Liam Mellows 0-19
Tommy Larkins 0-19
THE rival free takers took centre stage at Duggan Park on Sunday as these sides maintained their unbeaten status in a contest level 10 times.
Liam Mellows’ Adrian Morrissey and Tommy Larkins’ Jason Flynn shared 28 points with the former edging their personal duel by two. But while both teams will sense an opportunity missed, the draw could result in a blessing regarding their qualification hopes.
Tommy Larkins will certainly feel they left a first win behind as the draw specialists led for much of the tie. However, ensuring they didn’t go home empty handed against the county champions following Conor Gardiner’s red card on 42 minutes was also an achievement.
And Liam Mellows, unstoppable in the April series, couldn’t make use of the elements in the second 30 minutes to overturn the deficit but the point does guarantee them a place in the knock out stages.
The county champions coming to town added some excitement to Ballinasloe’s double header and Louis Mulqueen’s men started well with Tadhg Haran and Morrissey converting frees. The city side wanted to stamp their authority on the early exchanges but Tommy Larkins eventually got into the game.
Wing back Brian McCormack ran up the field to open their account on five minutes despite losing his balance. Kevin McHugo equalised in their next attack before Flynn put them ahead on eight minutes.
Morrissey responded to make it 0-3 apiece but Ciaran Fahy’s men were stepping into their groove. Ronan Murphy put in a massive work load around the middle of the park and was rewarded with a point from 40 yards before another Flynn free put them two ahead.
Flynn’s influence grew as the game progressed but, in hindsight, Tommy Larkins should have done more damage playing into the town goal. While their opponents were also missing chances, the Woodford/Ballinakill outfit were doing the same and saw their lead evaporate by the 23rd minute.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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