Late Drama as Juniors Pip Athea

West Junior B Championship

Ballysteen 2-8
Athea 1-10

Our Junior football team got their championship campaign off to a winning start with a last gasp victory over Athea this evening. Trailing by 2 points entering the last minute of injury time we were awarded a free 40 meters from goal. With time running out Seamie Fitzgerald elected to drop the ball short  in the crowded square  from where Jack Neville emerged with the ball. He evaded the close attentions of two defenders before unleashing a rocket of a shot to the far top corner past a number of flailing Athea hands to steal victory.

This was a tight affair, not likely to go down as our greatest performance, which saw the momentum swing between the sides on a number of occasions. A bright start from Athea saw them lead 0-2 before points from Stephen Carrig and Anthony O’Shaughnessy brought us level. The ever reliable boot of Mark Murphy and a Stephen Carrig goal had us in a comfortable position as the end of the half neared, but an Athea goal on the stroke of half time saw the teams go into the break level on 1-5 a piece.

Athea started the second half well and slack passing on our part let us down on a number of occasions. They kicked some fine scores but Mark Murphy’s consistency from placed balls kept us in touch as we trailed 1-10 to 1-7 entering the closing stages. Athea had a chance to seal the victory when a low shot from their impressive corner forward seemed destined for the bottom corner only for captain Ian Ranahan to produce a stunning save to turn the ball onto the post and Eamonn Murphy cleared the ball to safety. This sparked our team into life and we dominated the final 5 minutes, pressing hard for scores. Substitute Marcum Fitzgerald was fouled close in and Mark Murphy slotted the ball over to bring the deficit back to two points. Another substitute Pakie Neville was denied twice before his brother Jack eventually made the vital break through to grab us the win.

The juniors have 3 more games remaining in the group, so there is plenty more football to be played before they reach the knockout stages of the competition. Well done on the win tonight and thanks to all the supporters who travelled to Ballyhahill.

Team: Ian Ranahan, Declan Somers, Eamonn Murphy, Mick Boyce, Conor Enright, Alan O’Shaughnessy, Sean O’Mahony, Emmet Whela, Corey Flynn, Stephen Carrig, Mark Murphy, Alan Kehoe, Jack Neville, Shane Carrig, Anthony O’Shaughnessy.

Subs: Marcum Fitzgerald (46m), Pakie Neville (52m), Seamus Fitzgerald (55m), Maurice Hayes, Tomas Lane