WHILE Kilkenny were demolishing Tipperary in the All Ireland SHC semi final in Croke Park, a crowd that hardly reached one hundred was in situ when this Tom Cross JFC Round 2 got under way at St. Conleth’s in which Two Mile House dismissed Ballykelly with consumate ease on a score line of Two Mile House 2-11 Ballykelly 0-4, writes Tommy Callaghan.
Tom Cross Transport Junior Football Championship
Two Mile House: 2-11
Having said that ‘The House’ were in slow burning mode for the opening half, a half that was nearly as bad as looking at paint dry.
Two Mile House, beaten finalists last year by Robertstown, and once again firm favourites this season to lift the cup, fell behind after eight minutes when Andrew Kelly pointed a free.
A foul on Brendan Byrne saw Chris Healy open his account on 12 and took the lead three minutes later when Niall Browne found the target from an acute angle.
Ballykelly lined out with Barry Kaye operating as an extra defender and while the opening half was a low scoring affair it was more to do with some poor TMH shooting than anything else.
Niall Browned got his second after nineteen to make it 0-3 to 0-1.
Chris Healy had a great goal chance on 21 minutes but his effort was smothered by Ballykelly keeper Eoghan O’Neill, however, Healy made no mistake with the resultant ‘45’ which he landed with ease.
Ben Merrins was off target when another goal opportunity presented itself before Liam Behan ended the scoring with point from open play to leave it at the break, Two Mile House 0-4 Ballykelly 0-2.
On the resumption another goal opportunity was spurned, or to be fair was denied by Ballykelly keeper, O’Neill who frustrated Chris Healy once again.
It took all of seven minutes before the first score of the second half but when it arrived it was certainly a good one. A long ball in was knocked down by Niall Browne to Mark Sherry and this year’s county minor made no mistake finding the right hand corner of the Ballykelly net.
John Fitzgerald was on target for Ballykelly but four points on the trot from Chris Healy (a brilliant effort from just a step in from the sideline), Niall Browne (2) and Darren Casey saw The House make it 1-8 to 0-3.
William Burke was next to line up a goal chance for TMH but his effort rose high and over and Niall Browne had a similar chance a few minutes later but again, failed to find the sack with his effort rising also.
Andrew Kelly was on hand to get Ballykelly’s fourth of the game but it was Two Mile House who finished the stronger with a Chris Healy free and a 56 minute penalty goal from Peter Kelly after Willie Burke was fouled in the small square to leave the final score reading Two Mile House 2-11 Ballykelly 0-4.
Not a game that will be recalled with any great enthusiasm and it is really difficult to assess the strength of the winners. However, they will undoubtedly improve with this outing and while the opposition will no doubt be of a higher standard, it still looks like this is Two Mile House championship to lose.
Two Mile House, Niall Browne 0-5, Mark Sherry 1-0, Chris Healy 0-4 (2 frees, 45), Peter Kelly 1-0 (penalty), Darren Casey 0-1, William Burke 0-1,
Ballykelly, Andrew Kelly 0-2 (2 frees), Liam Behan 0-1, John Fitzgerald 0-1.
Two Mile House:
Robert Kennedy; Aidan Dowling, Peter Kelly, Brian Byrne; Niall McLoughlin, Christy Burke, Nathan Sherry; Darren Casey, Shane D’Arcy; Rossa Fahey, William Burke, Ben Merrins; Mark Sherry, Niall Browne, Chris Healy. Subs: Donal Browne for Ben Merrins (44 minute); Stuart White for Niall McLoughlin (54 minute); Chris Julian for Niall Browne (54 minute); Colm Byrne for Rossa Fahey (54 minute), Matt Kelly for Mark Sherry (58 minute).
Eoghan O’Neill; Emmet Black, David Fitzgerald, Dermot Fitzpatrick; Andrew Buckley, Paul Muldowney, Liam Behan; John Fitzgerald, Kevin Donohoe; Jason Dunne, Mick Behan, Ronan Stafford; John Forde, Andrew Kelly, Barry Kaye. Subs: Dean Dempsey for Dunne, h/t; Eugene Morgan for Fitzpatrick, 33; Alex Sealy for Stafford, 54; Joey Behan for Forde, 56; Sean McCormack for Kelly, 56