Carbury FC……. 2 Ballina Town…… 1
THE Summa Sports Connacht Champions Cup Final took place on Sunday at the Ray Mac Sharry Park Cranmore Sligo. Holders Carbury FC (Sligo Leitrim DSL) were at home to Ballina Town FC from the Mayo DSL.
By NOEL KENNEDY
The pitch was in superb condition that allowed both sides to show their style.
In attendance was Irish Amateur International Team Manager Gerry Davis viewing potential stars of the future. The Man of the Match Award in memory of the late Adam Mulchrone was also selected by Gerry Davis.
The game started at a high tempo and Carbury were first out of the blocks on fourteen minutes when Ryan Mc Manus headed powerfully past Mark Duffy in the Ballina Town goals to put the holders in a commanding position .
Yet despite the best efforts of both sides on the half hour it was still Carbury in the lead. Ballina Town then had a free kick on the edge of the area it was a piledriver than seen Mark Rooney in the Carbury goals make a brilliant one handed save.
But he paid the price with a serious wrist injury than seen him leave the field of play and Carbury had to regroup bringing on number 12 Gerry Brennan and putting Kyle Crawley in the goals – and what a superb performance he put in.
Five minutes from the interval the Ballina Town goalkeeper made a parried save and the onrushing Gareth Kelly finished to the net to give the holder a two-nil advantage
The second half was five minutes old when Ballina Town were awarded a penalty Benny Lavelle stepped up and fired the ball into the top right corner of the Carbury goal.
Immediately after Carbury’s Colm Jinks and Ballina Town’s Jamie Cawley had a few words Cawley became incensed and pushed Colm Jinks violently in the back in full sight of the referee who immediately red carded Cawley.
Ballina Town were back in the hunt but down to ten men they had a mountain to climb. Ballina Town rather then go on the defence went into attack mode and went close on several occasions to leveling the score but the Carbury rearguard of Norris Murrin Jinks and Kavanagh stood tall with Gary Finan and Ross Mc Loughlin on overtime in midfield. Carbury on sixty minutes replaced Gary Finan with number 12 Gerry Brennan to strengthen up the midfield.
Ballina Town’s David O’Mahoney came on for Niall Leahy with Dylan Edwards replacing Fabiano on seventy-five minutes he nearly had an immediate impact with a great effort from a free kick that hit the post.
Then five minutes from time Ballina Town brought on Cormac O Malley for Dylan Mc Kee and two minutes from time Danny Loftus replace Duane Kelly the game was now immersed in a Titanic struggle who if anyone, would crack Ballina Town with ten men were excellent yet despite the changes it was not to be.
This was a final of epic proportions with both sides outstanding and in the end the experience of Carbury stood them in good stead. They retain the Summa Sports Connacht Champions Cup and now look forward to the season ahead. Ballina Town despite this loss will on this display be a major force in this seasons Provincial CUP Competitions.
The family of the late Adam Mulchrone, Mother Mary Father Paul, Brother Colin and Sister Amy made the Man of the Man presentation to Ross Mc Loughlin of Carbury FC.
Connacht Chairman Padraig Mc Hale presented the cup and medals to Both sides.