Division 4 League Final (Sunday 17-November-96)
Lahardane McHales claimed the Welcome Inn Division Four League title at the expense of Ballycastle at St. Joseph's Park Knockmore, on Sunday.
Corner forward Declan Leonard was thw winner's most influential player, kicking 1-1 from play and five frees. He was well aided by James Gillespie at midfield and centre half-forward Vinny Cawley.
Unlike Lahardane, Ballycastle move up to Division 3 next season, but their habit of losing finals - this was their third decider defeat this year following losses in the North Junior Final and Tom Langan Cup - is truly bizarre.
Their best performers were Kieran Doherty, Conor McBrien, John Madden, Padraic Gardiner, Declan Caulfield and Colm Kenny who kicked 0-3.
Despite falling into immediate arrears through a Richard Tomas goal and Kenny point, Lahardane trailed by just a point at the break, 1-3 to 0-5, after a half in which they squandered many scoring chances against the breeze.
And though a John Madden long range free extended Ballycastle's lead to two points early in the second period, Lahardane were able to move up a gear, Declan Leonard giving them a two point lead with a goal as the game moved towards its last quarter.
A goal from long range through substitute Gerry Burke late in the game secured a deserved win for the committed and resourceful Lahardane.
Lahardane: E. Coyne, A. Marley, F. Bryan, A. Leonard, T. Marley, N. Blake, P. Leonard, J. Gillespie (0-2); S. Blake, N. Garrett, V. Cawley (0-1); J.J. Leonard, D. Leonard (1-6); D. Kelly (0-1); T. Cawley. Subs: G. Burke (1-0)(for Kelly); A. McDermott (for Garrett).
Referee: M Cawley (Ardagh).<<Back
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