Ballinamore beat Mohill to end barren 31 years in Leitrim championship

Niall McGovern’s late goal was the deciding factor in Carrick-on-Shannon

Ballinamore’s Tom Prior and Barry McGovern celebrate at the final whistle after their victory over Mohill. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

Ballinamore’s Tom Prior and Barry McGovern celebrate at the final whistle after their victory over Mohill. Photo: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Ballinamore/Sean O’Heslins 1-16 Mohill 0-17

Ballinamore/Sean O’Heslins bridged a 31-year gap when they captured the Fenagh Cup against the holders Mohill in a hugely entertaining game played in ideal conditions at Carrick-on-Shannon on Sunday.

In a dramatic end to a game that remained delicately balanced throughout, a goal by Niall McGovern three minutes from time sealed Mohill’s fate.

The Ballinamore men served early notice of their intent with points by Luke Murphy and Patrick Connaughton although Mohill responded in kind through Jordan Reynolds and Keith Beirne. A further exchange of scores left the sides deadlocked until the 22nd minute when Mohill edged ahead with a Sean Harkin point from pay. Once again Ballinamore responded with points from Wayne McKeon and Michael McKiernan but, as the game entered the closing stages of the half, a Shane Quinn point from play gave Mohill the advantage and they led 0-10 to 0-9 at the interval.

A Wayne McKeon point from play four minutes into the second period levelled matter once again but two pointed frees by Keith Beirne and a point from play by Keith Keegan without reply put the holders comfortably ahead by the 40th minute.

However, the Mohill momentum faltered as Ballinamore dominated the exchanges leading to a purple patch at the end of the third quarter during which they scored four points without reply to lead by the narrowest of margins as the game entered its final stages.

The game changer came in dramatic fashion in the 57th minute when Niall McGovern put the ball in the Mohill net following an outfield pass from Wayne McKeon to Shane Moran who found McGovern free metres from goal and he slotted the ball past goalkeeper Padraig Tighe to put his side four points ahead.

Mohill mounted a last ditch effort to recue an increasingly lost cause and with the addition of five minutes extra time scored three points without reply to reduce the margin to a point. However Ballinamore held their nerve and it was fitting that it was McGovern who had the last word with the final point of the game for a deserved victory and his side’s 21st senior title.

Ballinamore/Sean O’Heslins: D Maxwell; L Ferguson, M Murphy, B Banks, K McHugh, O McCaffrey, W McKeon (0-5, 4f), S Moran (0-2), D McGovern (capt), M McKiernan (0-1), N McGovern (1-1), P Connaughton (0-1), L Murphy (0-3, 3f), T Prior (0-2), M McGrory.

Subs: S Harte (0-1) for M McGrory 38m, C McHugh for P Connaughton 53m, P Reynolds for M Murphy 57m, B McGowan for L Murphy 62m.

Mohill: P Tighe; D Mitchell, A Armstrong, O Madden, J Mitchell, S Quinn (0-1), D Beck (capt,) (0-1), K Keegan (0-2), D Flynn, E Harkin (0-1), K Beirne (0-9, 5f), S Harkin (0-1), A McLoughlin, R Kennedy, J Reynolds (0-2).

Subs: F McGuinness for R Kennedy 40m, C Canning for A McLoughlin 53m, R Gordon for E Harkin 60m.

Referee: Gareth Foley (Melvin Gaels).

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