Thursday, November 22, 2018

Senior Football League Division 5 Final

Ballinabranna 2-10
Mount Leinster Rangers 1-4
By Kieran Murphy
AN excellent second-half performance from the recently crowned junior C football champions saw them annex the double in this Division 5 football final at Netwatch Cullen Park.

The Ballinabranna team who clinched the Division 5 league title with a win over Mount Leinster Rangers in Netwatch Cullen Park

In an uneventful first half, a 22nd-minute point by Dean Grennan nudged Rangers ahead after his full-forward colleague, Niall Canning, levelled the scores when Jim Dunne opened the Ballinabranna account early on.

Ballinabranna’s Ciaran Fitzpatrick under pressure from Jack Flood and Jack Ryan of Mount Leinster Rangers

Seven minutes before half-time Brian Kinsella’s 40m effort tied the scores once more. Three minute later Shane Noonan shrugged off a number of tackles to nudge his side in front for the first time. That gave Ballinabranna a 0-3 to 0-2 interval advantage and it was a lead they were not to lose for the remainder of the game.
On 31 minutes Paddy Dunne lofted over another point while his midfield colleague, Paddy Meaney, also raised a white flag. It could have been worse for Rangers leading up to that score as their keeper, Paul Foley, did well to stop a shot from Jack Malone.

Eoin Fenlon of Mount Leinster Rangers is closley marked by Ballinabranna’s Jim Dunne

It was only postponing the inevitable as Malone eventually got on the score sheet with a point.
Veteran Jim Dunne continues to pull the strings for Ballinabranna at this level. It was he who was on the end of a quick passing movement and after securing the ball his shot found the top left-hand corner of the net. That all but ended the contest.
Another old stager, Brian Kinsella, added another point and shortly after making his entry, John Sheehan latched onto a kicked pass from Paddy Dunne to score Ballinabranna’s second goal. It was easy for Ballinabranna but they will have been disappointed to lose Liam Dunne who was red-carded for an incident involving Anthony Jordan. Whatever happened surely vexed the right-half back, but the Rangers midfielder walked as well.
In injury time, Derek Byrne enjoyed a purple patch which saw him score 1-2 without reply. His goal was hardly be a thing he will write home about as his effort was surely for a point but the ball dipped over the head of a surprised Cian McDonald.
For one Ballinabranna player it was a special evening. Jimmy Fitzpatrick completed a treble after winning a junior C football medal with the club and a junior hurling medal in the colours of Palatine last week.

Ballinabranna captain Patrick Dunne raises the cup

Ballinabranna: Cian McDonald; Jody Brennan, Brian Mulleney, Jimmy Fitzpatrick; Liam Dunne, Willie Ryan, William Kavanagh; Paddy Dunne (0-2), Paddy Meaney (0-1); Ciaran Fitzpatrick, Jim Dunne (1-1), Liam Ryan (0-1); Brian Kinsella (0-3), Shane Noonan (0-1), Jack Malone (0-1). Subs: John Sheehan (1-0) for C. Fitzpatrick (49 mins), Ciaran Noonan for Brennan (55 mins), Enda Dunne for Noonan (57 mins), Evan Tunstead for J. Fitzpatrick (59 mins).
Mount Leinster Rangers: Paul Foley; Jack Flood, Colm O’Byrne, Daniel Ryan; Jack Ryan, David Grennan, James Kavanagh; Donald Coady, Anthony Jordan; James Quinn, Derek Byrne (1-2, 0-1 free); Eoin Fenlon; Shane O’Neill, Dean Grennan (0-1), Niall Canning (0-1). Subs: Jonathan Walsh for O’Neill (h/t), Seamus O’Brien for Dean Grennan (46 mins), Sean Murphy for Quinn, Shea Hayes for Fenlon, Michael Bible for Canning (all 55 mins).
Referee: Martin Murphy (Tinryland).

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