Ballindaggin's cast of heroes
Ballindaggin 4-9 Oylegate 2-4
Not since the Justice League hit our cinema screens has such a significant gathering of heroes grabbed the headlines.
No less than 39 football-mad Ballindaggin boys descended on St. Patrick's Park to claim the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Rackard League Roinn 'C' football title. Rumours of an intense squad rotation policy hinted at lots of fresh legs in the panel.
Standing in their way was a determined Oylegate outfit, maybe outnumbered, but equally passionate about taking home the title.
This passion came across very strongly in an even and well-fought first-half battle. Seán Rowley pointed from a free to give Oylegate an early lead but this proved shortlived as Ballindaggin sprung into life.
Dylan Purcell plucked a ball from the clouds to get his team's first score, and then Ballindaggin took the lead when Jason Sheridan finished to the back of the Oylegate net from close range.
The battle raged on as Rowley converted another free but Ballindaggin replied once more with a point and a goal. This time is was midfielder Robbie Chapman who scored the minor and full-forward Purcell who added the major. Only for a smart save from Andy Byrne, the damage could have been greater.
Oylegate rattled the Ballindaggin boys with two surprise goals before half-time to level the game. Centre-forward Darragh Harris was head man as he both set up and scored a goal in quickfire succession. Two James Lawless points and an Evan Millar reply gave Ballindaggin a slender one-point lead going into half-time.
In the second-half, Ballindaggin completely took over proceedings. This was despite the best efforts of Oylegate centre-back Jack Hennessy who was immense in the heart of the defence.
The cracks began to appear with early points from Chapman and Lawless. David Nolan scored a stunning orange-booted volley to put his team six points up.
Soon after, a neat finish from James Lawless left Oylegate with a lot of work to do. This crucial ten-minute period early in the second-half proved to be the difference as Oylegate understandably never recovered.
The county will now wait nervously to see how many of the 39 Ballindaggin boys will suit up to play hurling after Christmas in search of a Rackard League double.
Ballindaggin: Blaise Kearney, Joey Earle, Seán O'Leary, Ciarán Murphy, James McHugh, Danny Fitzhenry, Ryan McCarthy, David Nolan, Robbie Chapman, Brian Roban, James Lawless, Brennan O'Neill, Seán Murphy, Dylan Purcell, Jason Sheridan, Joseph Ronan, Seán Redmond, Killian Walsh, Tomás Walsh, Cillian Doyle, Rory Lynch, John Kavanagh, James Browne, Conor McHugh, Seán Deegan, Seán Hyland, Luke Jordan, Cormac Byrne, Mikey Quigley, Ryan Byrne, Luke Wheelock, Brian Murphy, Dannon Long, Cathal Power, Charlie Smith, Raymond Barnes, Tom Cloney, Kevin Ryan-Dunbar, Stephen Kavanagh.
Oylegate: Andy Byrne, Cian O'Brien, Conor Somers, Tomás Doyle, Jack Nolan, Jack Hennessy, Danny Fortune, Seán Rowley, Seán Downes, Kyle Curran, Darragh Harris, Niall Byrne, Evan Miller, T.J. Frost, Cian Cullen, Mikey Reck, Mikey Fortune, Lorcan Kinsella, Tomás Foran, Seán Doyle, Craig Byrne, James Alcock, Nicholas Kinsella, Zeb Sludds, Philip Cullen, Conor Bradley.