Seniors Bow Out of Championship After Brave Effort

Senior Football Championship Rd5

Our Championship campaign came to an end on Saturday evening last following this exciting encounter with Newcastlewest in Rathkeale in fine Autumn conditions. Despite the draw, it wasn’t enough for our senior team to get through to the knock out stages of this years championship and the side will definitely rue several missed chances that could have won the game especially in the opening stages of the match. A win would have guaranteed us a place in the knock out stages and a late Danny Neville point looked to have snatched us that valuable win only for Newcastle to grab a late late equalising point which resulted in a share of the spoils and deny Ballysteen a valuable win.

The game was played at a high tempo from the very start and Ballysteen certainly started the brighter side racing into a two point lead. The lead could have been even bigger only for two or three close wides and  despite the bright start from Ballysteen, Newcastle slowly found their rhythm and after drawing the sides level at 3 points a piece after about ten minutes of play, dominated proceedings for the next 15 minutes or so scoring 8 points without a reply to leave Ballysteen with a very big uphill battle trailing 0-11 to 0-3. A late rally in the final few minutes of the first half saw Ballysteen score 3 points and narrow the gap to 5 points with the half time scoreline reading 0-11 to 0-6 in favour of Newcastlewest.

The second half saw Ballysteen dominate most of the proceedings throughout the half and slowly reduced Newcastles commanding lead throughout the half with Sean Whelans vital goal with ten minutes remaining drawing the sides level at 1-10 to 0-13. It was a much deserved score after some very hard work from Ballysteen and made up for Danny Nevilles earlier shot on goal only moments before which almost looked destined for the goal only for an upright to deny him. Following Whelans goal, Newcastlewest quickly responded by taking the lead once again with only their third point of the second half before a John Collins free and a superb point from Danny Neville saw Ballysteen snatch the lead in the dying seconds. With victory now in sight, Newcastlewest were awarded a free as the clock ticked down and after taking it quickly, managed to pop over a late score to draw the sides level at the last gasp and deny Ballysteen a famous win.

The side showed great character and determination in never giving up especially after trailing by 8 points at one stage and the several close score opportunities throughout the game will certainly be regretted but all teams must regret missed opportunities from time to time. Some great performances on the night with Anthony Ryan and Packie Neville once again shining in the full back line while in midfield Shane Gallagher and Paudie Vaughan once again combined well.  Upfront Danny Neville,Mike Neville and Sean Whelan all worked hard for scores.

The club would like to thank everyone involved in the Senior set up this year both players and Selectors and great credit is due for all the hard work put in these last few months.

Team: D.Fitzgerald,A.Ryan,P.Neville,R.Whelan,M.Ranahan,P.Ranahan,J.O’Meara,S.Gallagher,P.Vaughan,S.Hallinan,M.Neville,J.Collins,D.Neville,B.Hayes,S.Whelan. Subs: K.McMahon,R.Somers,M.Carrig,C.Enright,B.McMahon,E.Whelan,M.Boyce,M.O’Meara.