Kilbeggan win Junior Football Title - Ballinagore held well to three-quarter stage
(This report appeared on the Westmeah Examiner on 10th October 1992 and has been reproduced here with their kind permission)
Kilbeggan 2-05 Ballinagore 0-06
At Pairc Naomh Stiofan, Tyrrellspass, on Sunday last, Kilbeggan emerged as the 1992 Junior Football Championship winners. They did so with a five point victory over neighbouring club Ballinagore, who had to be content with the runner up position for the second year running.
In a game of close marking and with both teams showing a rather nervous approach, the first half was a low scoring session with Ballinagore having a slender one point lead at the break, having had wind advantage. They still led by a point at the end of the third quarter and the game still in the balance. Kilbeggan then hit their best spell and with a scoring burst of two goals and a point in a four minute assault on the opposing defence they well and truly settled the issue in their favour. For the last twelve minutes they held on to their advantage and despite a plucky effort there were never signs that Ballinagore could recover. Both teams played in a keen and determined manner as one would expect in a clash for final honours, but at all stages of the game they contested the issue in a fair and sporting manner.
Kilbeggan by virtue of keeping the score against them to a low proportion when playing against the breeze, laid the foundation for their success. They raised their game sufficiently in the second half to give rise to hopes of victory to their supporters and they duly obliged. They were deserving winners and will now seek to once again bring Kilbeggan back to their former prominence in the top flight of Westmeath football. One has to have a degree of sympathy for Ballinagore, losing for the second year in succession at the last hurdle. They had the necessary spirit to come back from last years reverse and no doubt will raise that spirit again to persevere in further effort. At the conclusion of the game the Kilbeggan captain, Dermot Smith, was presented with the Championship trophy by the football board chairman, Patrick Lynagh (also from Kilbeggan). Kilbeggan supporters rejoiced, seeing in this success a revitalising of the old spirit that in former years was the hallmark of the club.
Ballinagore had breeze advantage and Kilbeggan were first to press with John durkan halting an early effort by John Daly. A free conceded on Sean Robinson was sent wide by Jim Mahon in the first scoring chance of the game. Jimmy Marshall in the Ballinagore end and Locky Guilfoyle for Kilbeggan were both in action to clear danger. In the 6th minute the first score came to Kilbeggan as Paul McCormack soloed to a central position to send over the bar. Tow minutes later Ballinagore replied as Ciaran Daly was fouled and Martin Seery sent the 35 metres free over for their opening point. Ritchie Keoghan was then in action, sending wide under pressure.
In the 9th minute a sideline ball by John Daly as screwed over the bar by John Timoney to put Kilbeggan ahead. A period of thirteen minutes the elapsed without a score. John Durkan at centre half back was seen to effect for Ballinagore and also Martin O'Rourke at full back for Kilbeggan. Teddy McCormack, a rock of steadiness at centre half back , sent John Daly attacking but in successive Kilbeggan raids both Rory O'Brien and Brendan Robinson in defence stood firm for Ballinagore. John Daly was finding it difficult to find the range with his usual accuracy and he was wide from a 25 metres free which was conceded on Michael Kelly. A solo burst by Martin Nannery setup Michael Kelly but his parting effort was too weak and goalkeeper Stephen Brudell cleared. Jim Mahon, and from a free Martin Seery, were both wide as Ballinagore pressed in pursuit of scores. A Sean Robinson free was well placed but again a wide resulted from Norman Maxwell from close range. Ritchie Keoghan was wide from a free as Kilbeggan kept up the pressure and a good save by Stephen Brudell kept them at bay, the clearance being completed by Gordon Alexander.
In the 22nd minute the stalemate on the scoreboard was eventually broken when a free conceded on Ciaran Daly 40 metres out was pointed by Martin Seery. Ballinagore kept on the attack and another point immediately when a centre by Martin Seery was let slip by the Kilbeggan defence and Jim Mahon was on hand to take advantage. The remainder of the half was played out without any further score. A solo run by Ray Scally was finished wide by John Daly. A free to the Ballinagore square by Martin Nannery was fielded well by Brendan Robinson. Ciaran Daly saw his effort come off the post as he was out of luck to add a score and Kilbeggan keeper Moss Keenan cleared the danger.
Jarlath Mahon came on for Ciaran Daly in the Ballinagore attack as the first half drew to a close. A Martin O'Rourke clearance set Kilbeggan away and John Daly was blocked down by Jimmy Marshall. A good move involving Dermot Smith, John Daly and Michael Kelly ended with the latter shooting too weak and the ball was cleared by Stephen Brudell. The last action before the break came with Martin Seery sending wide for Ballinagore. Half time score was Ballinagore 0-03, Kilbeggan 0-02.
The spell of no scoring continued in the early stages of the second half. Teddy McCormack and Martin Nannery showed signs of being in command and from attacks they started, John Daly was wide with two finishing efforts. As Martin Nannery made his own scoring attempt his drive hit he post and went wide. James Mullins came on for Ray Scally in the Kilbeggan forward division. John Durkan cleared his lines but Kilbeggan got another chance with a 40 metres free which was sent wide by John Daly. In the 41st minute Ballinagore broke the scoring stalemate when Gerry Claffey and Sean Robinson made the opening for Peter Robinson who was fouled and Martin Seery drove the resultant free over the bar.
Kilbeggan now got into the scoring act and replied with a point by Willie Daniels. Ballinagore countered and Jarlath Mahon and Norman Maxwell combined for Louis Ennis to send over the bar under strong pressure. Paul McCormack pointed for Kilbeggan as the interchange of scores continued. In the 46th minute the vital breakthrough came and it was Kilbeggan who achieved it. Ritchie Keoghan sent a ball from close to the end line on the right of the goal back to the square and Keith Gorry was there to the the chance and send to the net and a two point lead. Martin Nannery was a driving force at centrefield as the pressure on the Ballinagore defence continued and as he was impeded 40 metres out John Daly drove the free over the bar, as John finally succeeded in finding his touch with placed balls. In the following play the game was virtually sealed in Kilbeggans favour as Keith Gorry tapped down to James Mullins who drove to the net. There was now twelve minutes left for play and the game reverted to the stalemate situation.
Kilbeggan were obviously defending the hard won advantage they had gained and they tied up effectively the spirited revival efforts that Ballinagore made to try and rescue the game. Norman Maxwell was impeded and Martin Seery send the ball low where Norman again got possession but was penalised for a pick-up. Louis Ennis was then in action but as he went down in the square the Kilbeggan defence circled around and held the heads, did not concede the penalty and Moss Keenan steered the ball to safety giving away a 45 which did no yield any score.
In the 53rd minute the last score of the game came when Martin Seery tapped over a 13 metres free. But this was the only reward for the late efforts by Ballinagore. Tony Robinson and Pat Seery replaced Jim Mahon and Rory O'Brien but Kilbeggan could now afford to crowd the defensive area and scoring was not easy to come by, much as Ballinagore bravely attempted. As the effort to recover subsided Kilbeggan came back and had a number of wides but it kept play away from their defence and reduced any possibility of a late slip-up. Ritchie Keoghan from a sideline ball, Michael Kelly and again Ritchie Keoghan were in turn wide of the mark. The final whistle left the scoreboard reading Kilbeggan 2-05, Ballinagore 0-06.
Ballinagore: Stephen Brudell, Sean Claffey, Brendan Robinson, Jimmy Marshall, Rory O'Brien, John Durkan, Gordon Alexander, Sean Robinson, Gerry Claffey, Peter Robinson, Norman Maxwell, Ciaran Daly, Martin Seery (0-4), Jim Mahon (0-1), Louis Ennis (0-1). Subs: Jarlath Mahon for Ciaran Daly, Tony Robinson for Jim Mahon, Pat Seery for Rory O'Brien.
Kilbeggan: Moss Keenan, Alan McCormack, Martin O'Rourke, Locky Guilfoyle, Dermot Smith, Teddy McCormack, Willie Daniels (0-1), Paul McCormack (0-2), Martin Nannery, Ray Scally, John Daly (0-1), Keith Gorry (1-0), Michael Kelly, Ritchie Keoghan, John Timoney (0-1). Subs: James Mullins (1-0) for Ray Scally.
Referee: Pat Casserly, St. Loman's.