North Mayo Minor ‘A’ Football Final (Friday 30-Aug-96)
Lahardane confirm their status
Lahardane had to wait until ‘95 to capture its first North Mayo minor ‘A’ title, and in retaining the honours last Friday evening at St. Tiernan’s Park, Crossmolina, sent out the clear message that what they have they keep.
Ballina Stephenites stayed with the Nephinsiders for over fifty minutes and at one stage led by three points, but from then on the defending champions displayed a brand of possession football that would have done justice to a bigger occasion on the third Sunday of September each year in Croke Park.
Lining out three members of the county minor team - Anthony McDermott, Vinnie Cawley and Declan Leonard - defeated by Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park last month, Lahardane were the hardest workers in support of each other.
Shane Blake, ably assisted by Damien Kelly, had an outstanding game at centrefield, while the Ballina defence could do very little in their attempts to apply the brakes to the menacing Declan Leonard and point-scoring 14-year-old Cormac Rowland on the full-forward line.
Lahardane, who play the East Mayo champions in the county semi-final on Friday evening next, were in full-flight over the final quarter to hammer over six unanswered points from all angles and distances.
Even having a penalty saved by the Ballina goalkeeper at a vital stage in the second half failed to dampen the spirits of the defending champions.
Several members of the Ballina team failed to play to their best form, yet but for the woodwork would probably have forced the game into extra time, when a shot by David Meade came back off the upright.
On two occasions - once in each half - Ballina enjoyed control but the grip Lahardane had over the final fifteen minutes was reflected in the fact that the Stephenites failed to score from the 47th minute when Roy Maughan had their final contribution to the scoreboard.
Lahardane set the early pace with points by Declan Leonard, Cormac Rowland and Thomas Jordan, but a goal from a penalty by Meade, adding to earlier points by Liam Brady, Declan Cafferkey and Meade, left the Stephenites three points clear just before the break.
On the resumption Lahardane were back in the cockpit and had regained the lead by one point before David Meade struck for the Stephenites second goal after an earlier shot by Liam Brady skimmed off the crossbar for the in-running Meade to crash home.
Ger Brady’s earlier move to midfield appeared to pay dividends for the Moysiders when returning pressure on the Lahardane defence on a regular basis.
Indeed when Meade increased the Stephenites advantage to three points in the 42nd minute it seemed Lahardane’s hopes of retaining the title were dashed.
But then Lahardane took the game under their total command to ring up a further seven points.
Lahardane: Dara Nolan, Anthony Irwin, Adrian Marley, Simon Rowan, Mervyn Marley, Anthony McDermott, Thomas Jordan (0-1); Damien Kelly, Shane Blake (0-2); Declan Garrett, Vinnie Cawley (0-4); Stephen Jordan, Cormac Rowland (0-4); Declan Leonard (0-3). Subs.: Brian Rowland (0-1)(for Declan Garrett).
Referee: C. Collins (Lacken).<<Back
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