O’Mahony the ace as Lough are denied the double

Ballyphehane 1-9 Lough Rovers 0-6

There wasn’t a lot between the sides in terms of skill and ability, but, in corner-forward Alan O’Mahony, Ballyphehane had a match-winner. His 1-5 contribution went a long way to winning the contest, though it was also a game both sides will look back on for the amount of chances wasted.

Ballyphehane selector Timmy Walsh was over the moon his side had captured their first title since 1992 afterwards and signalled their involvement in the South East League as the main reason for their success. “Yeah, the extra games have been great, it sharpened the lads up big time and got us in he right frame to win the cup. The lads put in a great effort and I though we deserved our victory.”

Certainly Ballyphehane looked sharper and, full of running, got off to a flying start. Colman McCarthy pointed after only three minutes and it took a terrific save from Paul Luxford to deny Paul O’Shea a minute later. There was no stopping Ballyphehane as O’Mahony with a free, Wayne Hogan and O’Mahony again from play had them four points ahead inside 10 minutes as the rain teemed down.

But that’s as good as it got for Ballyphehane for they failed to score again for the rest of the half as Lough Rovers began to show a bit of fight. Ross O’Donovan, involved in most of the Lough’s best play, set up Austin O’Connor for a point and when Ed O’Byrne had a second in the 13th minute it was a whole new ball game, though some of O’Mahony’s poor shooting certainly let the Lough off the hook.

A pointed free from Danny O’Callaghan was the sum total of both sides’ efforts in the second quarter and, trailing by just a point at the break, 0-4 to 0-3, the Lough were right back in the game.

But, just as in the opening half, Ballyphehane had that extra bit of urgency and, quicker out of the blocks, three unanswered points from two O’Mahony frees and Liam Murphy from play put some daylight between the sides. Ross O’Donovan did get a fourth Lough Rovers point but then came the turning point in the 42nd minute when O’Mahony fired home a fine goal to put Ballyphehane 1-7 to 0-4 clear entering the final quarter.

To their credit Lough Rovers never wilted and but for some atrocious shooting might well have been closer at the finish. O’Mahony and substitute Brendan Cotter finished with points for the winners with Terry Whyte's’ two Lough Rovers frees poor recompense for some solid work down the pitch.

Scorers for Ballyphehane: A. O’Mahony 1-5 (0-3 frees), C. McCarthy, W. Hogan, L. Murphy, B. Cotter 0-1 each.

Lough Rovers: T. Whyte 0-2 (0-1 free), A. O’Connor, E. O’Byrne, D. O’Callaghan (free), R. O’Donovan 0-1 each.

BALLYPHEHANE: G. O’Sullivan; S. Buckley, B. McCarthy, J. Murphy; R. Long, D. Breathnach, E. Sweeney; C. McCarthy, G. Daly; W. Hogan, M. Holland, T. Dunlea; A. O’Mahony, P. O’Shea, L. Murphy. Sub: B. Cotter for O’Shea.

LOUGH ROVERS: P. Luxford; T. Daly, G. Keane, A. Long; R. Fuller, G. Kelleher, R. O’Donovan; J. Keegan, D. O’Keeffe; A. O’Connor, A. Murphy, R. O’Connor; D. O’Callaghan, T. Whyte, E. O’Byrne. Subs: J. O’Byrne for Long, A. Keegan for O’Connor, D. Murphy for Fuller, J. Browne for O’Callaghan, M. Murphy for O’Byrne.

Referee: T. Lyons (Douglas).

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