Late Mostrim surge leaves Ballymahon facing dogfight

Mostrim's Gerard Smith gives chase to Ballymahon's Mark Lennon. Photo: Declan Gilmore
Mostrim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-11

Mostrim . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-11

Ballymahon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1-6

A strong performance from Mostrim in the last ten minutes of Sunday’s relegation semi-final saw them retain their senior championship status for another year.

Ballymahon now face into a relegation final against their neighbours Carrickedmond on Saturday at 4.30pm in Devine Park.

In the 40th minute Joe Kelly scored a neat point to put Ballymahon ahead by four points, 1-5 to 0-4, but that was to be their last score until the final minute as Mostrim outscored them by 1-7 to 0-1 over the remaining minutes.

Mostrim hit two points to cut the gap to one before the excellent Brian Farrell got a goal in the 50th minute and the Edgeworthstown side didn’t look back after that.

Ballymahon must pick themselves up now and try to reproduce earlier championship performances if they are to remain senior. They have the players but need the attitude to match.

A nice point from Connor and a pointed Colm Flynn free gave Ballymahon an early lead but two Alan O’Hara frees and a great point from Farrell put Mostrim in front by one, 0-3 to 0-2, in the 14th minute.

Mostrim keeper Ciaran Garvey was unfortunate in the 18th minute that wet conditions allowed Connor’s shot slip through his hands and into the net. Shane Kiernan replied for Mostrim but Connor hit over another point before the break to put two between them, 1-3 to 0-4.

Cillian Lynn forced a smart save out of Kyle Fitzmaurice in the 36th minute. Minutes later Connor and Joe Kelly hit over further points to put Ballymahon four up, 1-5 to 0-4. Mostrim though responded with points from Farrell and Lynn.

A well taken goal from Farrell in the 50th minute turned the game in Mostrim’s favour and they completely took control of proceedings. A Darragh Doherty free and a fine point from Fintan Coyle put Mostrim ahead by three, 1-8 to 1-5, in the 55th minute.

Mostrim had earlier switched Coyle and Shane Kiernan with the latter moving into the full-forward line and he got a point straight after Coyle. They added two further points through Doherty and Farrell to stretch the advantage to six points, 1-11 to 1-5.

After being out of the game for so long Ballymahon got a point in the 60th minute through Joe Kelly. Deep into stoppage time he received a black card to round off a miserable evening overall for Ballymahon.

MOSTRIM: Ciaran Garvey; Sean Noone, Sean Monaghan, Aaron Gallagher; Cathal Smith, Gerard Smith, Ciaran Gallagher; Martin Coyle, Shane Kieran (0-2); Cillian Lynn (0-1), Alan O’Hara (0-2,2f), Darren Bloomer; Brian Farrell (1-3), Fintan Coyle (0-1), Michael Hussey.

Subs: Damien Moran for S Noone (37 mins), Darragh Doherty (0-2, 0-1 free) for M Hussey and Luke Kelly for A O’Hara (44 mins), John Cullen for D Bloomer (49 mins).

BALLYMAHON: Kyle Fitzmaurice; Pedro Byrne, James Kenny, Gareth Murtagh; Emmet Finn, Mark McCormack, Matthew Daly; Cian Cooney, John Nevin; Mark Lennon, Mark Connor (1-3), Sean McMullen; Joe Kelly (0-2), Colm Flynn (0-1,1f), Thomas Mulvihill.

Subs: Joe Dowley for J Nevin inj (37 mins), Thomas Lennon for T Mulvihill (54 mins), Tomas O’Rourke for P Byrne (60 mins), Edwin Nally for J Kelly bc (60+2mins).

REFEREE: Michael O’Brien (Longford Slashers).