Adamstown go down
Bannow-Ballymitty 1-11 Adamstown 0-7
Bannow-Ballymitty survived for another year in the Amber Springs/Ashdown Park Hotels Intermediate football championship and sent Adamstown down to the third tier as they ran out seven-point victors in O'Kennedy Park, New Ross, on Sunday.
It was a relegation final played with an unprecedented amount of freedom on Bannow-Ballymitty's part, particularly in the first-half when they used the breeze to open up an impressive nine-point lead by the interval.
There was a point midway through the first-half when it seemed like everything the eventual victors touched turned to gold.
With every shot at goal on the money, it was a level of performance they will probably wish had revealed itself many games ago, but it was this display which realistically won the game for them by half-time and ensured their safety in the championship.
Adamstown could only make the scoreboard move twice in that first-half, in the second and 27th minutes respectively, when Conor Hickey and Peter Finn kicked two points which helped to give the smallest piece of respectability to their display.
The first 30 minutes truly was all about Bannow-Ballymitty, though. Micheál Murphy and Niall Harney had them in the lead before six scores in seven minutes gave them all the cushion they would need to see out the game.
Harney hit the first two, one of which was from play, before Jon Reville was on target to extend their lead to three.
Harney got his fourth score by the 15th minute just as Murphy hit his second, but the most crucial score was the next one.
This time Harney's point attempt struck the upright, and Murphy reacted quickest before rounding the 'keeper and eventually finishing into the back of the net for what proved to be the game's only goal.
The in-form Niall Harney scored once more before the break to increase Bannow-Ballymitty's lead further (1-8 to 0-2).
There is less to write about the second-half. No Adamstown fightback appeared to be forthcoming, and in fact they only scored once before the 54th minute, courtesy of Tomás Harrington.
Bannow-Ballymitty only scored three points in the second-half but that was really all they needed, as Joe Sinnott got his only point and Harney registered twice more before full-time.
Adamstown did add a number of late frees through Hickey, but with goals clearly necessary the decision to continue kicking short frees over the bar made little sense as Bannow-Ballymitty comfortably held out for victory.
Bannow-Ballymitty: Philly Murphy; John Staples, Niall Murphy, Mark Colfer; Nicky Doyle, Robbie Mageean, Pádraig McCormack; Art Sweetman, Conor Furlong; Jon Reville (0-1), Mark Wallace, Niall Harney (capt., 0-7, 5 frees); Mark Sinnott, Micheál Murphy (1-2), Joe Sinnott (0-1). Subs. - Richie Walsh for Reville (41), Robert Cogley for M. Sinnott (46).
Adamstown: Paul Delaney; Lorcan French, P.J. Carroll, Johnny Connors; Andrew Boland, Brendan Furlong, Seán Barden; Liam Stafford, Shane O'Gorman; Tomás Harrington (0-1), Tony French (capt.), Colum Feeney; Conor Hickey (0-5 frees), Colm Boland, Peter Finn (0-1). Subs. - Michael Furlong for Carroll (23), Jonathan Moore for Boland (40), Paudie Barden for Finn (43), Harry Cosgrave for French (53), Ian Bradley for B. Furlong (55).
Referee: Seán Whelan (St. Martin's).