Ri­vals to do bat­tle a sec­ond time

The Corkman - - SPORT - DIARMUID SHEE­HAN Mal­low GAA Com­plex

Bal­ly­desmond 1-14 Mitchel­stown 1-14

BAL­LY­DESMOND and Mitchel­stown will go toe to toe again next Satur­day in Mourne­abbey af­ter the pair played out a thrilling draw in Mal­low last Satur­day af­ter­noon. A big crowd wit­nessed both sides throw­ing ev­ery­thing they had at each other in very test­ing windy con­di­tions.

Don­n­cha O’Con­nor was the star name for Bal­ly­desmond, while on the Mitchel­stown side it was all about the mid­field dy­namo that is Shane Be­ston and true to the pre-match hype both shone in this ter­rific fix­ture.

With less than five min­utes to go this one looked dead and buried for the Avondhu men how­ever a late scor­ing splurge saw the men in red and black bag the fi­nal four points of the game – stop­ping a Bal­ly­desmond side that had bat­tled well firmly in their tracks.

“Look we fin­ished very well and of course we are de­lighted with that, but there is so much of that per­for­mance that we are not happy about,” Mitchel­stown man­ager Shane Roy­nane said at the fi­nal whis­tle.

“We weren’t hec­tic last week ei­ther, we were putting that one down to the con­di­tions and the eight week gap but look we were not re­ally happy with ei­ther show­ing. In fair­ness to the lads though they re­ally did show great char­ac­ter there in the last few min­utes to get the last four scores of the game to level it and we will get an­other go so we will take that. But right now the over­rid­ing feel­ing is we are happy – 10 min­utes to go we were four down so we will take the draw gladly.”

There was clearly noth­ing left in the dress­ing room from ei­ther side as this game sprung into a life right from the off. Mitchel­stown had slightly bet­ter of the strong cross field wind in the first half how­ever con­di­tions were hardly con­ducive for clean shoot­ing for ei­ther side as Mother Na­ture flexed her mus­cles.

Mitchel­stown’s Shee­han was first to raise a white flag, but this was quickly can­celled out by the ever reli­able Don­n­cha O’Con­nor. Bal­ly­desmond were dealt an early blow when cor­ner-back Tim Howard had to be car­ried from the pitch, but they stayed with their op­po­nents till the quar­ter hour mark as the teams shared six points.

Mitchel­stown had a pe­riod of dom­i­nance for the next 10 min­utes bag­ging an­other point from Shee­han and a bril­liant team goal which was fin­ished to the net by the classy Be­ston.

Credit to Bal­ly­desmond they stuck to their task and man­aged to get Don­n­cha O’Con­nor on the ball to score three of their next four points which brought the men in blue back to within two as the sides headed for the tun­nel (1-6 to 0-7).

Right from the start of the sec­ond half Bal­ly­desmond took con­trol of the game and man­aged to get back to par­ity by the 42 minute be­fore tak­ing the lead for the first time just shy of the three quar­ter mark.

A goal from Shane Kelly soon af­ter looked to have sealed this one for the Duhal­low men how­ever Bal­ly­desmond re­treated into their own half and Mitchel­stown bat­tled back with four late points to level this one up in ex­tra time.

Both sides will again leave noth­ing be­hind or noth­ing to chance next Satur­day as this one re­ally does look like one of the games of the week­end.

BAL­LY­DESMOND: F O’Sul­li­van; T Howard, S Mur­phy, S O’Con­nor; D Kelly, J O’Ke­effe, D Kelly; J Healy, N O’Sul­li­van; Donal O’Con­nor 0-2, B Flem­ing 0-2, S Kelly 1-0; D Moyni­han 0-1, N Flem­ing 0-1; D O’Con­nor 0-8 (6f) Subs: N O’Con­nor for T Howard (inj)(5), K O’Con­nell for B Flem­ing (55), D Ring for J O’Leary (58), S Cronin for N O’Sul­li­van (60)

MITCHEL­STOWN: K Hanna; B Cof­fey, F Herlihy, L Finn; S O’Sul­li­van, S Fox, P Magee; S Walsh, S Be­ston 1-1; M Walsh, D Di­neen 0-1, J Shee­han 0-7 (4f); C O’Ma­hony 0-3 (2f), S Cahill 0-1, L Keane 0-1 Subs: M Ma­her for B Cof­fey (37), L O’Flynn for M Walsh, O Burke for S O’Sul­li­van (both 48); G Car­roll for L Keane, P Mol­loy for M Ma­her (both 58)

REF­EREE: J Ryan (Mac­room)

Mitchel­stown’s Shane Be­ston tries to hold off Bal­ly­desmond’s Jerry Healy as he heads for goal dur­ing last Satur­day’s drawn County In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship game in Mal­low Photo by Eric Barry

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