It took a last minute point blank save from Shane Foley to ensure the points stayed in Strand Road, but in truth it should never have come to this as we had many opportunities to put this game beyond the reach of Ballymac but some poor decision making, turnovers and stout hearted defending from our opponents meant this game was in the melting pot right to the finish.
Ballymac played with the strong wind in the first half and made full use of the elements to race into a four point lead before we had our opening score, a goal from Seán Walsh in the 10th minute; the goal came when Seán gathered the kick out, parted to Tommy and taking the return he rattled the net for a capital score. Prior to this both Conor Hayes and Shane McElligott had seen shots come back off the posts and Diarmuid O'Sullivan was wide from play.
We dominated proceedings from here to half time, being well in control around the middle third through David, Diarmuid & Tom Hoare and with Conor Hayes and Darragh O'Connor both razor sharp up front, sharing seven points between them with only one coming from a dead ball - this left us in the lead at half time, 1-07 to 0-07 points with the wind to come in the second half. Our defence too was resilient with all defending well and not conceding frees.
The second half continued in a similar vein to the first as we again dominated possession and with Diarmuid kicking two long range frees we were 5 to the good, 1-09 to 0-07; Ballymac rallied and had two points of their own, we replied in kind, but Ballymac followed that with a goal in the 19th minute to leave just two points between the sides again.
Our response was swift and when Tommy batted a ball down in the direction of Darragh O'Connor, he did not hesitate before rifling a low shot to the corner of the net - again we were 5 clear but Ballymac were beginning to get a second wind and raised two white flags as the clock ticked down - we were in the 32nd minute when it looked like our defence was to be breached for a second time but Shane Foley was equal to the shot and the ball was cleared.,
This was a good and sporting game and in the final analysis we deserved the win - at times we played some delightful football, our kick passing opening up the defence creating openings for both Darragh and Conor - (they scored 1-09 between them, 1-08 from play) whilst blooding some younger players such as Stephen Nix, Seán Collins, Jake Foley, Daniel Bowler and Conor O'Sullivan.
Tonight saw Karl Mullins play his final senior game as he heads to Australia tomorrow - we are sad to see him go and hope that he will return in the not too distant future and play for his beloved Strand Road again. Bon Voyage Karl.
Our next game is on Sat night next ( away to Milltown/Castlemaine) and will give management some time to implement their ideas and ensure further progression as the league continues.
Scorers: Darragh O'Connor (1-05, 2fs), Conor Hayes ( 0-04), Seán Walsh ( 1-0), Diarmuid O'Sullivan ( 0-02, 2fs), Barry John Keane ( 0-01).
Team: Shane Foley, Jake Foley, Darragh McElligott, Stephen Nix, Shane McElligott, Karl Mullins, Chucky, David Moran, Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Tom Hoare, Barry John Keane, Seán Walsh, Conor Hayes, Tommy Walsh, Darragh O'Connor.
Subs used: Daniel Bowler, Seán Collins, Jack Savage, & Conor O'Sullivan.