After an absorbing a hard fought opening half, last Friday’s U-16 15-a-side league final in Pairc Sean MacDiarmada unexpectedly became very one sided in the second half as Ballinamore failed to register a single score after the break while Mohill went on the rampage.
While Mohill were impressive after the break, with Paul Foy, Shane McGowan, Keith Keegan, Michael Bohan and James Mitchell all producing fine displays, Ballinamore will be pondering where it all went wrong.
As the Ballinamore players and management were left contemplating what happened in the second half, there was no denying that this was Mohill’s day as they recorded a thoroughly deserved and emphatic victory. While there were excellent individual performances from some of the Mohill players, the key to victory was the manner in which they worked for one another as a team. Team captain Paul Foy led by example from full-back and typified the work ethic in this team.
Ballinamore actually started the game very well and during the opening exchanges seemed to have the measure of their opponents. With the game barely three minuets old, Ballinamore opened the scoring in emphatic style as Luke Murphy found Dean McGovern who fired his shot to the roof of the Mohill goal.
That score was quickly followed by points from Dean McGovern and a Luke Murphy free as Ballinamore threatened to pull away from their opponents before the game had reached the five minute mark.
They may have been slow out of the blocks but when they did find their rhythm it was clear to see that Mohill were far from out of contention.
Points from Michael Bohan and Shane McGowan brought Mohill back in to contention and although Ballinamore hit back with an excellent point from Kevin Mullins, the game was now developing in to a real contest.
Four successive Mohill points in as many minutes from Keith Beirne (two frees), Ronan Gordon and Jamie Stenson brought the sides level.
Mohill’s scoring spree was brought to an end by when Peter Reynolds and Barry McGovern pointed but the nip and tuck nature of the contest showed no sign of easing up as Mohill replied with their first goal of the game six minutes before the interval.
Keith Beirne exchanged passes with Shane McGowan before shooting past Ballinamore goalkeeper Darren Maxwell to give his side the lead for the first time. Mohill doubled their advantage moments later when Darren Keegan pointed.
It seemed as though it would be Mohill carrying an advantage into the interval but instead it was Ballinamore who hit back as they registered their second goal of the game. Peter Reynolds’ 45 fell favourably for his midfielder partner Dean McGovern and he somehow managed to squeeze the ball through several players and into the Mohill goal. Reynolds then converted a free to put two between the sides before the first half scoring was completed by Mohill’s Shane McGowan to leave the score 2-6 to 1-8 in favour of Ballinamore at the break.
If the first half was competitive with little to choose between the sides, surprisingly, the second half was the exact opposite as Mohill took control straight from the restart and never let their opponents back in the game.
Whatever was said to the Mohill players by their mentors Martin Keegan, Don Flynn and Simon McGuinness at the break certainly did the trick as they hit three quick points after the restart and then struck for their second goal of the game when Shane McGowan and Jason Farry combined to create a goal chance for Keith Beirne which he duly took.
It didn’t get any better for Ballinamore as Mohill registered five further unanswered points before scoring their third goal of the game 10 minutes from the end. This time Keith Beirne was the creator as he found Jason Farry who scored from close range.
By now the game was well and truly over as a contest but it was to get worse for Ballinamore as a minute later Shane McGowan’s speculative effort dipped under the crossbar at the last minute for another goal.
Having played so well for half the game you couldn’t but feel sorry for Ballinamore but this was Mohill’s day and they finished the game with three further points from Keith Beirne (free), Michael Bohan and Shane McGowan.
Cal Rawlinson, Jack McGarry, Paul Foy, Kevin Flynn, Alan Tuthill (0-1), James Mitchell (0-1), Darren Keegan (0-1), Keith Keegan, Michael Bohan (0-3), Shane McGowan (1-3), Keith Beirne (2-5), Oisin Madden, Jamie Stenson (0-2), Ronan Gordon (0-2), Jamie Cosgrove. Subs: Jason Farry (1-1)
Darren Maxwell, Adam Goldrick, Brian Leyden, James Hamill, Paddy Connaughton, Niall McGovern, Fergal Curran, Dean McGovern (2-0), Peter Reynolds (0-2), Donal Feely, Kevin Mullins (0-1), Oisin McCaffrey, Bary McGovern (0-2), Luke Murphy (0-1), Daire Murphy.
Referee: Eamon O’Grady