The Nire 1-7; Ballinameela 1-7
Ballinameela and The Nire will have to do it all over again this coming Saturday, just 24 hours before the County Senior Football Final, after the two sides finished all square in the Western Intermediate decider at Fraher Field on Saturday last.
The Nire got off to a dream start when with just two minutes on the clock they were awarded a penalty by referee John Mike Kelly after James McGrath in the Ballinameela goal brought down JP Fitzgerald, and from the resulting kick Thomas Walsh made no mistake as he planted the ball past McGrath.
Playing with the aid of the stiff wind, The Nire soon further stretched their lead to five points when Alan Lawlor and Michael Byrne scored points in the third and eight minutes respectively.
The 2007 Western champions’ first score of the game came in the 11th minute when Caimin Radley pointed, but The Nire hit back almost straight away with a point from Joe Whelan. On the quarter of an hour mark, Ballinameela came back into the game when an Eoghan Walsh delivery was fisted to the net by John Stack to leave just two points between the sides.
The 2008 Junior attached champions stretched their lead to four points courtesy of an Alan Lawlor free in the 17thminute and four minutes from the break Joe Whelan scored his second of the game.
Playing with the aid of the wind in the second half, Ballinameela fared much better and soon cut The Nire lead to the minimum. Caimin Radley pointed two minutes after the restart and seconds later Tom Curran did likewise, followed by an Eoghan Walsh point with just four minutes of the second half played.
Alan Lawlor pointed a free for The Nire in the 37th minute and on the three-quarter mark Eoghan Walsh cut the Nire’s lead to just one point. A minute later former inter-county player Aidan Ahearne kicked a point for Ballinameela to level the scores.
With 11 minutes to go, JP Fitzgerald put the ball over the bar to edge The Nire back in front, but a point kicked from distance by John Stack in stoppage time meant that Ballyduff Lower will have to wait to see who their county final opponents will be.
The Nire: M Doocey; A McGrath, J O’Gorman, T Walsh; I Coffey, Shane Lawlor, L Walsh; Seamus Lawlor, S McGrath; J Whelan, M Byrne, K Guiry; JP Fitzgerald, G Walsh, A Lawlor. Subs: D Prendergast for Byrne, A O’Gorman for J O’Gorman, P Walsh for Guiry.
Scorers: Thomas Walsh 1-0 (Pen), A Lawlor 0-3 (0-2 free), J Whelan 0-2, M Byrne, JP Fitzgerald 0-1 each.
Ballinemeela: J McGrath; S Flavin, M Walsh, T. Kiely; J Harrington, Eamonn Walsh, D Phelan; A Ahearne, B Phelan; J Fletcher, Eoghan Walsh, C Buckley; T Curran, C Radley, J Stack. Subs: J Curran for Fletcher, C Walsh for Eoghan Walsh, J McGrath for Kiely
Scorers: J Stack 1-1, E Walsh, C Radley 0-2 each, T Curran, A Ahearne 0-1 each.
Referee: J.M. Kelly (Shamrocks)