Late points cost Eoghan Rua

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Two late points helped to seal a 0-10 to 0-7 win for Ballinascreen over Eoghan Rua Coleriane in this Division 1 league game at the Draperstown venue last Wednesday evening.

This was a dour affair with defences dominating throughout, Ballinascreen just edging it late on with a bit more pace and directness in their forward line. Eoghan Rua enjoyed their fair share of possession throughout the game but too often they found the packed home defence too difficult to break down, that extra pass going wayward or having the ball turned over in the final third.

Both teams adopted very defensive strategies which resulted in scores being hard to come by as the score suggests. Indeed the first half was particularly dour as the sides only managed to score three points each. Ballinascreen opened the scoring with a point from an Eamon Murray free in the fourth minute. Eoghan Rua enjoyed a good spell of possession in the first quarter but they were only able to manage two points, Ciaran McGoldrick and Conor Carey scoring.

By the 23rd minute Ballinascreen had regained the lead with points from Seamus Bradley and Johnnie McKee but a minute from the end of the half Conor Carey levelled matters after good work by Kieran Lagan. The visitors then had a great chance to take a solid lead into when they were awarded a penalty after Colm Hanlon was brought down. However Ciaran McGoldrick had his initial shot saved and then he gathered the rebound but goalkeeper Donal McConnell smothered his second attempt, the chance gone. Ballinascreen made most of the early running at the start of the second half and moved three points clear just eight minutes in.

It was back to one again when Ciaran McGoldrick pointed a free and then Sean Paul Henry rose highest at midfield to gather a kick out and then race through for a superb solo point. The sides then went on to trade point for point as Ballinascreen twice went two clear before another Ciaran McGoldrick pointed free reduced the gap to one, 0-8 to 0-7, two minutes from the end of normal time.

It really was anyone’s game at this stage but Ballinascreen finished the stronger with two late points from Emmett McKillion and deep into injury time Sean Woods sealed victory witha point from a 40 metre free. Eoghan Rua had created enough chances to have gotten something from this game but some wayward finishing saw them come up short.

Eoghan Rua team: Ryan McGeough; Sean McWilliams, Ciaran Mullan, Ciaran Lagan; Sean Leo McGoldrick, Barry McGoldrick; Kieran Lagan; Sean Paul Henry, Niall Holly; Barry McTaggart, Ciaran McGoldrick, Colm Hanlon; Conor Carey, Richard Carey, Liam Frizelle.

Substitutes used: Ciaran Lenehan for C Mullan (45), Kevin Mullan for C Carey (45), Stephen Coyles for B McTaggart (56).

Eoghan Rua scorers: Ciaran McGoldrick (0-3, 0-2 frees), Conor Carey (0-2), Sean Paul Henry (0-1), Barry McGoldrick (0-1 ‘45’).