Saturday 25th October 2003
Fethard put in strong finish to lift title
South Tipperary Junior Football Championship 'B' Final
Fethard 2-11, Ballingarry 1-12
- Fethard came from behind to pip a gallant Ballingarry in a highly entertaining Garrabridge Lighting sponsored South Tipperary junior football 'A' final played under ideal conditions at Kilsheelan on Saturday 18th October.
'The Blues', who were regaining a title they last held in 1999 just about deserved their success as they were able to afford the luxury of seven second-half wides but Ballingarry will wonder what went wrong in the concluding stages as they controlled the game in the third quarter and looked set to take the championship for the first time since 1996.
Both sides can take credit for a fine hour's football that produced some great scores, a number of outstanding individual performances and excellent sportsmanship.
Eoin Doyle opened the scoring with a Fethard point after Donal Shelley had blazed wide with the goal at his mercy at the other end. The Fethard attack was causing problems for a stretched Ballingarry rearguard and after a fine move involving Tommy Sheehan, Shane Walsh and Eoin Doyle, Shay Coen clinically found the net in the 12th minute.
Corner-forward John Noonan enjoyed plenty of freedom and notched two fine points as 'The Blues' continued to dominate and at the end of the first quarter they led by 1-3 to 0-1.
'Blondie' Ivors, however, signalled a Ballingarry revival with a pointed free in the 19th minute and his side were really back in the game when Noel Walsh shot to the Fethard net five minutes later. The tempo of the game was now raised appreciably and we saw fine points on both sides as they battled for supremacy.
It was Ballingarry, however, who edged in to a one point interval lead (1-6 to 15) thanks to a fine score from Liam Cahill.
The same player had the opening score of the second period as Ballingarry enjoyed their period of domination as further scores from Donal Shelley and 'Blondie' Ivors extended their lead to four points.
Tommy Sheehan showed that he still retained much of his skill as he led Fethard's resurgence with two fine points and when Brendan Brett and Shay Coen added further points it was again all square at 1-9 each.
Ballingarry introduced Johnny Houlihan as a sub and he made an immediate impression setting up 'Blondie' Ivors for a point before kicking one of the best scores of the game. Liam Cahill sent brother Sean through for a point and once again Ballingarry were in command, 1-12 to 1-9.
Fethard however responded and from a quick break sub Kenneth O'Donnell placed John Noonan for an excellent equalising goal.
Two minutes from time O'Donnell edged Fethard back in front and a free in injury time converted by Tommy Sheehan put the icing on the cake for Fethard.
Ballingarry had one last opportunity when Seamus Butler was presented with a goal chance but he failed to control the effort and Fethard were champions.
John Noonan, Tommy Sheehan, Shay Ryan, Eoin Doyle, Shay Coen, Shane Walsh and sub. Kenneth O'Donnell made significant contributions for the winners whilst on the Ballingarry side Liam Cahill, 'Blondie' Ivors, Donal Shelley, Eamonn Cahill, Adrian Cleere and sub. Johnny Houlihan were always to the fore.
Scorers - Fethard: John Noonan 1-2, Tommy Sheehan 0-4, Shay Coen I1, Foin Doyle 0-I, Brendan Brett 0-1, Colm Coen 0-1, Kenneth O'Donnell 0-1.
Ballingarry: Paddy 'Blondie' Ivors 0-4, Liam Cahill 0-3, Noel Walsh 1-0, Paddy Ivors 0-1, Donal Shelley 0-1, Johnny Houlihan 0-1, Sean Cahill 0-1.
Teams - Fethard: Ronan Maher, Chris Coen, Diarmuid Burke, Philly Blake. Ian Kenrick, Shane Walsh, Jamie McCormack, Eoin Doyle, Colm Coen, Martin Coen, Shay Ryan, Brendan Brett, Tommy Sheehan, Shay Coen, John Noonan. Subs: Paul Hackett, Kenneth 'O'Donnell.
Ballingarry: Roy Cashin, Mick O'Connell, Don Lyons, Liam Fitzgerald, Darren Kelly, Eamonn Cahill, Brian Cooney, Paddy 'Blondie' Ivors, Donal Shelley, Joseph Ivors, Adrian Cleere, Liam Cahill, Noel Walsh, Paddy Ivors, Sean Cahill. Subs: Johnny Houlihan, Seamus Butler.
Ref: Keith Delahunty (Moyle Rovers).