Gormley uPVC Senior Football Championship First Round
Ballybay 0-12 Truagh 0-3 14/8/11
Ballybay made it two out of two in the Senior Football Championship when they eased past Truagh in the last first-round game in Clontibret on Sunday. Both sides had won well in the preliminary round, but Ballybay always looked in control here in a game which failed to live up to expectations. Truagh had plenty of possession, but they struggled to break down a well-organised Ballybay defence, in contrast to Ballybay’s forwards, who were much more clinical. Hugh Malone, Thomas Kerr, Fergal Smyth, Christopher McGuinness and Thomas O’Neill played key roles for Ballybay, while only Barry Cuddy, Mark Counihan and Niall McQuillan made any impact for Truagh.
Ballybay took just about ten seconds to open the scoring, as they launched an attack straight from the throw-in for Christopher McGuinness to kick a point. Truagh went close to getting a goal in the seventh minute when Niall Coyle cracked a shot off the post and Ballybay quickly broke forward for Shane McQuillan to set up Paul Finlay for a well-taken point. Truagh’s Daniel McKenna had a goal disallowed for taking too many steps at the end of the first quarter and Ballybay went three clear when Hugh Malone linked up with Finlay to hit the target.
Truagh finally got off the mark in the 20th minute with a left-footed point by Mark Counihan, who had done well to keep a wayward free by Christopher McKenna in play. Pádraig McKenna quickly added Truagh’s second point, but his county minor team-mate Thomas Kerr replied for Ballybay from a 20-metre free after a foul on Christopher McGuinness. Ballybay went close to finding the net when Malone connected with a Kerr free, but Truagh keeper Ian Treanor got in the way to keep his side in touch at half-time: Ballybay 0-4 Truagh 0-2.
Like in the first half, Ballybay were on target within half a minute of the start of the second half, with Thomas Kerr sending over after a pass from Drew Wylie and Malone added a great point from a tight angle after a Christopher McGuinness free had been flicked on by Kerr. Malone tagged on his third point after McGuinness had been blocked down, before Kerr linked up with McQuillan to kick a fine score. The one-way traffic continued when Finlay tapped over a 20-metre free after a late tackle on Brian McCabe, before Kerr converted a ’45.
Counihan ended 35 scoreless minutes for Truagh when he won and scored a 13-metre free, but McQuillan replied with a good point at the end of a surging run through. Finlay curled over a free from out on the right wing, after a foul on sub Enda Keenan, to finish the scoring and seal a nine-point win for the SFL leaders, who will now play Scotstown in round two, while Truagh have been drawn against Castleblayney in the back door.
Ballybay: S Gorman; R Wylie, F Smyth, M McArdle; P Stuart, T O’Neill, B McCabe; D Wylie (Capt.), P Finlay (0-3, 2f); T Kerr (0-4, 1f, 1 ’45), B Wylie, S McQuillan (0-1); S McGuinness, H Malone (0-3), C McGuinness (0-1).
Subs: J Kerr for D Wylie (inj., 37 mins), E Keenan for S McGuinness (58), A Toner for McQuillan (62).
Truagh: I Treanor; M Treanor, N Feely (Capt.), N McQuillan; D McRory, B Cuddy, R Treanor; N McMeel, N McRory; P McKenna (0-1), D McKenna, N Coyle; C McKenna, G Feely, M Counihan (0-2, 1f).
Subs: G Meehan for C McKenna (45), E Kelly for Cuddy, J Treanor for P McKenna (both 54), S McKenna for G Feely (60).
Referee: P McEnaney (Corduff).