Club Info



Under 21 'B' Final (Saturday 3-May-97)

Lahardane scorch Ballintubber with sizzling display


Magnificent Lahardane may continue to reside in the shadows of Nephin, but the rising young footballing stars reflected a welcome ray of sunshine onto the village by capturing an historic county under 21 'B' title at Gilmartin Park, Kiltimagh, on Saturday.

The Nephinsiders, the championship minnows at the start of the campaign, delivered a clear message to all who cared to listen that they had arrived and intend to remain around for a number of years.

Yes, Lahardane doesn't just make promises - they keep them.

Last Saturday's five points victory over favourites Ballintubber had been promised three years ago at under-16 level and moved rapidly forward last year with the success of the minor team in the North Mayo championship.

It may have taken over thirty minutes and two stunning goals by Ballintubber for Lahardane to get into right rhythm, but once they did on the restart the destination of the honours had been resolved long before the end.

Lahardane dominated all over the field to keep Ballintubber scoreless over the final twenty-four minutes.

Indeed it would be difficult to find a flaw in this Lahardane performance, however special mention must be made of the defence, particularly the half back line of Trevor Marley, Anthony McDermott and Mervyn Marley.

However the Lahardane rearguard must take some blame for allowing Kieran Lally in for a goal in the 20th minute. The entire defence had been pulled well away from base when Lally gained possession about sixty metres out, and after burning up the ground, he fired in a shot that the helpless Daire Nolan had no chance of saving.

James Gillespie and Shane Blake outshone Richard Molloy and Alan Staunton for long periods in the centre of the field, while all members of the winners attack, particularly J.J. Leonard, John Rowland and Vinnie Cawley were constant thorns in the side of the Ballintubber defence.

Ballintubber were afforded a splendid chance to recover their composure and also wipe out a three points deficit six minutes from the end when awarded a penalty, however Daire Nolan between the uprights proved equal to Lyndon Reilly's low shot.

Ballintubber had the assistance of the wind in the first half but trailed from the opening minute until a 20th minute cracking goal by Kieran Lally put them ahead by one point.

Thirteen minutes earlier the Lahardane goalkeeper had brought a save that would have done justice to a bigger occasion on the third Sunday of September in Croke Park when deflecting a Lyndon Reilly blaster over for a point.

In between Vinnie Cawley's opening point for the new champions and Lally's lead goal for Ballintubber, Lahardane played some fine possession football with half back Trevor Marley coming forward at every opportunity to throw additional pressure on an overworked Ballintubber defence.

It was Trevor Marley who linked up with half forward John Rowland before pushing the side into a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after sixteen minutes.

From then until the interval Lahardane were put under a lot of pressure, stemming from a constant supply of the ball from half backs Thomas Earley, Pat Lally and Derek Quinn and Michael Hoban and Richard Molloy at midfield to the Ballintubber forwards.

In fact the Nephinsiders failed to score from play again before the break, their only point in that second period coming from a 55 metre free out of the hands by James Gillespie nine minutes from the break.

One minute from the interval Lahardane were rocked by a second Ballintubber goal by Lyndon Reilly to leave the South Mayo side enjoying a 2-4 to 0-6 advantage at the break.

Kieran Lally and Brian Donnelly had just put Ballintubber 2-6 to 0-7 ahead by the 36th minute when Lahardane launched their successful mission with three rapid points by J.J. Leonard, Declan Leonard and James Gillespie in the space of four minutes.

The new champions finally regained the lead in the 47th minute when Damien Kelly set up Declan Leonard for a great goal. Four minutes later the same player extended the lead to three points.

The 54th minute penalty did throw Ballintubber a lifeline but Nolan was in no mood to accommodate Lyndon Reilly's goal bid.

Victory for Lahardane was secured when Declan Leonard and Trevor Marley added on further points.

Lahardane: Daire Nolan, Adrian Marley, Anthony Irwin, Trevor Marley (0-2); Anthony McDermott, Mervyn Marley, James Gillespie (0-4); Shane Blake (0-1); John Rowland, Damien Kelly, J.J. Leonard (0-2); Declan Leonard (1-4); Vinnie Cawley (0-1).

Ref.: J. Walsh (Claremorris).


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Ciaran Coughlan