Mark McGrory turns after scoring a goal for Ballinamore against Mohill
Losing a championship match is never easy, losing your County title even harder but Eddie Bouabbse stressed his pride in the character shown by his Ballinamore Sean O’Heslins players in last Saturday’s Quarter-Final loss to Mohill.
Ballinamore mounted a ferocious rally after trailing 2-6 to 0-3 late in the first half and had the chance to draw level midway through the second period before Mohill surged clear in the closing stages for a 2-15 to 1-11 victory.
Yet despite losing their grip on the Fenagh Cup, Eddie spoke of his pride in the character displayed by his players: “We probably left a bit too much work to do in the second half but in saying that, we pulled it back and probably had the opportunity to bring us level, the momentum was with us a couple of times as well.
“We needed to kick on a bit more and we just didn’t get the scores at that time. Extremely proud of their character again, I knew we wouldn’t be dead and buried, the character they showed in all the other games and it showed again today but it just wasn’t to be in the end.”
In a campaign marked by injuries to key players such as Dean McGovern, Tom Prior and Matthew Murphy, Eddie believes that Ballinamore have a bright future ahead of them after introducing a host of new players to the starting line-up: “We introduced a lot of new players as well, there was a good bit of changeover in the panel but we did that during the League.
“The boys never lacked effort, they are a very focused group and always want to achieve as much as they can and every time they go out. We had five or six championship debutants this year with the young lads coming through and that is a huge asset to them as well.
“We definitely had challenges but they overcame that but the one thing that stood to them was that we had character in every game, right to the end.”
Injuries did disrupt Ballinamore with Dean McGovern bandaged seemingly from ankle to hip to protect a knee injury but for Eddie, that commitment typified Ballinamore’s players this year: “Injuries do disrupt you, we had a good few injuries at the same time which was a killer trying to get people back.
“It takes a small bit away from your momentum but the one thing we did have with those young players coming in is we were able to sustain it a bit better.
“Those young players got huge experience and it is very positive for them going forward. Of course, you’d love to be going in with a full panel the whole time but credit to the lads for playing through injury because I imagine that some of them definitely pushed themselves over the limit today, you could see that.”
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