Friday 24 November 2017

Ballyfad survive late scare

Ballyfad got the better of Buffers Alley on Saturday in their Top Oil Intermediate 'A' hurling championship quarter-final encounter in Gorey.

Ballyfad 1-13 Buffers Alley 1-11

The red and whites managed to edge themselves ahead within the opening ten minutes and although Buffers Alley proved a tough team to overcome, Ballyfad always maintained their advantage.

A tense conclusion to injury time afforded an opportunity for Buffers Alley to steal the semi-final spot, but the clock ran short for them and the more deserving Ballyfad team progressed one step further.

For a championship knockout game, the opening half seemed somewhat relaxed as Ballyfad were content with their slight lead and Buffers Alley failed to make any worthwhile goal attacks.

Conor Devitt and Dean O'Toole opened the scoring for Ballyfad, but Cormac Foley brought the sides level before Ballyfad goaled through Peter Hughes.

Páuric Roche retaliated for his men but consistent shots from Bobby Hughes, O'Toole and Peter Hughes meant that Ballyfad had a sweet lead. The talented youth, Niall Hughes, and sharp Darragh Butler exchanged points but Conor Devitt and Conor Byrne were eager to advance their side's lead and they sent ball after ball over the Alley crossbar.

Although Foley on the opposing team continued to send over dead balls, Ballyfad enjoyed a six-point lead at the break.

Young Hughes was quick to snatch a point in the second period and the same could be said for Rob Donnelly.

Cormac Foley proved be the saviour for Buffers Alley as he ensured his men had a hopeful chance with endless dead balls minimising Ballyfad's lead. County star Devitt was reliable for Ballyfad and each of the Hughes clan on the field issued star performances.

Cormac Foley secured a spectacular goal in the dying minutes when a free on the '21 found the back of the net as he imitated Anthony Nash with the amount of power behind his shot. This put two points between the sides but Ballyfad still held on.

Ballyfad: Tom Hughes; Enda O'Leary, Edward Hughes, Killian O'Toole; Aidan Jones, Stephen Hughes, Mark Gethings; Mark Boland, Bobby Hughes (0-1); Niall Hughes (0-2), Denis Jones, Conor Devitt (0-4, 3 frees); Dean O'Toole (0-3), Peter Hughes (1-2), Conor Byrne (0-1). Subs. - Tommy Boland for Byrne, Lorcan Clare for P. Hughes.

Buffers Alley: Darragh Kehoe; Conor Kenny, Alan Doyle, Eoin Whelan; Colm Óg Doran, Thomas Dempsey, Aaron Redmond; Domhnall McArdle, John Lee Meyler; Cormac Foley (1-8, 1-6 frees, 0-1 '65), Darragh Butler (0-1), Ciáran Murphy; Páuric Roche (0-1), John Moran (capt.), Paul Doran. Subs. - Robert Donnelly (0-1) for McArdle, John O'Sullivan for Butler, John Furlong for Whelan.

Referee: Paul Browne (Clonee).

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