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IFC: Trim topple Ballinlough

10 September 2012

Trim's Paul Flanagan is under pressure from Ballinlough's Gary Reilly during the Meath IFC game at Martry.TO VIEW A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS GAME CLICK HERE
Trim 2-9
Ballinlough 1-8.

Trim and Ballinlough locked horns in Martry on Sunday morning last in a top of the table clash in the last round of the preliminary stages of the championship. Not alone was there a lot of pride at stake but more importantly the eventual winner would top the table and go straight into a semi final and the looser be pitted against St Michaels or Ballinabrackey in a quarter final.

It was fifteen minutes before the first score was registered and that was a Trim point. Up to this point in the game the town team forced the pace and looked by far the stronger side with their full back line cleaning up every ball that came through the defence and setting up a sound platform for the players up front. Unfortunately they did not capitalise on their domination. Poor shooting up front resulted in five wides before their opening point. Two more points for Trim around the twentieth minute was a measure of their continued dominance but in the twenty second minute Ballinlough got their first point and that gave them the impetus to go on and hit two more on the cusp of half time to leave one point between the teams at the break with Trim's in the lead.

The game was turned on its head immediately after half time. Ballinlough had a goal and a point on the board with one minute from the throw which sent them three points ahead. By the twentieth minute the Trim lads back on track after hitting two goals and three points to forge ahead by five points. The final ten minutes saw Ballinlough apply constant pressure on the Trim defence but their three points were countered by two from Trim to put the Town team ahead by four points at the end.

The game was only thirty seconds on when James Toher landed a high ball into the Ballinlough square. Full forward Derek Donohoe got up between the opposing goalie and full back to flick to ball towards an open goal but lady luck was not on his side as the ball went agonisingly wide. Four wides between the sixth and tenth minute added to Trim's frustration. Then Neil Heffernan got the Trim lads off the mark in the fifteenth minute after good foraging from Michael Lowther and Ciaran Joyce. Michael Lowther was on target with two points in the twentieth. Ballinlough got their first point in the twenty second minute but James Toher kept Trim ahead by three with a pointed '45 two minutes later but the Westerners kept up the fight and nailed two points just before the break. Half time score Trim 0-4, Ballinlough 0-3.

Trim nerves were shattered when Ballinlough had the ball in the Trim net within thirty seconds after the resumption and they then clipped a point from the kickout to go three points ahead. Mark Gilsenan calmed the nerves with a neat point in the third minute. The score resulted from a long high ball from Michael Lowther into the Ballinlough square where Derek Donohoe got up highest to slap down to the 'in running' Gilsenan who made no mistake. In the eight minute Paul Flanagan swept up the loose ball in mid field. He found James Toher who fired a high ball in where Neil Heffernan latched on to the knock down. The speedy corner forward neatly side stepped his marker and fired the ball to the net. Ballinlough levelled proceedings in the fifteenth minute with a point. Then, within a two minute period just coming up to the twentieth Trim hit a goal and two points to forge ahead by five. It was a significant push forward by the Trim lads at a crucial stage in the match. The points came from half back Ronan Fitzsimons who attacked up the wing and hit two beauties from long range. Immediately after that James Toher grabbed a breaking ball thirteen meters out and nailed the goal. Ballinlough pointed in the twenty second minute but the ubiquitous Ciaran Joyce nailed a point for Trim in the twenty seventh minute and James Toher pushed them six points ahead with an 'on target' free in extra time. The west of Meath side never stopped fighting and were rewarded with two consolation points in the four minutes of extra time. Full time score, Trim 2-9, Ballinlough 1-8.

The Trim full back line of Colm Flaherty, Robert Brennan and Shane Downs were outstanding throughout. Brennan won every ball that was landed in on top of him in the first half and his distribution forward was faultless throughout the half. Downes was making his debut start in adult championship football and he handled the pressure with great aplomb. The speed and enthusiasm of youth was clearly evident in his performance and he definitely laid down a marker for the future. Stephan Farrell had a sound game at centre half back and got involved in many of the forward advances. Trim won the mid field battle with Frankie Murphy and James Toher working to a standstill while driving the attack forward. Centre half forward Ciaran Joyce was arguably the best player on the field. His overall work rate and his physicality in the tackle is a huge plus when the chips are down in championship games. Shane Kennedy at right half forward was hugely effective throughout. His height and strength created a problem for the Ballinlough defence while in front of goal Derek Donohoe caused no end of problems for the opposition full back line.

The Trim team was: Brendan Murphy, Colm O'Flaherty, Robert Brennan, Shane Downes, Paul Flanagan, Stephen Farrell, Ronan Fitzsimons, Frankie Murphy, James Toher, Shane Kennedy, Ciaran Joyce, Michael Lowther, Neil Heffernan, Derek Donohoe, Mark Gilsenan.

The Trim subs were: Maurice Power, Shane O'Connor, Gary Clarke, Keith Hamilton, David Foley, Darryl Phelin, Damien McGee, Shane Ashe, Shane Lenehan, Thomas Barry.
The Trim scorers were: James Toher 1-2 (one '45, one free), Neil Heffernan 1-1, Ronan Fitzsimons 0-2, Michael Lowther 0-2, Mark Gilsenan 0-1, Ciaran Joyce 0-1.

Ballinlough succumb to Trim

Trim defeated Ballinlough in the final round of the group stage of the intermediate championship in Marty on Sunday afternoon. This was a top of the table clash; the town team finish top of the group leaving the Lough in second place.

There was a nervy start to the match as both sides notched up a few wides before Trim finally registered a point from play quickly followed with a score from a free. Colm Mallen then completed a fine move, which he started, with a good point. Michael Lowther drove over a good score from distance to put two between the sides again; 0-3 to 0-1. Cian Mallen then got Ballinlough back within a point after a good run. The teams traded scores before the short whistle, with 'The Lough's' score coming from a Peadar Byrne free to leave the Trim leading by the minimum; 0-4 to 0-3.
Ballinlough got the second half off to the best possible start notching a goal and a point within 3 minutes of the restart. After a flowing Ballinlough move Tommy McCullen got on the end of a high speculative Colm Mallon effort to palm the ball to the back of the net, it was immediately followed with another Colm Mallon point which put them ahead 1-4 to 0-4.

Trim then landed their opening score of the second half and this was shortly followed by a well worked Neil Heffernan goal before Ronan McGuinness pointed for Ballinlough levelling the score. This proved to be the last time the sides were level as Trim began to find their scoring boots; two well taken points for the town team were followed with a James Toher goal, this short period of dominance proved to be crucial. Peadar Byrne did convert three scores from placed balls in the last 10 minutes of the game but these were interjected with two Trim points to keep the fight-back at bay. Ballinlough created goal scoring chances in the closing period, but a combination of wayward shooting and excellent defending meant they couldn't find a way past Brendan Murphy.

Best for the Lough, in a lacklustre display, were Colm Mallon, Kevin Devine, Benji Smith and Cian Mallon.
The result means Trim go through to meet Na Fianna in a semi final while the Lough must focus on a quarter final tussle with Castletown.

Ballinlough: K. McGuinnes, B Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, M. Geraghty, K. Devine, Colm Mallen, Cian Mallen, P. Byrne, T. McCullen, R. McGuinnes, G. Reilly, K. Mallen, M. McCullen, K. Rothwell. Subs: S. Deevy for McCullen, J. O'Reilly for K. Mallen and J. O'Higgins for T. McCullen.