HAIL BALLINASLOE’S LYNCH-PIN
Hat-trick hero Liam sees off Skyvalley
Ruby Oil Premier Division Play-Off
Ballinasloe Town 3 Skyvalley Rovers 2
Ten-man Ballinasloe Town won the Premier Division title when they triumphed in this play-off thriller played at the League Grounds, Lecarrow on Sunday. A hat-trick from the brilliant Liam Lynch proved decisive.
The deadlock was broken on 21 minutes when a long ball from Gary Egan picked out Darragh Concannon on the wing. He crossed into the path of Liam Lynch who side-footed his shot past Lynch in the Rovers goal.
A determined Skyvalley Rovers levelled the game on the half hour when Keelan Daly’s cross wrong-footed Hickey in the Ballinasloe goal.
Rovers made it 2-1 on 33 minutes when they won a corner which the Town back four failed to clear. The ball broke to Sean Fahy who stabbed it home to give his side the lead.
Gary Egan argued with the referee over the goal – and paid a heavy price, receiving his marching orders for a second bookable offence (earlier he had argued over an unsuccessful penalty claim for his side).
A couple of minutes before half-time ten-man Ballinasloe Town drew level. Darragh Concannon picked out Liam Lynch with a fine lob and the expert marksman calmly chipped the ball over the outcoming Rovers ‘keeper. A thriller indeed. Four first-half goals and a sending off.
In the second half, Ballinasloe’s sheer experience told. Skyvalley struggled to create chances. On 67 minutes came what would prove to be the winner.
That man Darragh Concannon was again the creator, this time picking out dangerman Liam Lynch with a cross. Lynch out-jumped his marker to head home, completing his hat-trick.
Ballinasloe Town had a number of chances to add to their score before the finish. Hat-trick hero Lynch beat the off-side trap but saw his effort for a fourth goal well saved by the outcoming Benny Lynch.
Overall, this was an impressive display by Ballinasloe Town who were generally dominant. Skyvalley Rovers will have to go back to the drawing board after finishing what was a promising season with the trophy case empty, their defeats in this play-off and last week’s Challenge Cup final likely to hurt for some time. No doubt they will figure prominently next season however. In the meantime, yet again, it’s a case of to Ballinasloe, the spoils.
Ballinasloe Town: P Hickey, G. Egan, P. Keighery, J. Clogher, G. Furey, N. Stack, M. Duffy, K. Kenny, G. Canavan, D. Concannon, L. Lynch. Subs used: A. Ward for Stack, S. Duffy for Canavan.
Skyvalley Rovers: B. Lynch, D. Caulfield, A. Naughton, C. McDonnell, K. Daly, S. Blackweir, M. Duignan, V. Costello, S. Fahy, D. Grehan, E. Kelly. Subs used: A. Grehan for Blackweir, A. Mannion for Duignan.
Referee: T. Cormican.