Sixmilebridge 0-14 Ballyea 1-9
O’Garney Park under lights last Monday evening was the venue for this Under 15A Semi Final between Sixmilebridge and Ballyea and it was a very entertaining match with the result in doubt right up to the final whistle. The ‘Bridge started the brightest and were 3 points up with ten minutes gone thanks to points from Cian Gleeson, David Kennedy, and Evan O Callaghan all from play. Ballyea were becoming more involved however and were threatening the ‘Bridge goal on several occasions only to be repelled by a very strong ‘Bridge defence. They finally got their first score on the board 15 minutes in when Michael Meaney slotted over from a placed ball scoring his first of eight points on the night. The ‘Bridge were caught off guard three minutes later when Dean Brassil won possession on the end line and worked his way in towards the goal and neatly struck the ball into the back of the net putting them a point ahead. The ‘Bridge didn’t panic but they did make a few positional changes as scores were becoming very hard to come by. Luke O Halloran moved out to half forward with Evan O Callaghan going to full forward and David Kennedy moving back into the corner. David Kennedy tied the match 21 minutes in with a nice point only for Michael Meaney to put the visitors back in front with another point from a free 3 minutes later. From there to the interval the ‘Bridge dominated scoring 3 points without reply from Evan Murphy (free), Cian Gleeson and Luke O Halloran (free), with Evan Murphy’s free being first class from all of 90 metres out straight over the black spot. Half time score Sixmilebridge 0-7 Ballyea 1-2.
The ‘Bridge stretched their lead to four points thanks to two Luke O Halloran frees within the first 5 minutes of the second period but any notions they had of pulling away were soon dashed as Ballyea got stuck in all over the field and scored the next two points to put the pressure back on the ‘Bridge. Scores were at a premium with both sets of backs making life very difficult for the forwards. Dara Casey broke the deadlock for the ‘Bridge scoring a cracking point from 30 metres on 17 minutes with Michael Meaney again to point from a placed ball to bring it back to two. The game was on a knife edge with every ball being contested fiercely by both teams. Ballyea did hit a purple patch scoring 3 points in three minutes all from play and all from the ever threatening Meaney who was getting good support from his half back line and midfield. With five minutes left there was one point separating the sides but the ‘Bridge hit back with a cracking point from Luke O Halloran who caught a high ball from a long range free and put it over the bar. Two minutes later Noel Flynn made a blistering run through the Ballyea defence and tapped over a lovely point to give the ‘Bridge some breathing room but Michael Meaney got one back for Ballyea heading into injury time of which there were three minutes. For the duration, Ballyea laid siege on the ‘Bridge goal in search of that elusive goal but the ‘Bridge backs held firm holding on to win by two points.
For Ballyea, Michael Meaney was excellent keeping his side in this game throughout with some fabulous scores. Evan Walle (full back) and Matthew Reidy (half back) were also superb making life very difficult for the ‘Bridge forwards.
For Sixmilebridge, Colm and Noel Flynn were outstanding showing tremendous fight all night. Scott Kirkland was also very impressive. The ‘Bridge now go on to play St.Joesephs/Doora/Barefield in the final this Saturday at 3pm in Cusack Park.
Sixmilebridge: Cian Fawl, Morgan O Connell, Seamus O Connell, Michael Carey, Colm Flynn, Evan Murphy 0-1F, Colin Kelly, Oisin Breen, Scott Kirkland, David Kennedy 0-2, Cian Gleeson 0-2, Noel Flynn 0-2, Adam Murray, Luke O Halloran 0-5, 0-4F, Evan O Callaghan 0-1, Conor Murphy, Dara Casey 0-1.
Ballyea: David Murphy, Daniel Quinn, Evan Walle, Cillian Gavin, Joe Kelly, Matthew Reidy, Cormac O Mahoney, Enda Breen, David Meaney 0-8, 0-5F, Darragh Coote, Fergal Guinnane 0-1, Michael Meaney, Niall Carrig, Dean Brassil 1-0, Kieran McDonnell.
Referee: Fergal O’Brien.