Ballyfad grind out second win
BALLYFAD SEEM to be getting into the good habit of winning low-scoring matches by tight margins. Another twelve-point haul was sufficient to claim a second successive Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship Group B victory in Farmleigh on Sunday last, with Buffers Alley the victims on this occasion after Liam Mellows were overcome seven days earlier.
In truth, the Wicklow border side looked slightly superior throughout this contest but a John Farrell goal at the end of the third quarter made them earn it as it narrowed their lead to 0-10 to 1-5.
Owen Dempsey then left just one between them from a free before Dean O'Toole replied from a placed ball, and it wasn't until added time that Ballyfad could rest easy after the latter made it 0-12 to 1-6 from play.
Moments earlier John Moran had launched the ball into the Ballyfad goalmouth as the Alley sought a second major, but the outstanding Jim Hughes made a fine catch before earning a free and the danger was averted.
Ballyfad led by 0-4 to 0-1 at the end of the first quarter, and it was 0-8 to 0-3 by the break after county Senior Conor Devitt stretched their advantage with a couple of late points.
Buffers Alley resumed brightly with scores from Owen Dempsey (free) and James Foley, but they were cancelled out by Dean O'Toole (free) and Devitt before that goal from Farrell. However, the losers didn't have enough punch up front and Ballyfad stood firm to remain unbeaten.
Ballyfad: Emmet O'Toole; Jim Hughes, Edward Hughes, Aidan Jones; Bobby Hughes, Peter Hughes, Stephen Hughes; Mark Gethings (0-1), Denis Jones (0-1); Niall Hughes, Conor Devitt (capt., 0-3), Richard Hughes; Michael Byrne (0-3), Lorcan Clare, Dean O'Toole (0-4, 3 frees). Subs. - Conor Byrne for P. Hughes, inj. (44), Mark Boland for R. Hughes (48), Damien Whelan for Clare (50), Niall Gethings for N. Hughes (57).
Buffers Alley: Oliver O'Leary; Aaron Redmond, Alan Doyle, Ryan Gleeson; Michael Sinnott (capt.), Robbie Kirwan, Colm Og Doran; Conor Kenny (0-1), John Farrell (1-0); James Foley (0-1), Ross Donohoe, John Lee Myler (0-1); Owen Dempsey (0-3 frees), Jim Hughes, John Moran. Subs. - Darragh Butler for Myler (46), Eddie O'Connor for Donohoe, inj. (56).
Referee: Damien Donovan (St. John's).