County Under-21 ‘A’ Football Final
Brian Flannery at Walsh Park
Ballinacourty annexed their 12th U-21 ‘A’ title and a second in succession with a comprehensive 13-point victory over Gaultier on Sunday last in Walsh Park.
A free-taking master class from the impressive David Looby who converted 11 from 12 placed balls (the 12th hit the post!) was hugely influential in securing another Courty title.
David Looby and David Cullinane both converted early frees for their respective sides however it quickly became clear that Ballinacourty was the superior side.
In the absence of Conor Prunty who was injured while playing for the Waterford senior hurlers on Friday night it was Neil Montgomery who took up the mantle at centre-field and together with John Elstead and James Beresford dominated the middle third from early on.
Sean Whelan Barrett, Eoin Kiely and David Looby pointed in succession as the Villagers led 0-4 to 0-1 after just six minutes. A beautiful move involving Eoin Kiely and the rampaging James Beresford put Bearach Moore through to goal in the ninth minute. Another pair of white flaggers from David Looby and Gaultier was now trailing 1-6 to 0-1 and in big trouble.
The introduction of David Dawson coincided with Gaultier’s best spell as the Eastern champions had five out of the next six points to reduce the margin to 1-7 to 0-6 by half-time.David Cullinane spurned a good opportunity on the restart shooting a free wide when well positioned and Gary Cullinane then brought a great save from Kevin Dwane with Gaultier’s luck decidedly out. Gaultier was now winning more possession but just couldn’t find the finish to make it count on the scoreboard.
Sean Kelly and Conor Cullinane pointed from play for the Barony but David Looby continued his metronomic accuracy from placed balls with Ballinacourty leading 1-13 to 0-9 with just 10 minutes to play.
Aaron Beresford, a thorn in the side of the Gaultier defence all afternoon, was on hand to calmly pass the ball into the net after 52 minutes following a slick interchange between Sean Whelan Barrett and Eoin Kiely, 2-13 to 0-9 and game over. Adding further gloss to their victory Tom Looby hit a sumptuous cross-field pass to the inrushing Sean Whelan Barrett who made no mistake netting his sides’ third goal in injury time.
The winners displayed all that is good in football controlling possession, tackling hard and managing to get their best players on the ball most.
Conor McCarthy and John Elstead were excellent at the heart of the Ballinacourty defence. Neil Montgomery and James Beresford controlled the middle for long periods and won many of the kick-outs landing in their area. While David Looby was man-of-the-match for his deadly accuracy the performance of the likes of Aaron Beresford, Eoin Kiely and Sean Whelan Barrett gave ‘Courty a decisive advantage in attack. This was a disappointing performance from Gaultier who struggled to find their rhythm. Sean Kelly, Dean Kearns and Conor Cullinane all had their moments with substitute David Dawson also making an impact.