It’s two from two from Walterstown in the Intermediate Football Championship as they got the better of Ballivor in their Group C encounter in Athboy on Sunday afternoon. The win leaves The Blacks sitting at the summit of group with one round remaining and a meeting with Nobber for Niall Reynolds’ men.
Meade Farm Intermediate Football Championship Group C Round 2
Walterstown, who got the better of Longwood in the opening round, showed just one change to their starting XV with young Breandan McGuinness coming in in place of Aron McLoughlin. They were also boosted by the return of Barry O’Connell, who came on as an early sub, having journeyed back from the US for this second round tussle.
As the final scoreline suggests, this was a close and indeed a nervy affair and one that was nip and tuck throughout. Indeed as normal time came to an end the sides were deadlocked on 1-11 apiece and perhaps a draw would have been the most fair result. However Walterstown took full advantage when they were awarded a free with 59 minutes on the clock. Up stepped captain Brian O’Connell and popped it over the bar to nudge his side in front. Over four minutes of injury time ensued though and Ballivor piled on the pressure and in the end, they ended up exposed. With three minutes of time added on O’Connell again split the posts, gave the Blacks a two point advantage and that’s how it finished.
It was Ballivor however who drew first blood in this encounter when they nabbed the opening point of the game with seven played courtesy of Brendan McKeon but their lead was a short-lived one because a minute later Walterstown hit the front. Young Lorcan O’Connor collected possession from Barry O’Connell and bombed forward before he was hauled down by corner back Jamie Smyth and the man in the middle pointed to the spot. Up stepped Ruairi O’Dowd who dispatched the penalty with aplomb and gave his side an early 1-0 to 0-1 advantage.
Ballivor responded well and hit the next two points without response to restore parity but three from the Blacks followed courtesy of O’Dowd (two) and Barry O’Connell and they led 1-3 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter.
But back Ballivor came yet again and by the 22nd minute they had eradicated Walterstown’s lead and actually led by the minimum (0-7 to 1-3) before O’Dowd struck over an equalising point in the 24th minute.
It was Ballivor who lead at the break by one 0-9 to 1-5 and this was a game that was going down to the wire and that’s exactly how it played out after the turnaround too.
A converted free from Brian O’Connell levelled up proceedings straight after the break but Ballivor cancelled that out down the other end soon after when the impressive McKeon raised a white flag.
Walterstown’s top performer on the day, Mark Foy, got his name on the scoresheet in the 33rd minute and once again left the teams tied on 1-7 to 0-10. The left peg of Adam Quinn struck over a point to nudge Walterstown in front soon after but then game disaster for the Blacks.
Mark Healy rattled the back of John Davis’ net after a defensive lapse from the Black, who at that point, found themselves two in arrears (1-10 to 1-8). Adam Quinn did manage to steady the ship when he converted a free six minutes later and when Brian O’Connell did the same at the midway point of the half, once again the game was dead-locked.
And that’s how this one played out almost right to the death. A Brian Conneely point nudged Ballivor ahead again in the 48th minute before an O’Dowd ever levelled proceedings yet again three minutes later.
Neither side could find a score between the 51st and 59th minute and a share of the spoils looked on the cards. However Brian O’Connell had other ideas and he was the man to pull victory out of the bag for the Blacks thanks to his two late points, one from a free, and that was that. Disappointment for Ballivor and two from two from Walterstown.
SCORERS: Walterstown – Ruairi O’Dowd 1-4 (1 pen), Brian O’Connell 0-5 (3f), Adam Quinn 0-2 (1f), Barry O’Connell 0-1, Mark Foy 0-1.
Ballivor – Kevin McKeon 0-5 (3f), Mark Healy 1-0, Brendan McKeon 0-2 (1f), Adam Gannon 0-2, Nicky Potterton 0-1, Brian Conneely 0-1.
WALTERSTOWN: John Davis; Ciaran Cox, Jack Wilson, Ross Reynolds; Jack Doyle, Conor Farrelly, Lorcan O’Connor; Mark Foy, Conor O’Sullivan; Adam Quinn, Mark McCormack, Alan Wall; Breandan McGuinness, Ruairi O’Dowd, Brian O’Connell. SUBS: Barry O’Connell replaced M McCormack, Neil McGinley replaced C O’Sullivan, Paul Donnellan replaced J Doyle.
BALLIVOR: T Raleigh; J Smyth, S Connolly, B O’Halloran; G Sherrock, M Healy, B McKeon; C Browne, P Conneely; N Potterton, D Raleigh, C Dowling; S Kelly, A Gannon, K McKeon. SUBS: Brian Conneely replaced J Smyth, Evan Fitzgerald replaced G Sherrock, Martin Healy replaced C Dowling, Joe McLoughlin replaced C Browne.
REFEREE: Patrick Clarke (Kilmainhamwood).