Two-goal haul helps Ballyduff through
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