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SENIOR CO. LEAGUE DIVISION 5 - ROUND 4 - 4/6/2017 2017-06-04 22:47:00

Churchill 0-13,   Ballylongford 0-14

Ballylongford travelled to Churchill looking to maintain their 100% record in the Co. League on Sunday afternoon, while the hosts were hoping to build on their recent good form,
which saw them record two wins on the bounce and put them right back into the promotion race.  In the end, Ballylongford ran out winners by a single point, but Churchill will be left to ponder what might have been, after some wayward shooting and ill-disciplined tackling cost them dearly in a game that they dominated for long periods.

Joe McCarthy opened the scoring for the visitors with a well struck free, but this was quickly cancelled out by Ivan Parker, after good build up play from Garret Walsh.  Ballylongford scored three of the next four points, all from placed balls, with two for Ciaran O’Connor and one more for McCarthy.  In between, Paul Lenihan added one to keep the hosts in touch, with Garret Walsh again playing provider. The game was being played at a frantic pace and both teams had goal chances within seconds of each other.  Firstly, Churchill’s Cathal Rodgers broke through the centre and his rasping shot was expertly saved by Paudie Moloney.  From the resulting clearance, Ballylongford broke straight up the field and worked a 2 v 1 situation, but Eoghan O’Brien got down well to deny Thomas Doherty with his legs.  Rodgers almost broke through on goal again soon after, but a fine tackle by Matt
O’Connor prevented the scoring opportunity.  Churchill added three more points before the break, the pick of them an effort from distance from Parker and two from Killian Fitzgerald, but Ballylongford registered another O’Connor free, just before halftime to leave the sides level at five points each.

*Fitzgerald put the hosts ahead on the restart, but O’Connor replied with two from play to put Ballylongford back in front.  Churchill introduced Peadar Stack and he equalised with his first touch, following a break out of defence by Mitchell Holland.  Cathal Rodgers added two in quick succession, the second one sweetly struck with the right, after selling a dummy with his left.  At this stage, Churchill were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, but a mounting wide count would ultimately cost them.  Joe McCarthy (2) and Ciaran O’Connor added three scores to take the lead, but a Parker free levelled the tie again.  Ballylongford started to break even around the middle of the park coming into the closing stages and the teams exchanged two points each, the pick of them a long range effort from Ballylongford’s
wing back Matt O’Conno,r that levelled the scores again at 12 points apiece.  In a game where neither team could open a significant lead on the other, the visitors opened a decisive two point lead approaching the final minute.  An O’Connor free was followed by a nice score from Liam McElligott, after he won a high ball into the box. Killian Fitzgerald tried to break through for the hosts in search of the goal that was needed, however he was pulled down 21 metres out. The resulting free was to be the last kick of the game, but
Fitzgerald blazed narrowly over with all the Ballylongford team between him and the goal.

In the end, Ballylongford maintain their unbeaten start to the season and are looking good to secure promotion back to Division 4.  Churchill will have to regroup and will look to get their season back on track, when they make the short journey to Austin Stacks next weekend.

Churchill:  Eoghan O’Brien, Alan McElliggott, Mitchell Holland, Des McCarthy, JJ Prior, Shane Crowley, Austin Clifford, Killian Fitzgerald (0-4 1free), Garret Walsh, Paul Lenihan (0-1), Cathal Rodgers (0-3), Sean Donnellan, Dara O’Shea, Pa McCarthy, Ivan Parker (0-4 1free). Subs:  Peadar Stack (0-1) for Donnellan, Tommy McCarthy for Walsh.

Ballylongford:   Paudie Moroney, Darren Murphy, Michael McEllistrim, Kenneth Tydings, Cian Barrett, Stephen Foley, Matt O’Connor (0-1), Jack Mulvihill, Joe McCarthy (0-4, 2 frees), Padraig O'Neill, Liam McElligott (0-1), Thomas Doherty, Sean Kennelly, Kenneth Foley, Ciaran O’Connor (0-8 5frees).