Utilising the immense strength and power of the impressive Kevin Mullen at full-forward, Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s went the direct route to ensure success over a physically smaller but immensely talented Fenagh St. Caillin’s in an entertaining Under 14 League 15-a-side Final last Sunday evening in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada.
Ballinamore SOH 2-10
Fenagh St. Caillin’s 1-10
The long ball to Mullen on the edge of the square led to the Ballinamore youngster grabbing an impressive haul of 2-6 but most importantly, Mullen hauled his team back into the game after a young Fenagh team led by five points at the break.
Despite their very best efforts, Fenagh couldn’t cope with Mullen’s aerial ability and once he got on the ball, no matter how many players surrounded him, Mullen size and strength meant he could escape and his finishing was impressive to say the least.
It was far from a one man show and Ballinamore’s decision to play an extra defender in front of Riordan O’Rourke eventually paid dividends in the second half, after the Fenagh full-forward had caused consternation in the first half along with Conor Reynolds.
James Hamill, Niall McGovern, Daragh Murphy and Barry McGovern all caught the eye, Barry unlucky not to be rewarded with more scores but it was Ballinamore’s strength down the middle that eventually told its tale.
This crop of Fenagh youngsters continue to impress, even in defeat – their mastery of the basic skills in every position promises a bright future once these lads add height and physical power to their footballing ability.
Riordan O’Rourke, Conor Reynolds, Jack Gilheaney, Jarlath Scollan, Oisin McLoughlin and Sean Keegan all did well for Fenagh.
Perhaps more amazing was the fact that midfielder Aaron McLoughlin broke his collar bone in a very heavy collision in the opening minutes, yet played the entire game.
Ballinamore started impressively with points from Kevin Mullen (free) and Barry McGovern but needed keeper Darren Maxwell to make a good save with Riordan O’Rourke putting over the resulting free after a heavy hit on Aaron McLoughlin.
To read the full report see this week’s Leitrim Observer.