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Late Glera Goal sinks brave Bors

posted 20 Jul 2020, 04:25 by bornacoola leitrim
Intermediate Championship Round 1

Ballinaglera 2-15 Bornacoola 2-14

An opportunist goal from midfielder Enda Maguire three minutes from the final whistle, proved to be the match winning score for Ballinaglera in a rip-roaring Round 1 Intermediate championship clash played in sunny conditions at St Hugh’s Park, Ballinaglera on Saturday evening last. 

The goal was a culmination of a stirring comeback from the home side who trailed by five points with only seventeen minutes remaining. The revival owed much to the performances of Seamie Mc Morrow and in particular Wayne Reynolds, the diminutive corner forward who really came onto his game in the closing quarter and caused all kinds of problems for the Bornacoola defence. 

It also owed much to the Glera men’s traditional fighting qualities as they had looked dead and buried entering that final quarter before performances were upped all over the field for the sprint to the finish line. In the end they did just about enough and manager Kevin Nolan will be delighted to have cleared his first championship hurdle, even if at times the performance left a little to desire. 

For the Bors, this defeat will hurt. They went into the game without the experience of injured pair Damian Moran and Sean Mc Keon and took some time to find their feet. But once the Mallon brothers, Cian and Shane, began to get on the ball, they looked a force to be reckoned with and having dominated large periods of the game they will feel this was two points they left behind them. 

It was the home side though who started the brightest. Seamus Mc Govern at full forward was the first to find his range, and while Shane Mallon pointed an early free for the Bors, Glera through two Seamie Mc Morrow frees established an early two-point advantage. The impressive Cian Mallon reduced the gap to a single point after 7 minutes but then came a period of Ballinaglera dominance that saw them race into a six point lead. 

It began with an excellent Patrick Mc Grail point from the right wing in the 12th minute, before Seamus Mc Govern fisted over in the 14th. Then a long ball from midfield floated over the Bornacoola rearguard and found Wayne Reynolds lurking unmarked with just Danny Farrell in the Bor goals to beat, and his well taken goal made the score 1-5 to 0-2 with 15 minutes on the clock. The Bors did respond through a Shane Mallon point but as the teams retired for the mid-half water break, it was Ballinaglera who were clearly in control. 

On the resumption, they restored their six-point advantage through Wayne Reynolds but it was now the Bors turn to enjoy a period of dominance. It began in the 23rd minute when Shane Mallon pointed after a great catch to claim his mark and then a minute later, brother Cian scored a stunning goal from a tight angle and suddenly the gap was down to two points. 

It was reduced even further when Ronan Mulligan fisted over with two minutes left in the half and although Ballinaglera responded with points from Ciaran Cornyn and Wayne Reynolds again, a late Shane Mallon score underlined Bornacoola’s 2nd quarter dominance and ensured the game was nicely poised as the half time whistle sounded, with Glera leading by 1-8 to 1-6. 

Bornacoola looked a side transformed as the second half got underway. With Liam Jones and Anthony Mulligan beginning to find a foothold in the middle of the field and Jason Conroy pushing forward to good effect, it took only two minutes to level matters on the scoreboard as first Cian and then Shane Mallon found their range in the opening stages. 

Seamus Mc Morrow responded to edge Ballinaglera in front once again, but the same Mallon double act, added a score apiece within 30 seconds of each other to give the Bors the lead for the first time in the game. The first was a well taken score from the wing by Cian and then Shane made a great catch ahead of two defenders, turned his men and rattled a thunderbolt off the top of the crossbar and over as Bornacoola settled for a point when a goal so nearly came. 

By the 8th minute, another goal chance would present itself. This time it was Ronan Mulligan who ran straight at the Ballinaglera defence and was taken down in the large parallelogram as the Bors earned a penalty. Conor Mc Cauley stepped up to blast past Conor O’Brien in the Ballinaglera goal and suddenly the Bors had a four point lead. It stretched to five in the 10th minute when Cian Mallon again pointed from play and despite a 14th minute response from Seamie Mc Morrow, it was Bornacoola who appeared in total control as the teams left the field for the 2nd water break. 

The water break was probably the last thing a rampant Bornacoola wanted to see, such was their dominance at this point in the game, and it allowed Ballinaglera to re-group and steady what seemed a sinking ship. 

As the final quarter got underway, Ballinaglera’s experience became more of a factor and they slowly chipped away at the Bor lead. The ever reliable Mc Morrow traded scores with Ronan Mulligan and then added his sixth of the game, when coming short for a 45 that he turned and slotted over with ease. Wayne Reynolds reduced the gap to just two points and then a Mc Morrow free with five minutes to go left just a single point in it. 

A Glera free, 35 yards from goal appeared to offer the ideal opportunity for the equaliser, but Enda Maguire had other ideas and came short from Mc Morrow, picking the ball up 25 yards out. The Bor defence was static as he delivered a low shot to the right corner of the net for a high quality goal that put the home side back in front for the first time in over 20 minutes. When Wayne Reynolds added a point with the game ticking into injury time, it looked certain to seal the Glera victory as they led 2-15 to 2-12. 

But to their immense credit the Bors still had a kick left in them and tried desperately to fashion a crucial goal. They were awarded a 14-yard free straight in front of the goal from which Conor Mc Cauley pointed. The resultant kickout was won by the Bors who worked Mc Cauley into a great shooting position on the edge of the large parallelogram and he connected well with a pile driver of a shot that screamed mere inches over the bar. 

A fraction lower and the Bors might well have been the ones celebrating but it was the home side who greeted Gareth Foley’s long whistle from the resultant kickout with relief as they survived the late Bornacoola scare. 

Great credit must go to the two sides for producing a high octane, high quality game of football which provided stirring entertainment for those in attendance. For Glera, they will be delighted to have a week’s break to recover from such an intense encounter and will hope to build on the positives from Saturday’s meeting in their next clash, away to Eslin on August 1st. 

For the Bors, injuries to Mervyn Howard and Kevin Mulligan will be a huge concern as they prepare to take on Eslin this Saturday, already shorn of the services of Damian Moran and Sean Mc Keon. However, they showed more than enough on Saturday to be considered a threat to anyone and if they can develop the ability to put teams away when they have them on the rack, they could yet have a significant say in the destination of the 2020 Intermediate Championship. 

Ballinaglera: Conor O Brien,  Ryan Crawford, Brendan Mcgourty, Barry Gilmartin, Thomas Cornyn, Pauric Clarke, James McDowell, Enda Maguire (1-0), Ciaran Cornyn (0-1), Padraig Cornyn, Seamie Mc Morrow (0-7), Fergal Gilmartin, Wayne Reynolds (1-4), Seamus McGovern (0-2), Patrick McGrail (0-1) Subs: Barry Maguire for F Gilmartin, Enda Keegan for T Cornyn and Aaron McCawley for B Gilmartin 

Bornacoola: Danny Farrell, Damien Mc Guinness, David Mulligan, Brian Duffy, Jason Conroy, Allan Croghan, Kevin Mulligan, Anthony Mulligan, Liam Jones, Mervyn Howard, Conor Mc Cauley (1-2), Cian Mallon (1-4), Sean O Riordan, Ronan Mulligan (0-2) and Shane Mallon (0-6). Subs: Liam Mulligan for M Howard, Gearoid Mulligan for K Mulligan, Brian Conroy for S O Riordan

Referee: Gareth Foley (Melvin Gaels)