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Well done on tonight lads

Castletownbere 2.13 Ballinora 3.9

Castletownbere Premier intermediates took on Ballinora in the County Championship on Saturday night last. On an ideal evening for football on the beautifully manicured pitch in Ballingeary. Ballinora set the ball rolling with a point in the second minute. After 3 minutes town came close to opening their account with a Dean Murphy wide. Town piled on the pressure and in the fifth minute were rewarded with a clinically taken goal to the top right corner of the net by centre forward Dave Fenton. Towns Andrew O’Sullivan tagged on points in the sixth and eight minute to leave the score Town 1-2 to Ballinora 0-1. Ballinora took control of the game and scored a fine goal in the twelfth minute leaving them a point behind. In the next two minutes of the game Ballinora roared forward and tagged on another point and goal which stunned the Town Lads . It was the 17th minute before town responded with a Gary Murphy point.

In the 19th minute Andrew O Sullivan was fouled going forward with the ball and scored from the resulting free. After 20 minutes Ballinora tagged on a point from their number 10 Michael Murphy. Town rallied and had a close wide from Jason Walsh in the 21st minute. From the resulting kick out Ballinora broke quickly from defence and stunned Castletownbere scoring a goal. Town responded with a wide and the resulting attack produced another point from Ballinora. Ballinora were dominating the game but Town showed grit and determination and in the 25th minuted Dave Fenton who was now playing on the edge of the square scored a point. Town were unfortunate in the 27th minute when a high ball into the square was fisted towards goal by Dave Fenton and hit the upright and went wide with the goalkeeper beaten. It was closing in on half time and Gary Murphy hit a point for town in the 30th minute. A black card from the Referee to one of Ballinora men for a cynical foul on Gary Murphy allowed Dean Murphy scored from the resulting free. The half time whistle blew and Town left the field behind by three points with the score standing at Town 1-7 Ballinora 3-4. The first 7 minutes of the second half the game ebbed an flowed like the tide in Castletownbere harbour and saw both teams shadow boxing with each other with wides for both sides.

In the 7th minute the ball came to Declan Dunne on the left side of the Town defence and with blistering pace he broke the Ballinora cover and kicked what can only be described as an inspirational point. From the Kick out Andrew O’Sullivan won possession and was fouled. The ref allowed advantage, when no advantage accrewed the referee called back play and awarded a free which Andrew pointed. A minute later Gary Murphy pointed. Ballinora came back at town and Conor Murphy took a fine point from play in the 13th minute. In the 14th minute Richard Murphy came on for James Harrington on the town side but this did not curb the Ballinora rally who tagged on two points without reply in the 15 and 17 minute. It was nip and tuck but in the 20 th minute the ball came to Dean Murphy 30 meters out on the right of the attack. Changing direction he worked his way across field with the ball and let fly to score a wonder goal that sent shock waves across the Ballinora defence. In the 20th and 23rd minute Dave Fenton and Lorcan Harrington tagged on points while the Ballinora no. 10 Michael Murphy tagged on a point from a free in the 25th minute. Castletownbere surged up field in the 28 minute and Gary Murphy scored a point from play to make the score Castletownbere 2-13 to Ballinora 3-8.

Two minutes to go two points between the teams and with injuries the referee was sure to add on a bit of extra time. Pulses were racing and it was time for all hands to man the pumps to repel the Ballinora onslaught. A ball in to the Castletownbere defence was fumbled and went out for a forty five. which didn’t yield any score for the men from Ballinora. Undeterred they surged forward again and valiant defending by Dave Fenton on his own end line earned Castletownbere a free out, the referee threw the ball up for dissent and Ballinora won a free from the resulting play which was pointed leaving one point between the sides. The referee blew the final whistle from the kick out and Castletownbere finished the game a point ahead. Real championship fare is how one senior pundit put it, nothing in it at the end only one kick of a ball but a deserved victory for the town men who battled hard all the way through the 60 minutes with dogged determination.