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Tinryland maintain their senior status for 2016 after surviving a stern test from Ballinabranna

posted 26 Sep 2015, 02:22 by

By Eamonn Byrne

Tinryland senior footballers will play in the top tier once again in 2016 after overcoming a stern test by Ballinabranna in the relegation play off at the Netwatch Training centre on Friday 25th September.

In a high scoring game played under floodlights in ideal weather conditions and watched by a good crowd the scoring was dominated by Tinryland’s Diarmaid Walshe who scored eleven points including 5 brilliant scores from play. Ballinabranna wing forward Darren Lunney surpassed Walshe’s tally by notching 3-5 for the gallant losers who will be not long in the Intermediate ranks based on their display in this entertaining game.

Tinryland opened at a fast rate with midfielder Glen Doyle forcing a brilliant save from Ballinabranna ‘keeper Adrian Brennan after winning the throw in. The resulting 45 was converted by Diarmaid  Walshe setting the tone for the evening as the no 13 went on to convert a further 5 frees in addition to 5 brilliant points from open play. Tinryland extended their lead in the 3rd minute when wing back Danny Moran slotted over a point following good play by Cormac Walshe and Cathal O’Toole.

Ballinabranna opened their account 2 minutes later with a Darren Lunney point following great play by Willie Kavanagh and Jim Dunne. It got even better  for last year’s Intermediate champions 30 seconds later when Lunney ghosted in past the Tinryland defence to crash the ball past Trevor O’Reilly at the Fenagh end of the ground. This score stung Tinryland and they played their best football in the next 10 minutes scoring 1-5 without reply with the Tinryland goal coming from Cormac Walshe in the 14th minute after great play by Shane Webb and Mark Lawlor. In this spell also Tinryland’s 5 points were scored by Diarmaid Walshe (2), Webb after good play by Cathal O’Toole and Cormac Walshe, Lawlor after a good movement involving Conor Byrne and John Dwyer and Glen Doyle from a free won by Cormac Walshe.

Just when it looked like Tinryland would kick on for a comfortable victory it was Ballinabranna that upped their game scoring two quick points via Garry Dunne and another successful Lunney free to leave 4 points separating the sides after 20 minutes. Tinryland then responded with a brilliantly stuck long range point from a free by Glen Doyle which was won by Cathal O’Toole.  O’Toole who was causing problems to the Ballinabranna rearguard won another free two minutes later and the men in green were punished once again this time by Diarmaid Walshe to extend Tinryland’s lead to six points 5 minutes before the interval. The scoring rate at both ends was maintained in the concluding 5 minutes of the half with Darren Lunney converting 2 frees for the Ballinabranna men who added another point via a Jim Dunne free after Tinryland coughed up a cheap ball when in possession. Tinryland had a clear cut goal chance in this period also but Mark Lawlor’s shot was well saved by Adrian Brennan. After a highly entertaining first half Tinryland’s final first half score was a brilliant Danny Moran point in the 27th minute following good work by the Walshe brothers Diarmaid and Cormac which left the non existant scoreboard reading Tinryland 1-10 Ballinabranna 1-6 at half time.

When referee Pat Murphy restarted proceedings Glen Doyle once again won the throw in and within 20 seconds Diarmaid Walshe had scored a point out of the top drawer. That feat was repeated within 60 seconds when Walshe slotted over an even better point after more good play from Doyle. With the pace of the game not abating it was Ballinabranna that responded in positive fashion once again with Jim Dunne winning a free which was converted by Darren Lunney. Back came Tinryland and another superb Diarmaid Walshe point followed after excellent play by Mark Dempsey, Cormac Walshe, John Paul Moore and Danny Moran. Tinryland then coughed up another cheap ball and were punished by a successful free by Jim Dunne as Tinryland rang the changes replacing Cian Moore and Matthew O’Toole with U21 players Andrew Hanley and Cian Lawlor. Ballinabranna kept Tinryland honest with a great Gary Dunne point in the 40th minute before Diarmaid Walshe was inches wide with a gilt edged goal chance which would probably have put this game to bed with less than 20 minutes remaining. Instead it was Ballinabranna that got the momentum going after another cheap ball was given away from a quickly taken free and that man Lunney punished the men in blue and white with his second goal to leave the minimum separating the sides by the 42nd minute. It got even better for the Ballinabranna men at this stage when former Milford player and Polish native Jakub Mikolajczyk slotted over the equalising point with 17 minutes remaining.  Diarmaid Walshe then settled the Tinryland ship with a successful free won by himself as Keith Jackson was introduced at midfield for his cousin John Dwyer who had turned in an honest shift. Ballinabranna continued to press and the sides were all square once again in the 46th minute following another successful free by Jim Dunne. The men from the Laois/Kilkenny border were then dealt a huge blow when Willie Ryan received a straight red card for a high elbow challenge on Tinryland full back Mark Dempsey. Glen Doyle quickly restored the Tinryland lead with 11 minutes remaining when he converted a free won by Andrew Hanley and when Cian Lawlor won another free for Tinryland with 8 minutes left Diarmaid Walshe extended the lead back out to 2 points. With 5 minutes remaining Walshe added another point from a free but just after Cathal O’Toole had made an outstanding catch the same player went down with what looked like a serious knee injury and a stretcher was called for. Niall Lowry replaced O’Toole as the clocked ticked past the hour mark and when Diarmaid Walshe and Mark Lawlor added 2 further points well into stoppage time Tinryland looked to be safe at last. Instead it was Ballinabranna that had the final say scoring a third goal from their outstanding teenage player Darren Lunney to leave the final scoreline reading Tinryland 1-19 Ballinabranna 3-11.  All in all it was a satisfactory evening’s work from the Tinryland men despite the concession of 3 goals and giving away possession all too easily. The club will now have to reflect on a mixed year that is still up and running with the junior, U21 and U16 teams all involved in the latter stages of their championships.

Tinryland: Trevor O’Reilly, Matthew O’Toole, Mark Dempsey, John Paul Moore, Danny Moran 0-2, Conor Byrne, Conor O’Toole, Glen Doyle 0-3f, John Dwyer, Shane Webb 0-1, Cian Moore, Cathal O’Toole, Diarmaid Walshe 0-11 45,5f, Mark Lawlor 0-2, Cormac Walshe 1-0. Subs Andrew Hanley, Cian Lawlor, Keith Jackson, Niall Lowry.

Ballinabranna: Adrian Brennan, John Sheehan, Bobby Daly, Jody Brennan, Willie Kavanagh, Colin Byrne, Graham Amond, Jakub Mikolajczyk 0-1, Danny Boland, Darren Lunney 3-5 4f, Jimmy Cahill, Jim Dunne 0-3 3f, Keelan Brennan, Willie Ryan, Gary Dunne 0-2.  Sub Conor McNally.