Three goals for ace Ballinderreen attacker in Minor B Final replay victory

Ballinderreen 5-9

Ardrahan 2-16

By Ivan Smyth in Kilbeacanty

A hat-trick of goals from Ballinderreen’s Dara O’Dowd helped his side secure the Minor B Hurling Championship after a pulsating replay win over neighbours Ardrahan in Kilbeacanty on Saturday.

Ballinderreen appeared to be cruising to victory when they led by 3-5 to 0-3 after 19 minutes and and even though that lead was reduced to eight points by the break, Roy Lane’s side were comfortably the better in the openinghalf. With Ballinderreen regaining that 11 point lead early in the second- half as O’Dowd completed his hat trick, Ardrahan appeared out for the count.

That Ardrahan managed to slash their deficit to two points and push their neighbours to the brink is testament to their hunger and never-say-die attitude. However, those factors were not enough as they only scored one point from play in the opening half while a tally of 12 wides with five poor misses in the first quarter proving costly at the end of this dramatic affair. Their inaccuracy in front of the posts proved detrimental late on too with two wides in injury time.

For three quarters of this contest, Ballinderreen controlled the exchanges as O’Dowd and Donnacha Ganly combined for 4-7 up front. The two man full forward line of O’Dowd and Sean Fitzpatrick caused no end of problems while Ganly was able to drop deep and link the play effectively.

It was the winners who started the quicker as O’Dowd made his influence felt. After the sliotar squirted out from a ruck just inside the Ardrahan ’45, O’Dowd scooped up possession before his mazy run culminated in him burying to the bottom left corner of the net. Even though Shane King registered Ardrahan’s opening score from a placed ball, their inaccuracy in front of the posts was soon evident.

Ballinderreen raided for 1-4 without reply as Sean Fitzpatrick slotted over before they received a huge boost as Ganly’s long range effort deceived Luke Tarpey in the Ardrahan goal and rattled the net. Ganly added three more points with the last of the trio coming after a neat pass from Tom Monaghan as Ballinderreen led 2-4 to 0-1 after 14 minutes. Even though King potted two frees, Ganly’s ’65 helped Ballinderreen maintain control.

Ardrahan’s defence looked all at sea in the opening half, and they were raided once more in the 19th minute. A probing delivery from Ganly broke through to O’Dowd as he raced clear to rifle to the net. At this stage, Ballinderreen led 3-5 to 0-3 as they were winning the middle third battle with their defence able to dominate due to a poor supply of ball to the Ardrahan attack.

Pictured: The Ballindeereen Minor B hurling team which defeated Ardrahan in the County Final replay in Kilbeacanty on Saturday. Back row, left to right: Tom Monaghan, Ruadhri Delaney, Shane Leyne, Cian  Fordham, Dara Lyons, Jamie Molloy, Kevin Cassidy, Eanna McWalter, Alex Brown, Shane Morgan, Daniel Keane, Dylan Morgan. Front row: Luke Molloy, Gabriel Faherty, Dara O’Dowd, Donnacha Ganly, Captain, Sean Fitzpatrick, Eamon O’Mahony, Cathal Leyne, David McDonagh, Dara Lyons.

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