Mayo SFL v Crossmolina 2006

November 7, 2018

By: Billy Horan in St Tiernan’s Park

Crossmolina 3-14 Ballinrobe 0-3

CROSSMOLINA’S exit from the championship has not weakened their resolve to annex the league title.

The evidence was readily forthcoming on their home ground on Saturday, when they outclassed visiting Ballinrobe by 20 points, even without the services of Ciaran McDonald and Tom Nallen. As graphically illustrated by the scoring returns, this was an encounter bereft of any meaningful competitive content.

Fast and intelligent use of the ball was the hallmark of the Crossmolina performance and moves, many of them of defensive origin, yielded well-engineered scores. Ballinrobe tried their utmost to curtail the menacing threat, but their cause was a forlorn one by half time.

Crossmolina lost no time in asserting themselves and seconds had only elapsed when James Nallen’s well-directed delivery from outfield produced a goal by Joe Keane, with Stephen Rochford also giving a supportive hand. A Peter Staunton point for Ballinrobe, also in the opening minute, failed to check the buoyant Crossmolina impetus and points materialised from Michael Gallagher and three from Brian Benson.

It was 0-4 to 0-1 entering the second quarter and Peter Staunton, placed by Ronan Macken, kicked an excellent point for Ballinrobe in the 17th minute. There was no follow-up and Crossmolina consolidated their position still further through the agency of a Stephen Rochford goal in the 20th minute, engineered by Joe Keane. Brian Benson manifested his capacity to kick points again in the 22nd and 29th minutes and Joe Keane was off target for another goal. The final minute of the half was being played when the approach play of Kenneth O’Malley was rewarded with a Ballinrobe point from Adrian Flannery, leaving it 2-6 to 0-2 at the break.

There was no respite for Ballinrobe after the restart, and after a shot from Michael Gallagher rebounded off the upright in the 33rd minute, the third home goal materialised from the boot of Joe Keane, three minutes later. Points from Michael Gallagher, Stephen Rochford and Mark Leonard widened the margin between the contestants, and Crossmolina were introducing replacements at this stage.

One of them, the ageless Johnny Leonard, kicked their 11th point in the 53rd minute and he also tested the goalkeeping mettle of Niall Gallagher, shortly afterwards. Other points were forthcoming from Joe Keane, Stephen Rochford and Enda Lavelle, and the Ballinrobe search for scores evoked a barren response in face of resolute opposition defending.

James Nallen and Enda Lavelle were a formidable midfield pairing for the victors and the energetic Peadar Gardiner, leading scorer Joe Keane, Brian Benson, Stephen Rochford, creating and getting scores, Michael Gallagher, Noel Hegarty and Jonathon O’Boyle all made significant contributions, as well.

Ballinrobe, who were without some regulars, were labouring from an early stage and found it difficult to cope with their elusive and fitter opponents.

SCORERS- Crossmolina: J. Keane 2-2, S. Rochford 1-2 (1F), B. Benson 0-5 (2F), M. Gallagher 0-2, J. Leonard and E. Lavelle 0-1 each Ballinrobe: P. Staunton 0-2, A. Flannery 0-1

CROSSMOLINA: Paul O’Donnell; Noel Hegarty, Damien Syron, Jonathan O’Boyle; Declan Keating, Damien Mulligan, Peadar Gardiner; James Nallen, Enda Lavelle; Paul McGuinness, Mark Leonard, Michael Gallagher; Stephen Rochford, Joe Keane, Brian Benson Subs: Pierce Loftus for Keating, Johnny Leonard for Benson, Padraig Syron for Gallagher, Colm McDonnell for Loftus, John Garrett for Nallen

BALLINROBE: Niall Gallagher; Colm Jennings, Paul Finnerty, Padraig Costello; Kieran Sheridan, David Killeen, Michael Feeney; Mark Walkin, Ronan Macken; James O’Malley, Kevin Murphy, Peter Staunton; Enda Reilly, Adrian Flannery, Kenneth O’Malley Subs: Declan Reilly for Staunton, Shane Owens for Costello

Referee: Mel Kenny (Westport).