Ballylooby/Castlegrace reach Tipperary County Junior A Football Final

Eamonn Wynne

Reporter:

Eamonn Wynne

Email:

ewynne@nationalist.ie

Ballylooby/Castlegrace reach Tipperary County Junior A Football Final

Ballylooby/Castlegrace 0-9 Portroe 0-7 

It seemed as if Ballylooby/Castlegrace would squander their chance of reaching the Tipperary County Junior A Football Championship Final when they kicked wide after wide in Sunday's semi-final against Portroe at a sun-kissed Holycross.

But they eventually got there in the end - despite clocking up eleven wides - to set up a final meeting with either Mullinahone or JK Brackens, who finished level at the end of extra time in Sunday's other semi-final.

Ballylooby's approach play was always decent but they ran into difficulty when they attempted to turn their possession into scores, especially in the second half when they missed some good chances from play and frees.

Portoe 'keeper Darren Ahern denied Barry Cooney twice in the same attack when they went in search of a goal after 20 minutes, and near the end of normal time Michael Murphy, who was under pressure, saw his low shot saved by Ahern.

However they were relieved when Willie Dunne, who had missed a few easier frees earlier in the second half, kicked the insurance score from a free two minutes into additional time.

Dunne was their top scorer, while Paddy Kenneally and Pierce Murphy were always prominent in attack. Danny Morgan and Conor Lonergan bossed midfield while Brian O'Donnell, James Morgan, Brendan Walsh and captain Luke Murphy were unflinching in defence.

Portroe also found scores hard to come by, with county player Kevin O'Halloran and U-21 All-Ireland hurling winning star Robert Byrne doing their best to create openings.      

Paddy O'Flaherty, Micheal Creamer and David Lumbroso were others who gave it everything but they were eventually beaten by the better team.

Ballylooby/Castlegrace - Sean Lonergan, Brian O'Donnell, Colm Flynn, Brendan Walsh, David O'Halloran, Luke Murphy (captain), James Morgan, Danny Morgan, Conor Lonergan, Paddy Keanneally (0-1), Michael Murphy (0-1), Pierce Murphy (0-1), Barry Cooney (0-1), Willie Dunne (0-5, 4 frees) and Tommy Doyle.

Substitute - David Fox for Tommy Doyle (40 minutes).

Portroe - Darren Ahern, Nigel Flood, Michael Breen, William Flood, Micheal Creamer, Paddy O'Flaherty, David Lumbroso (0-2), Noel O'Halloran (captain), Dermot O'Halloran, Robert Byrne (0-2), John Sheedy, Cathal O'Brien, Kevin O'Halloran (0-2 frees), Aidan Willis (0-1) and James Ryan.

Substitute - Mark Gennery for Cathal O'Brien (46 minutes).

Referee - David Grogan (Aherlow).