Improving Ballinderreen finish in a blaze of glory

Ballinderreen 0-16

Rahoon/Newcastle 0-10

Ivan Smyth at Tuam Stadium

BALLINDERREEN fired in seven of the last eight points as they progressed through to the Intermediate hurling championship semi-finals at Tuam Stadium on Saturday.

In a physical and attritional contest played in difficult weather conditions, Ballinderreen showed their attacking potential in the final 25 minutes. After Enda Feeney capped off a run of three Rahoon-Newcastle points in a row to tie the game at 0-9 apiece after 41 minutes, a tight finish appeared in store.

Ballinderreen possessed the greater threats up front during the contest and after Feeney’s equaliser, Roy Lane converted three frees while sub Kieran Ryan grabbed a brace of points. Kieran Meehan and Niall Coen added a point each with Rahoon/Newcastle going 17 minutes without a score following their equaliser. In an encounter which saw the bulk of the action in the middle third as both sides played with two-man full forward lines, Ballinderreen were able to create chances that bit easier throughout.

The winners deserved the victory despite their tally of 12 wides. Such was their ability to create chances, they sent four efforts astray of the posts in a five minute spell midway through their late scoring salvo. Going forward, Ballinderreen can ill afford to squander such opportunities although their ability to restrict a Rahoon/Newcastle side to just one point from the 41st minute to the end of the contest bodes well, although they will face greater firepower when Sylane provide their opposition in the semi-final.

The tone was set early for this contest with the midfield sector akin to a war zone at times. In the opening stages, both defences were on top. Kevin Hartigan opened the Rahoon/Newcastle scoring before Evan Morgan hit back for Ballinderreen as he claimed a Michael Kelly puckout before firing over. Willie Mackey’s effective hold up play then allowed Enda Feeney to flash over.

Ballinderreen’s radar was off early on as they struck only one point and three wides in the first 10 minutes. Roy Lane helped steady his side with two quick-fire frees to edge his charges in front. Niall Coen and Feeney (free) traded blows before Roy Lane slotted a classy score over his shoulder after exchanging a quick interchange of passes with Kevin Lane following a lineball. Rahoon-Newcastle were left incensed with the awarding of the sideline cut following Ballinderren goalkeeper Michael Kelly’s restart, with Lane’s score adding insult to injury.

Pictured: Niall Coen of Ballinderreen on the attack against Rahoon-Newcastle’s Tony Óg Regan during Saturday’s Intermediate hurling quarter-final at Tuam Stadium. Photo: David Cunniffe.

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