ex­cus­able and al­to­gether stupid off the ball in­ci­dent.

To Aughrim’s credit though they dug deep and showed bril­liant char­ac­ter with their back’s to the wall and fac­ing cer­tain de­feat. They took the game to Bal­li­na­cor in the sec­ond half and ac­tu­ally won the sec­ond half by four points to add a cer­tain de­gree of re­spectabil­ity to the score line.

Rory O’Brien and the diminu­tive wing for­ward Shane McGuck­ian had good games for the losers but in Robert Lam­bert they pos­sess un­doubt­edly one of the best cen­tre backs in the county.

The Aughrim cap­tain was at the cen­tre of ev­ery­thing and took the game to Bal­li­na­cor, even when things looked very bleak for Aughrim.

Through­out the field though Bal­li­na­cor sim­ply had far too much class for Aughrim. They looked rea­son­ably solid at the back and in mid­field but it was the Byrne trio in the full for­ward line where they sim­ply took Aughrim to the clean­ers. Kevin and Ger al­ways looked dan­ger­ous and got some fine scores but it was Paddy Byrne who re­ally put the fear of god in the Aughrim back line. There re­ally is no sub­sti­tute for pace and time and again he drove past flay­ing tack­les, kick­ing three points him­self and set­ting up many other scores.

The game ac­tu­ally be­gan with Aughrim on the front foot. Conor Phelan made a good run in be­hind and was dragged down en­abling the trusty boot of Robert Lam­bert to con­vert the close in free off the ground. They at­tacked again and Pa­trick Ka­vanagh’s goal ef­fort from a tight an­gle was just wide but it wasn’t long be­fore Bal­li­na­cor turned the screw.

Ger Byrne turned sharply and got a shot away which was well saved by Brian Lynch but he was be­ing fouled and he duly dusted him­self off to open Bal­li­na­cor’s ac­count after 5 min­utes with a pointed free.

Things started to un­ravel for Aughrim rapidly after this. Brian Han­lon caught on the left wing as Aughrim seemed to stop mo­men­tar­ily as there was con­fu­sion over whether the mark was called. Han­lon didn’t wait as he arced in for goal. His shot was saved but straight into the path of Ger Byrne who had a sim­ple fin­ish after Aughrim had a melt down at the back.

Ro­nan Doyle soon added a point be­fore Ger Byrne opted to fist over when a goal was on.

Aughrim’s night­mare open­ing con­tin­ued as in the 10th minute Wil­lie Ka­vanagh was de­servedly shown a straight red card after sprint­ing in from 30 yards and strik­ing one of the Bal­li­na­cor for­wards. Paul Lacey soon fol­lowed him to the line as he re­ceived a black card for some choice words to­wards ref­eree Pat Dunne.

Ger Byrne, Conor Par­sons and Han­lon added points for Bal­li­na­cor be­fore Kevin Byrne tapped into an empty net as Brian Lynch in the Aughrim goal palmed the ball down in an at­tempt to stop a point go­ing over.

After 20 min­utes Bal­li­na­cor led by 13 points and one re­ally feared for Aughrim as every time Bal­li­na­cor at­tacked they looked like scor­ing. But there­after the game seemed to break up and the flow of scores for Bal­li­na­cor slowed con­sid­er­ably.

Whether Bal­li­na­cor took there foot off the pedal or not there’s no doubt that Aughrim got stuck in and didn’t let their heads drop as they kept bat­tling for every ball.

Robert Lam­bert kicked two frees ei­ther side of the in­ter­val to re­duce the deficit to 11 be­fore Rory “Rooster” O’Brien caught, turned and swung a left foot ef­fort into the top right corner to the de­light of Aughrim’s play­ers and man­age­ment alike.

Aughrim kept bat­ting away as Pa­trick Ka­vanagh and Conor Phelan with a high ef­fort from the stand side got in on the scor­ing act but in truth Bal­li­na­cor’s lead never re­ally looked threat­ened as they were able to keep tick­ing over with a few points here and there.

There will be much to work on but Bal­li­na­cor will be de­lighted to be back on the win­ning track.

Scor­ers - Bal­li­na­cor: Ger Byrne 1-5 (0-2 frees), Kevin Byrne 1-2, Paddy Byrne 0-3, Conor Par­sons 0-2, Brian Han­lon 0-1, Ro­nan Phelan 0-1.

Aughrim: Robert Lam­bert 0-7 (all frees), Rory O’Brien 1-0, Conor Phelan 0-1, Pa­trick Ka­vanagh 0-1.

Bal­li­na­cor: Ciarán O’Neill, John De­vitt, Martin Byrne, John Paul Byrne, James Byrne, Philip Byrne, Chris Mur­phy, Ro­nan Phelan, Daniel Dowl­ing, James Mur­phy, Conor Par­sons, Brian Han­lon, Paddy Byrne, Ger Byrne, Kevin Byrne. Subs: Ty­rone Byrne for Kevin Byrne (44 mins), Mick Dowl­ing for Conor Par­sons (48 mins), David Greene for Paddy Byrne (50 mins).

Aughrim: Brian Lynch, Paul Lacey, Oisín Doyle, Jamie Flem­ing, Ian Clancy, Robert Lam­bert, Wil­lie Ka­vanagh, Micheal Bren­nan, Eoin Forsyth, Pa­trick Ka­vanagh, Conor Lam­bert, Shane McGuck­ian, Richard Kee­gan, Rory O’Brien, Conor Phelan. Subs: Wil­lie Byrne for Paul Lacey (Black Card, 13 mins), Frank Byrne for Richard Kee­gan (53 mins), Diar­muid Whe­lan for Shane McGuck­ian (58 mins).

Ref­eree: Pat Dunne

Donard-The Glen’s Conor Healy tries to shake off the at­ten­tions of Carnew full-back Paul Nolan in Balt­in­glass. Photo: Joe Byrne

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