Two-goal haul helps Bal­ly­duff through

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT -

MCMUNN’S NORTH KERRY SFC QUAR­TER-FI­NAL

Tar­bert 0-17 Bal­ly­duff 2-12

THEY ex­pected, they came and they most cer­tainly weren’t dis­ap­pointed.

The first of this year’s North Kerry cham­pi­onship quar­ter-fi­nals de­liv­ered hand­somely for both sets of sup­port­ers and neu­trals alike. There was no player left want­ing and pride in the club shone through on the day.

Last year’s fi­nal­ists, Bal­ly­duff, will be look­ing to­wards a re­turn to that stage of the com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing a stir­ring vic­tory – in­spired, as ever, by the Boyle broth­ers with Pádraig in­volved in both match-win­ning goals.

Tar­bert, of course, will be des­per­ately dis­ap­pointed, but they can cer­tainly hold their heads up high af­ter how they per­formed in Con Bros­nan Park in Moy­vane on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

It re­ally was an even af­fair with both teams hav­ing their pur­ple patch. In the Moy­vane sun this was a game which game down to the very last minute, the very last kick, be­fore we knew for cer­tain the out­come.

Within the first minute there was a blood sub brought on for Bal­ly­duff – Mickey Boyle with an ap­par­ent boot to the face and a re­sult­ing bleed­ing nose. It was young Dar­ragh Gould­ing’s time to en­ter the arena.

It took un­til the third minute of the game for the score­board to start tick­ing over with an awarded free con­verted by Tar­bert’s Kil­lian Lan­gan. As the played swayed from end-to-end the backs on both teams were not giv­ing an inch and both sets of for­wards had to be in sharp form.

It took un­til blood sub Dar­ragh Gould­ing to con­vert an awarded free in the sixth minute for the sides to draw level at a point a piece. Lana­gan again re­sponded split­ting the posts in quick re­ply.

Bal­ly­duff number 1 on the day Pádraig Har­ring­ton kicked the ball out to his mid­field who quickly laid it off to no other than Pádraig Boyle look­ing up and kick­ing a long high ball into Seán Costello who duly punched the ball to the back of the Tar­bert net to a roar from the stand first goal of the game to Bal­ly­duff.

Two min­utes later Tar­bert re­sponded with a point from mid­fielder Mark Buck­ley to leave the nar­row­est of mar­gins be­tween the teams. With the rein­tro­duc­tion of Mikey Boyle his first job on the pitch was to con­vert an awarded free in the 11th minute.

This was where Bal­ly­duff took con­trol of the game for their pur­ple patch with two points be­tween them­selves and Tar­bert. In the 14th minute an awarded penalty was duly con­vert by Pádraig Boyle for the sec­ond and fi­nal goal of the game to bring five points be­tween the sides.

With Bal­ly­duff well on top at this stage at mid­field pos­ses­sion re­sulted in two more points on the score­board a point a piece for Philip Lu­cid and Mikey Boyle with seven points be­tween the teams and with the clock was tick­ing down.

Tar­bert then re­grouped and grabbed this game by the col­lar. Lan­gan led the for­wards adding two points from play in the 19th and 20th min­utes, corner-for­ward An­drew Do­herty added a point in the 24th minute and Lan­gan him­self con­verted a ‘45 the game was now closed to three points.

It was all Tar­bert now and the fi­nal score of the half game from Ger­ald O’Sul­li­van to cut the mar­gin to two points in the 27th minute.

Bal­ly­duff could now feel the ur­gency be­fore the half-time whis­tle to put a bit of dis­tance be­tween them­selves and Tar­bert. Mikey Boyle con­verted a free in the 29th minute and mid­fielder Jack O’Sul­li­van added a point be­fore the whis­tle half time score Bal­ly­duff 2-6 Tar­bert 0-9.

Tar­bert came out more de­ter­mined than ever at the start of the sec­ond half, out scor­ing Bal­ly­duff eight points to six in the half. From the first throw in of the ball An­drew Do­herty brought his A game to the pitch with Tar­bert com­ing in waves of at­tack at the Bal­ly­duff backs.

With a half-time change for Tar­bert bring­ing in Donal Leahy to the full-for­ward line to re­place Fin­bar Car­rig, Tar­bert changed their play from di­ag­o­nal ball to long high ball into the full-for­ward line, which didn’t seem to work with Bal­ly­duff mov­ing Seán Costello onto Leahy these two have be­come well known to each other.

It took un­til the third minute of the sec­ond half for Kil­lian Lan­gan to con­vert a free bring to two points be­tween the teams, but in quick re­ply Bal­ly­duff mid­fielder Jack O’Sul­li­van added a point.

Again the Shan­non­sid­ers were hav­ing none of it and Mark Buck­ley and An­drew Do­herty both split­ting the posts to the roar of the crowd who could feel that maybe Tar­bert could lead for the first time in the game, it was now a one point game to Bal­ly­duff.

But you don’t hear that the Bal­ly­duff boys are tough for noth­ing and the ever hard-work­ing Johnny Re­gan split the posts in the tenth minute to take the pres­sure of his team for now.

The play went up and down the pitch for the next seven min­utes with no quar­ter given and the ten­sion in Con Brossan Park was rais­ing to fever pitch level and no bet­ter man to break the dead­lock than Pádraig Boyle of Bal­ly­duff to a roar from the stands that was heard for miles around North Kerry, this was real cham­pi­onship fever.

With Bal­ly­duff three points adrift, it was Tar­bert’s turn to have one of their war­riors step up and again it was well known that the Wren name is steeped in Tar­bert tra­di­tion so it was fit­ting that Danny Wren kicked over a point from his wing-back po­si­tion.

The re­sponse from the stand would put hairs stand­ing on the back of your neck. Game on Bal­ly­duff two points up.

Not for the first time the Boyle broth­ers dug deeper than deep and were quick in re­sponse, with Mikey Boyle point­ing in the 20th minute. With three points be­tween the teams Tar­bert’s Mark Buck­ley and Kil­lian Lan­gan added to more to their side’s tally with nin eminutes of nor­mal time and Bal­ly­duff a point up it was any­one’s game.

What Tar­bert’s mid­fielder could do at one end Bal­ly­duff’s Paud Costello could do at the other again keep­ing Bal­ly­duff two points up, but An­drew Do­herty fired the ball over the bar in the 28th minute of nor­mal time.

Again that won­der at corner-for­ward Mikey Boyle tor­mented county man Shane En­right to pop the ball over the bar.

With full-time up and four min­utes off added time the crowd held their breath it was still up for grabs when two min­utes into in­jury time An­drew Do­herty fired the ball over to the ap­plause of the Tar­bert sup­port­ers.

Two min­utes left and a point up for Bal­ly­duff pos­ses­sion was vi­tal and that is just what Bal­ly­duff held and played down the clock wait­ing pa­tiently for their open­ing for at­tack, but right on the four minute mark of ex­tra time Bren­dan Grif­fin blew the whis­tle Bal­ly­duff are through to the semi-fi­nals.

BAL­LY­DUFF: Pádraig Har­ring­ton, Ben Tobin, Paul OCar­roll, An­thony OCar­roll (capt), Seán Costello (1-0), Cathal Kear­ney, Daniel O’Car­roll, Paud Costel­loe (0-2), Jack O’Sul­li­van (0-1), Chris Whyte, Pádraig Boyle (1-1), Johnny Re­gan (0-1), Philip Lu­cid, Mikey Boyle (0-5, 2f), Pa­trick Mo­ran Sub: Dar­ragh Gould­ing (0-1f) for Mikey Boyle (blood)

TAR­BERT: Jamie Dig­gins, Seán Car­rig, Shane O’Con­nor, Daniel O’Con­nor, Shane En­right, Danny Wren (0-1) Micheal Normile (capt), Mark Buck­ley (0-3), Shea McDon­nell, Kevin En­right, Am­brose Lani­gan (0-1), Kil­lian Lan­gan (0-7, 2f, 1 ‘45), An­drew Do­herty (0-4), Ger­ald O’Sul­li­van (0-1), Fin­bar Car­rig

REF­EREE: Bren­dan Grif­fin (Cloun­ma­con)

Ray­mond Galvin in ac­tion against Charleville in the Mun­ster In­ter­me­di­ate Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship semi-fi­nal in Her­mitage Park, Lix­naw on Satur­day Photo by Dom­nick Walsh

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