(This report appeared on the Westmeah Examiner on 12th October 1996 and has been reproduced here with their kind permission)
Ballinagore 1-08 Ballynacargy 1-11
Ballynacargy, the most talked about club in Intermediate grade football in Westmeath, lived up to pre-match expectations by winning the Dawn Dairies Intermediate Football Championship title for 1996. They defeated Ballinagore in the final, played at Cusack Park, Mullingar in front of a large attendance on Sunday last October 6th.
Ballynacargy opened the scoring inside the opening half minute of action and for more or less the entire first half they brought the contest to a Ballinagore team that was weak in attack. At half time, Ballynacargy were seven points ahead and fully worthy of that lead..
Whatever the Ballinagore team officials said to their charges at the interval seemed to have a positive influence. Midway through the third quarter Ballinagore scored what was truly one of the most amazing goals ever witnessed within the boundary walls of Cusack Park. With a little over ten minutes of play remaining Ballynacargys lead was down to just a single point. It was at that point in the contest that Ballynacargy started to display their determination to be a senior grade club, moving four points clear. To their credit, Ballinagore did not wilt but Ballynacargys determination won through as they retained their lead right up to the final whistle to complete a truly amazing twelve months for their club. In victory Ballynacargy were well served by defenders Liam Troy, Edward Murphy, Enda Maher and Willie Maguire, midfielders Patrick Jordan and Declan Farrell and attackers John Jordan, Brendan Keena, Ger Heduvan and Anthony Maher. In defeat Ballinagores best players were Louis Ennis, Rory O'Brien in defence, midfielder Norman Maxwell and attackers Sean Robinson, Michael Ennis and Dermot Connell.
Ger Heduvan gave Ballynacargy a flying start with an early point but Ballinagore were not entirely slow in responding themselves and Michael Ennis tied up matters when he pointed a close range free. Ballynacargy then edged back in front when Brendan Keena pointed a free. The two Ballynacargy defenders got themselves into a tangle allowing Martin Seery possession of the ball. However Martin failed to control the ball properly and the Ballynacargy defence cleared the ball to safety. Ballynacargy, having survived that particular scare in defence surged further ahead with a point each from Patrick Jordan, Enda Maher and Declan Farrell. Ger Heduvan the shot wide via an upright before Brendan Keena increased his teams lead by pointing a close range free. Dermot Connell was the wide of the mark for Ballinagore before Ballynacargy scored their goal when Anthony Maher fisted the ball into the net from a searching Ger Heduvan centre. Ballinagore close the first half scoring when Dermot Connell pointed from a tight angle. The half time score was Ballynacargy 1-06, Ballinagore 0-02.
Michael Ennis brought Ballinagore further into contention when he pointed aother close range free. Brendan Keena was then wide of the mark from a free but swiftly made amends from a similar situation shortly afterwards. After Michael Ennis had scored yet another point from a free, the ball from Christopher Mahers kickout was caught in midfield by Jimmy Marshall. Realising that Christopher Maher was still off his line Jimmy fired the ball goalwards and it finished up in the roof of the next via the hands of the rapidly retreating goalkeeper. Michael Ennis quickly sent over a point and suddenly only two points divided the teams.
Brendan Keena settled Ballynacargy nerves when he pointed a free, but Ballinagore spirits was now at an all time high as Cathal Ennis and Michael Ennis (free) fired over a point apiece to leave just one point between the teams. Ballynacargy though responded with a further point from Brendan Keena and John Jordan who notched another point shortly afterwards. Michael Ennis (free) quickly pointed for Ballinagore but time ran out in favour of Ballynacargy. The final score was Ballynacargy 1-11, Ballinagore 1-08.
Ballinagore: Vivian Doonan, Sean Claffey, Louis Ennis, Enda McCann, Peter Heraty, Rory O'Brien, Ger Connell, Peter Robinson, Norman Maxwell, Cathal Ennis (0-1), Sean Robinson, Martin Seery, Michael Ennis (0-6), Dermot Connell (0-1), Cristoir Ennis. Subs: Jimmy Marshall (1-0) for Peter Robinson, Stephen Brudell for Vivian Doonan.
Ballynacargy: Christopher Maher, Derek Wallace, Liam Troy, Edward Murphy, Enda Maher (0-1), Liam Boyce, Willie Maguire, Patrick Jordan (0-1), Declan Farrell (0-1), John Jordan (0-2), Frank Lynam, Brendan Keena (0-5), Ger Heduvan (0-1), Anthony Maher (1-0), Mark Wallace.