Ballinasloe won the All-Ireland Club Junior Football Final with a surprise four-point win over Kenmare Shamrocks at Croke Park on Sunday afternoon. The win ensures that the trophy stays in Galway, after Naomh Padraig’s success last year.
Kenmare Shamrocks(Kerry) 0-10
The Kerry champions started the game the stronger and should have led early on, but failed to take advantage of their possession. Ballinasloe scored two points from Darragh McCormack that saw them lead 0-2 to 0-0 after five and a half minutes.
Kenmare hit back with four unanswered points as their captain Paul O’Connor and corner forward DJ Brennan began to get on top. However, this was as good as it got for the men from the Kingdom as they failed to score again until the 43rd minute of the match.
Ballinasloe scored nine successive points to take a 0-11 to 0-4 lead at that stage, five of those before half-time, seeing them ahead 0-7 to 0-4 at the break. Paul Whelehan, Darragh Burke, Gary Canavan and Keith Kelly all got their names on the scoresheet. O’Connor kept Kenmare’s slim hopes alive as his side claimed four of the next five scores to leave the score at 0-13 to 0-9 in the 53rd minute.
O’Connor pointed his sixth of the afternoon with 90 seconds left, but Whelehan replied to wrap up the game for the Galway men. Ballinasloe captain Keith Kelly accepted the cup from GAA President Liam O’Neill after the match.
Scorers for Ballinasloe: P Whelehan, K Kelly (3f) 0-03 each; P Cunningham, D McCormack 0-02 each; J Shaughnessy, L Lynch (1f), D Burke, G Canavan 0-01 each.
Scorers for Kenmare Shamrocks: P O’Connor (2f) 0-06; DJ Brennan (2f) 0-03; S O’Leary 0-01.
BALLINASLOE: N King; E Fenton, D Nevin, J Shaughnessy; N Hynes, K Kelly, S Kenny; L Lynch, L Tierney; D Burke, P Cunningham, G Canavan; D McCormack, M Colohan, P Whelehan. Subs: C Casey for Kenny (53); S Cogavin for Colohan (56)
KENMARE SHAMROCKS: H Murphy; D Crowley, T O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; A O’Callaghan, S O’Leary, A Crowley; S Dalton, J Wharton; R O’Sullivan, M Crowley, A O’Leary; DJ Brennan, P O’Connor, K O’Sullivan. Subs: S Duncan for A Crowley (21); P O’Dwyer for R O’Sullivan (25); S Harrington for Dalton (45); S O’Brien for Harrington (54)
REFEREE: Ciaran Branagan (Down)