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Brilliant Ballina make history


Brilliant Ballina make history

Douglas Hall 1
M O’Keeffe 14

Ballina Town 3
A Roddy 13, A Herbert 30, S Rowe 43

Stephen Walsh

GOALS from Amy Roddy, Aoife Herbert and Sarah Rowe helped Ballina Town to a historic victory in the WFAI Intemediate Cup final in Turners Cross last Saturday.
The fact that the win was secured over the defending champions in their own back yard made the achievement all the sweeter for PJ Moyles’s side. Remarkably, it was the club’s fourth cup won in the last six weeks.
Aoife Herbert and Irish U-19 international Sarah Rowe were full of running for Ballina and they caused the Douglas Hall defence plenty of problems all day. The Mayo side had the first shot after four minutes when a Patricia Coyle free kick was headed goalwards by Aoife Herbert only for Sarah McCarthy to push it away for a corner.
Ballina got their rewards for their positive opening with a goal on 13 minutes from Amy Roddy from the edge of the box following good build-up play involving Patricia Coyle.
Ballina’s lead didn’t last long, however. From the kick-off, Douglas Hall ran straight at them and a through ball from Ciara Desmond set up Megan O’Keeffe, who slotted the ball underneath Áine McLean to level matters.
The Cork side now had the momentum and nearly scored on 19 minutes when a Mary Barrett corner was met at the back post by Sarah Byrne, but it was saved at the expense of a corner.
Both sides had chances to score. Sarah Rowe’s shot from the edge of the box on 23 minutes was well saved by McCarthy before Stacey Paul’s header at the other end of the pitch went over the bar.
Sarah Rowe and Aoife Herbert, a deadly combination who were always a threat, then combined after 30 minutes to put Ballina back in front. A mazy dribble from Rowe down the side of the box finished with a cross to Herbert, who controlled the ball before slotting it into the bottom right hand corner of the goal.
Ballina weren’t finished yet. Mary McHale’s cross at the Shed end was hit by Sarah Rowe on 43 minutes into the net to make it 3-1 at the break.
Douglas Hall started the second half more brightly and nearly scored when Megan O’Keeffe’s shot was blocked following a Sarah Clune corner. Ballina had a chance to score from a Patricia Coyle free kick on 55 minutes but her shot was saved.
Douglas Hall made a double substitution in an effort to claw back goals, but Ballina might well have added to their tally. Rowe’s ball across the six-yard box was mishit by Herbert and cleared. Herbert followed this up with a shot on 66 minutes but it went over the bar, while Rowe’s 79th-minute effort was also too high.

Douglas Hall
S McCarthy, S Clune, M Barrett, C O’Leary, M Reardon, S Paul, S Byrne, D O’Leary, J Geasley, M O’Keeffe, C Desmond.
Subs used: L Cooney for S Clune (55 mins); A McCarthy for J Geasley (55 mins); C Cooney for S Byrne (72 mins).

Ballina Town
A McLean, A Healy, F Treacy, O O’Dowd, A Collins, P Coyle, A Roddy, M Duffy, M McHale, A Herbert, S Rowe.
Subs used: C Armstrong for M McHale (45 mins); N Connolly for M Duffy (61 mins); O McGloin for A Collins (75 mins).

Referee: K Gorman (Limerick)