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IFC: Ballinabrackey hold out for victory

30 September 2012

Ballinabrackey's Damien Carroll
Ballinabrackey 1-12
St Michael's 1-11

Despite failing to score during the last 18 minutes Ballinabrackey did enough to get the better of St Michael's in this IFC quarter-final at Cortown last Saturday evening.

On the overall balance of play they deserved to book their place in the semi-finals just two years after winning the junior title, but they were relieved to hear the sound of referee Eamonn Barry's last whistle as the Carlanstown/Kilbeg combination went in search of an equalising point which would have forced extra time.

Centre-forward Damien Carroll was a key figure for Ballinabrackey as he scored eight points, six of them from frees, while Ciaran Lynch matched that tally for St Michael's, with all bar one of his scores coming from frees.

Ballinabrackey tallied 1-6 from play overall, as compared to 1-2 for St Michael's, and the winners possessed a superior cutting edge in attack where Danny Quinn and Andrew Munnelly were other key figures.

Ray Kearney was impressive at the heart of their defence, but it was Quinn who gave them an early boost when he blasted to the net after three minutes in reply to an opening point for St Michael's from Felim O'Reilly.

With Munnelly scoring two superb points and Carroll slotting over a free Ballinabrackey moved into a 1-3 to 0-1 lead, but St Michael's gradually settled and were on level terms by the 23rd minute after Daithi Regan had landed a couple of points from frees and John Farrell netted following a poor John Curry kick-out.

Lynch edged St Michael's ahead with a brilliant point from a free, but his equally impressive effort from play was their only other score of the opening half as Ballinabrackey moved into a 1-7 to 1-5 interval advantage thanks to points from Carroll (two), Trevor Bannon and Quinn.

Carroll and Lynch were the only scorers in the second period when St Michael's failed to register from play and Ballinabrackey were looking good when they pushed 1-12 to 1-7 clear by the start of the final quarter.

However, they missed subsequent chances and failed to score again as St Michael's stormed back into the contest. The impressive Lynch converted four frees and with approximately four minutes of added time being played they were in with a realistic chance of forcing the game to extra time.

They tried their very best to rescue the situation, but time ran out and Ballinabrackey headed off on their long journey home looking forward to a semi-final meeting with Trim.

Ballinabrackey - J Curry; M Kearney, N Judge, K Darby; C O'Connor, R Kearney, D Flynn; T Bannon (0-1), F Bannon; P Loftus, D Carroll (0-8, six frees), N Brazil; D Quinn (1-1), A Munnelly (0-2), V Mooney. Subs - S Curry for Brazil 38 mins, I McAuliffe for Flynn 59m.

St Michael's - P McCormack; S Briody, M Stafford, D Reilly; R Cassidy, P Rogers, James Farrell; F O'Reilly (0-1), C :Lynch (0-8, seven frees); K Cassidy, John Farrell (1-0), D Lynch; D Regan (0-2, frees), JB O'Reilly, R Lynch. Subs - P O'Connell for K Cassidy half-time, J Farrelly for R Lynch 43m, B Farrell for D Lynch 52m.

Referee - Eamonn Barry (Walterstown).