SFL Div 2: Clonmore 1-8 Ballon 0-7

November 8, 2018

There was plenty to admire about the Clonmore performance as we ground out a win to continue our unbeaten start to the League. We enjoyed enough possession in the first half to win two games but kicked a lot of wides and missed two goal chances which gave Ballon encouragement and turned the game into a dogfight. 

Straight from the throw-in, Clonmore swept forward and Niall Humphries kicked a good point. Paddy Gahan followed up with a trade-mark point from the outside of his right boot. The long serving Michael "Mousey" O'Leary kept Ballon in the game with frees while centre forward Frank Fanning also kicked a good long range point. Enjoying an abundance of possession through midfielders David Mulvany and Enda McGrath, who displayed some great high fielding, Clonmore just couldn't convert this into scores with chance after chance being missed. Finally, on the 20th minute, Niall Humphries found the net after good work by the energetic Adam Byrne. Niall and Gavin Byrne were again showing well in the two man full-forward line and Gavin settled the nerves with a couple of points before half-time to leave the score 1-4 to 0-4.

Things improved early in the second half as Adam and Gavin extended our lead to 1-6 to 0-4.Adam's point was clearly wide but the Referee awarded the point after consulting the neutral umpires. Ballon responded well to this setback and scored two points to reduce the arrears to a single score on 37 minutes: 1-6 to 0-6. There following a long, tense, scoreless period as the rain came down and conditions deteriorated. Clonmore were full of energy and endeavour but, given the greasy conditions, engaged in too much close passing and a lot of promising moves broke down. 

Still, the lads stuck to their task and, even though we had to endure a few scary moments at the back late on, the full-back line of John Kelly, Paul Hogan and especially David McCarney were outstanding and points from Niall and Con (free) in the 53rd and 59th minutes settled the contest. 

This was another hard working performance from the Intermediates with plenty of spirit, skill and commitment on display. We found scores hard to come by but won a good share of possession and created plenty of chances which is positive.The next game is away to Myshall on Sunday, 26 April, at 6pm, which will be a big challenge but one which this team is well capable of rising to. 

Clonmore: Colin McGrath, Paul Hogan, John Kelly, Willie Byrne, Kevin McCarney, Shane Murphy, David McCarney, David Mulvany, Alan Humphries, Paddy Gahan (0-1), Con Murphy (0-1,f), Adam Byrne (0-1), Enda C McGrath (Hillview Tce), Gavin Byrne (0-3,1f), Niall Humphries (1-2). Subs: Anthony Byrne for Willie (inj), Pauric Lawlor for Alan, Conor McCarney for Gavin (inj), Darren McGrath  for Kevin McCarney (black card).

Ballon: Colm Barry, Lar O'Sullivan, Jimmy O'Brien, Dan O'Connor, Brendan Fanning, James Carroll, Thomas Murphy (0-1), John Gittens, Hugh Nolan, Shane Byrne, (0-2), Frank Fanning (0-1), Rory O'Connor, Michael O'Leary (0-3,2f), Paddy Byrne, Glen Pullen. Subs: Danny Lewis, Dan Fanning, David Wilson.

PHOTO: Enda McGrath had a very good game against Ballon where he played as a third midfielder and his ball winning skills were vital to the win.