Beirne drives Gortletteragh past wasteful Ballinamore

Gortletteragh edged their way into a second consecutive Leitrim Senior Hurling Championship Final with a hard fought and narrow victory over Ballinamore last Saturday in Pairc Naomh Mhuire, Carrick-on-Shannon as Tomas Beirne proved the ultimate difference between the sides.

Gortletteragh edged their way into a second consecutive Leitrim Senior Hurling Championship Final with a hard fought and narrow victory over Ballinamore last Saturday in Pairc Naomh Mhuire, Carrick-on-Shannon as Tomas Beirne proved the ultimate difference between the sides.

By John Connolly

Gortletteragh 0-8

Ballinamore 0-7

Although not with the same significance as the first semi-final and not as high scoring, the second semi-final was just as enthralling and just as hard fought as both teams fought tooth and nail for supremacy with never more than two points separating the teams.

With two of the county’s best young footballers going head to head in the middle of the park in Shane Moran for Ballinamore and Tomas Beirne for Gortletteragh, all that this game lacked was the finishing expertise displayed by Clement Cunniffe and Gary Hickey in the first game.

Indeed, when they look back on this game, Ballinamore will wonder how they lost as they had quite an amount of wides while veteran keeper Tommy McLoughlin made a top-class save in the first half to prevent a certain goal, a wonder save that would grace Croke Park.

What separated both these teams from those in the first semi-final is no doubt the fact that both Manorhamilton and Carrick have vastly more game time this year with the small ball, the fact that it was Gortletteragh’s first outing of the year means they will be vastly improved for next Saturday’s Final.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.