Ballinabrackey advance to IFC final
Ballinabrackey maintained their impressive form with a 3-13 to 1-13 IFC semi-final victory over St Michael's at Pairc Tailteann this evening.
The reward for the Bracks is a place in the decider against Trim who were impressive winners against Kilmainham yesterday.
It all got a bit ragged for St Michael's at the end and 52nd-minute substitute John Barry O'Reilly departed before the final whistle on two yellow cards.
His departure didn't have any bearing on the result as Ballinabrackey always looked to have plenty in reserve despite the battling qualities that kept the Carlanstown / Kilbeg men in contention throughout.
St Michael's started well, but they contributed significantly to their own downfall as they squandered too many chances, especially goal chanves in the opening half while Ballinabrackey finished to the net on two occasions for a merited 2-10 to 1-7 interval advantage.
St Michael's managed a goal in first-half added time and that score took what would have been a stark appearance off the scoreboard when referee Padraig Coyle sounded the half-time whistle.
First-half goals from David Carroll after eight minutes and Barry Thompson close to the interval boosted the Bracks to that six-point advantage at the break, a margin they maintained in the second-half.
Three Danny Quinn points were augumented by a brace of pointed frees from the influential Damien Carroll while Derek Flynn, Chris O'Connor Sean Kavanagh, Seamus Curry and Thompson also split the posts.
Faltering St Michael's had the chances but only managed points from Shane McDonnell (three), Ciaran Lynch (two frees), Phelim O'Reilly and goalscorer Meehan.
St Michael's blasted off the runway for the second-half with a brace of Ciaran Lynch pointed frees and one from play by Shane McDonnell and that left only a goal in it.
Ice-cool Damien Carroll sent over two more Ballinabrackey frees with Meehan countering for St Michael's who trailed by four (1-11 to 2-12) at the water break.
Once more St Michael's resumed smartly with Meehan and Ronan Lynch sending over, but the Bracks got a break when David Carroll's point attempt hit the post and Kavanagh pounced on the rebound for a goal.
An O'Connor point sealed the verdict for Ballinabrackey who had enough in the locker to hold on comfortably for the precious final ticket.
Ballinabrackey - Sean Kavanagh 1-1; Barry Thompson 1-1; Damien Carroll 0-4 three frees; David Carroll 1-0; Danny Quinn 0-3; Chris O'Connor 0-2; Derek Flynn 0-1; Seamus Curry 0-1.
St Michael's - Oran Meehan 1-2; Shane McDonnell 0-5; Ciaran Lynch 0-4 frees; Phelim O'Reilly 0-1; Ronan Lynch 0-1.
Ballinabrackey - Dean Pluck; Adam O'Brien, Nicky Judge, Michael Kearney; Sean Bannon, Derek Flynn, Richie Coffey; Chris O'Connor, Sean Coffey; Danny Quinn, Damien Carroll, David Carroll; Sean Kavanagh, Seamus Curry, Barry Thompson. Subs - Oisin Gannon for Thompson 45 mins; Stephen Donoghue for Kavanagh 55m, Trevor Bannon for David Carroll 57m; Colm McNally for Curry 58m.
St Michael's - Shane McCormack; Christopher Drew, Matthew Halpin, Ben Reilly; Sam Briody, Ronan Lynch, Patrick Clarke; Mark Stafford, Phelim O'Reilly; David Lynch, Shane McDonnell, Raymond Reilly; Ciaran Lynch, Oran Meehan, Jamie Farrelly. Subs - Ciaran O'Reilly for Clarke 41 mins; John Barry O'Reilly for Stafford 52m; Patrick Tobin for R Reilly 58m; Cian Sheridan for R Lynch 59m.
Referee - Padraig Coyle (Seneschalstown).