Dog-eat-dog in thrilling group of death

Wicklow People (Arklow) - - SPORT -

WOW, what a sen­sa­tional bat­tle this D’Arcy Sand In­ter­me­di­ate Foot­ball Cham­pi­onship is turn­ing into, es­pe­cially in this group of death, where it’s dog eat dog, with score dif­fer­ence gone out the win­dow due to walk-overs.

It will be like win­ning a cham­pi­onship alone,to qual­ify out of this group, with the re­sults else­where over the week-end. It was near neigh­bours Bal­ly­manus and Bal­li­na­cor turn to serve up the next chap­ter in this in­trigu­ing saga, in serene con­di­tion’s in Pearse’s Park, Arklow on Satur­day evening last.

Mark Kenny pointed in the open­ing minute af­ter a great pass from Paddy Byrne to draw first blood for the Bil­lies.Roan Lynch added a sec­ond and the in­dus­tri­ous Padraig Byrne made it three points in the open­ing four min­utes be­fore Bal­li­na­cor knew where they were. Ger Byrne was fouled up the other end and pointed the re­sul­tant free for Bal­li­na­cor’s opener in the sev­enth minute as they set­tled into the game.

Both sides traded pointed frees from Padraig Byrne and Ger Byrne. Paddy Byrne landed a smash­ing 50m to split the posts to put the Bil­lies 0-05 to 0-02 up.

James Mur­phy pointed af­ter a fine pass in from Dan Dowling for Bal­li­na­cor. Chris Mur­phy won the kick-out and found Conor Par­sons with a sub­lime pass, who laid off to Ger Byrne who raised an­other white flag as Bal­li­na­cor were start­ing to find some mo­men­tum. Up the other end, Padraig Byrne broke through two tack­les and his shot was bril­liantly saved and cleared by goalie Ciaran O Neill.

Ger Byrne lev­elled mat­ters with a pointed 45m free af­ter a Bal­ly­manus back had han­dled the ball on the ground in the 20th minute.

Martin Byrne pumped in a high ball and full back Sean O Neill put it out for a 45. Up stepped Ger Byrne once again to split the posts to give Bal­li­na­cor the lead for the first time in this tight game.

Mid­fielder Darragh O Keefe won the re­sul­tant kick-out and landed the fi­nal score of the half to leave it 0-06 a piece at the in­ter­val. Bal­ly­manus blitzed Bal­li­na­cor in the open­ing minute off the restart, when Darragh O Keefe pointed within ten sec­ond’s and Mark Kenny had an­other point on the board af­ter 53 sec­ond’s as goalie Ciaran O Neill heard the wrath of his man­ager,

Joe Mur­phy. Ciaran Whe­lan pointed an­other a minute later as the Bil­lies drove on for this defin­ing pe­riod of the match.

Whe­lan pointed a free and Mark Kenny hit an in­spi­ra­tional point to put Bal­ly­manus five points up with-out re­ply in the 38th minute. Bal­li­na­cor’s first at­tack of this half should have yielded a goal but a Dan Dowling shot just cleared Bren­dan Doyle’s cross­bar. Ro­nan Phe­lan was brought on for Bal­li­na­cor. At the end of the third quar­ter, Bal­li­na­cor thought they had won a free when Ger Byrne was brought down, Play On, was the call from the ref, how­ever Ger Byrne had to go off in­jured mo­ments later, a mas­sive loss to them at this stage. Mark Kenny tagged on an­other point af­ter a great pass from Padraig Byrne.

Conor Par­sons hit a great point for Bal­li­na­cor to leave it a five point de­fecit with 50 min­utes on the clock. Bal­li­na­cor ap­plied some pres­sure but not con­vert into score’s they badly needed.

Ciaran Whe­lan set­tled things down for the Bil­lies when he pointed an­other free. Paddy Byrne fi­nally put the nail into Bal­li­na­cor’s cof­fin with a good point in the 55th minute. Bal­li­na­cor hit the last score of the game with a point from David Carter to bring an end to this bat­tle. Bal­ly­manus go on to meet un­beaten Rath­new, while Bal­li­na­cor will fancy get­ting back on track against near neigh­bours Aughrim in the next round, which will be piv­otal to­ward’s qual­i­fi­ca­tion to the knock-out stages for all sides. SCOR­ERS: Bal­ly­manus: Mark Kenny 0-04, Ciaran Whe­lan 0-04 (2f), Padraig Byrne 0-02, Paddy (Moyne) Byrne 0-02, Darragh O Keefe 0-02, Roan Lynch 0-01. Bal­li­na­cor : Ger Byrne 0-05 (4f), James Mur­phy 0-01, Daniel Dowling 0-01, Conor Par­son 0-01, David Carter 0-01.

BAL­LY­MANUS: Bren­dan Doyle; Glen Far­rar, Sean O Neill, Jim Byrne; Liam Byrne, Darragh Byrne, Paddy (Gap) Byrne; Sea­mus Coogan, Darragh O Keefe; Roan Lynch, Padraig Byrne, Mark Kenny; Kevin Byrne, Paddy (Moyne) Byrne, Ciaran Whe­lan. SUBS: Paul Mur­ray (41 min), Ai­dan Byrne (57 min).

BAL­LI­NA­COR : Ciaran O Neill; Danny Byrne, Dennis Hef­fer­nan, Martin Byrne; James Byrne, Philip Byrne, Chris Mur­phy; Dan Dowling, Peter Kennedy; David Carter, Conor Par­son, James Mur­phy; Jamie Nolan, Ger Byrne, Brian Hanlon. SUBS: Ro­nan Phe­lan (40 min) Kevin Byrne (42 min).

REF : Gareth Whe­lan (Kiltegan)

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