Inane Rovers regain North Tipp crown after two year gap

Thursday, 31 May 2018

A BETTER all round Inane Rovers side regained the North under-14 A Football final after a two year gap when defeating a game Ballina side at sunny Portroe last Friday evening.
Leading from start to finish the Roscrea side had too much strength and guile against a Ballina side whose defence was much too porous allowing wind assisted Inane to dominate the opening half and take a half time lead of 3-3 to 2-1.
The leaders might have been worried at half time knowing they faced a stiff breeze in the second half but their defence, led by the superb Ryan Thompson, aided by Eoin Larkin at centre back, did enough to hold off a Ballina side searching for their second title and first since 2010.
In claiming their 16th North Under-14 title, Inane sit one behind Nenagh Eire Og in the Roll of Honour as the Green and Gold finished with fourteen men when midfielder Dale Collins was sent off in the final minute following a second yellow card offence.
Collins was one of Inane's stars with Ryan Thompson, Eoin Larkin, Lee Doran, and Tommy Murphy among others leading the way.
Three wides in the opening bouts were the net result before Dale Collins used his strength and balance to weave past three Ballina defenders and rustle the net after four minutes.
Ballina hit back two minutes later when Daniel Fogarty and Jack Quinn combined to see Jack Grace slip inside the Inane cover and send a low shot past Diarmuid McLoughlin for an equalising goal.
The goal encouraged Ballina with Zach Egan impressive at the back well supported by Brian Bourke, Jack Quinn, Jack Collins and JP Mbokha McInerney but scores were coming at the other end with John Donovan and Tommy Murphy - an excellent point from far out on the left.
The resulting kickout was intercepted by Josh Doran who didn't wait for an invitation to rattle the net for Inane's second goal. John Donovan added a point in the 19th to make it 2-3 to 1-0. However, two minutes later, Ballina commenced a slow build up and Simon Grace was fouled in the large square. Jim Lees signalled a penalty and Jack Quinn converted. Three points separated the teams.
It was Ballina's best period and Charlie King added a pointed free but Inane were dangerous on the break and Aaron Lee intercepted a short kick out and found Jamie Conlon in support with the latter to score Inane's third goal. It was 3-3 to 2-1 at the interval.
Ballina began the second half with a string of wides in the opening four minutes. It was something they would regret and when Inane got over the early setback they turned defence into attack with a four man move involving Eoin Larkin, Ryan Thompson and Tommy Murphy before Conlon went through for his second goal ten minutes after the restart.
Eight minutes without a score prevailed before Jack Grace pointed with a rocket inches over the crossbar. But Inane returned to the other end and Dale Collins and Conlon formed a one two move for Collins to blast over the bar. Nine clear, Inane looked settled for victory but Ballina were always game and an angled point by Sam Foley was the best they could offer but the green and gold ribbons were attacked to the silverware by then. Final score Inane Rovers 4-4 Ballina 2-4.
INANE ROVERS: Diarmuid McLoughlin; Brian O'Rourke, Alex Morrissey, Alex Moloney; Lee Doran (capt), Eoin Larkin, Ryan Thompson; Dale Collins (1-1), John Donovan (0-2); Michael Fitzgerald, Tommy Murphy (0-1), Liam O'Reilly; Josh Doran (1-0), Jamie Conlon (2-0), Aaron Lee. Subs: Michael Mulvey (for Josh Doran, 6th min second half); Scott Kelly (for Aaron Lee, 12th min second half); Darragh Pyne (for Liam O'Reilly, 26th min second half).
BALLINA: Max Ryan; Evan Carey, Brian Bourke, Zack Egan; Billy Collins, Cian Molloy, Daniel Fogarty; Jack Quinn, Jack Collins (0-1); Simon Grace, Shane O'Connell, JP Mbokha McInerney; Charlie King (1-1, 1-0 pen), Jack Grace (1-1), Sam Foley. Subs: Tristan Giroudiere (for Daniel Fogarty, half time); Aaron Hunt (for Simon Grace, 8th min second half).
REFEREE: Jim Lees (Newport).


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