Ballagh’ turn up the heat

Ballaghaderreen 1-15 Curry 1-7

The East Mayo side hit an unanswered 1-7 in the space of 12 action-packed minutes to turn the game on its head with midfielders Barry Kelly and James Kilcullen, along with man of the match Barry Regan, leading the charge.

Kilcullen’s brilliant goal six minutes into the second period was the game’s defining moment while Regan notched eight points (six from frees). Curry were blitzed during the third quarter and their first score of the second half came in the 52nd minute. To further compound their woes, the Sligo representatives finished the match with 14 men after John Feeney was red-carded in the 43rd minute.

The first half had been a very different story.

Curry led at the short whistle by 1-5 to 0-6 and should have been further ahead.

The sides were level on four occasions during the first quarter but the Mayo champions were under the cosh for the rest of the half as Curry upped the ante.

Their all-important goal was brilliantly scored by full-forward David Maye in the sixth minute when he got on the end of a defence-splitting pass from Ciaran Brennan, before drilling the ball past Ollie Flanagan.

With former Sligo midfielder Seán Davey directing operations from midfield, despite carrying a groin injury, Curry’s attack was well-serviced. Only a lack of composure prevented them from being further in front at the interval.

However, the second half took on a life of its own.

Mark O’Dowd’s Ballagh’ were transformed on the resumption and with Barry Kelly and James Kilcullen in complete control around the middle, they laid siege to Curry’s goal.

When the dust settled in the 47th minute, Ballagh’ led by 1-13 to 1-5.

Two late scores from Adrian Marren were too little too late for a tiring Curry. Ballagh’ will now face St Brigid’s in the provincial final.

Scorers for Ballaghaderreen: B Regan 0-8 (6fs), J Kilcullen 1-1, B Kelly 0-3, K Rogers, M Tyrell, J Dillon 0-1 each.

Scorers for Curry: A Marren 0-4 (2fs), D Maye 1-1, Cathal Brennan,J Marren (f) 0-1 each.

BALLAGHADERREEN: O Flanagan; S Drake, P Rogers, T Regan; P Kelly, K Rogers, D Drake; B Kelly, J Kilcullen; O Jordan, A Hanley, S Finn; M Tyrell, B Regan, J Dillon.

Subs: R Conway for P Rogers, C Doohan for Tyrell, B Solan for Dillon.

CURRY: J O’Hora; K Morley, S Marren, A Brennan; S Maher, J Feeney, D McDonagh; B McDonagh, S Davey; Ciaran Brennan, A Marren, N McDonagh; Cathal Brennan, D Maye, J Marren.

Subs: E Marren for S Maher; M Gordon for Cathal Brennan; G Maye for B McDonagh.

Referee: E O’Grady (Leitrim)

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