SFL Div 2: Clonmore 4-11 Ballinabranna 3-13

November 8, 2018

Table toppers Clonmore and Ballinabranna produced one of the best club games of the year so far in the sunshine at Woodside on Friday evening last.

In a rollercoaster game, Clonmore started like a train and raced into a seven point lead, their goal a well executed penalty from Owen Coleman after a foot block in the square. Then the physically stronger Ballinabranna men took over to lead by 1-7 to 1-6 at half time, as Clonmore lost their way somewhat after losing Bobby Rooney and Shane Murphy through injury early on. Winning the bulk of midfield possession, B’branna continued to dominate the early exchanges of the second half and extended their lead to nine points at one stage and looked to be cruising to victory.

Then Clonmore unleashed super-sub, John McGrath, and the former county player turned in an incredible display of goal-scoring with three cracking goals in the space of about twelve minutes to turn the game on its head. With Niall Humphries, Enda McGrath and Owen Coleman on fire in the forward line, Clonmore added a couple of points to put themselves in front. Ballinanranna threw everything into attack in the dying minutes an attempt to get something out of the game but Clonmore held on to the delight of the home support.

This was a cracking game between two teams who should play a big part in the destination of this Division and the Intermediate Championship and could see a lot of each other this year as they are in the same Group in the IFC.

Clonmore: Colin McGrath, Paul Byrne, Wesley Byrne, John Kelly, Shane Murphy, Bobby Rooney, Pauric Lawlor, Ronan Doyle (0-1), Gavin Byrne (0-2), Jamie Walsh (0-1), Con Murphy, Niall Humphries (0-3), Enda McGrath (0-1), Owen Coleman (1-3, pen), PJ Byrne. Subs: Willie Byrne, James Doyle, John McGrath (3-0).

Ref: Pat Kehoe (Rathvilly).

Photo: John McGrath who turned the game against Ballinabranna with a stunning second half hat-trick of goals. John is seen here playing for Carlow against Sligo in an All-Ireland Qualifier in 2001, a game where he scored two goals.