Ballyhaise easy winners over Arva
Intermediate Football Championship
Paul Fitzpatrick in Ballinagh
Ballyhaise eased to their second successive win in the Intermediate Championship as they brushed aside the challenge of an understrength Arva side in Ballinagh this afternoon.
The Annalee Park men were less than impressive at times but were never really threatened and once the outstanding Kevin Tierney tucked away a penalty in the 43rd minute, they opened up and played some lovely attacking football.
With 28 minutes played, there were just two points between the sides, Ballyhaise leading 0-6 to 0-4, but the would-be winners added four quick points before the break to secure a comfortable 0-10 to 0-4 advantage at the midway point.
Key to Ballyhaise’s success was the performance of Tierney in the inside line and Stephen Smith to a lesser extent, with Conor Lyons turning in an excellent shift at midfield and David Brady doing well in his new position of centre-back.
Smith and Peter Morris traded frees early on but Ballyhaise were dominating possession and added four points in a row – a 45-metre point from Lyons, a good strike from Aodhagán Watters, one for Eoin Clarke and Tierney’s first.
Morris landed a free for Arva which was cancelled out by a similar effort from Smith before Thomas Brady drove at Ballyhaise for a super score and goalkeeper Cian O’Hara came up to stroke over a 50-metre free to cut the gap to two.
Ballyhaise responded well with white flags from Colin McKiernan, Smith (free) and two well-taken scores from play by Tierney and Smith again on the stroke of half-time.
Arva were the better side on the resumption and landed two frees from Morris, the second from 40 metres, as the Ballyhaise management made changes, introducing Brían O’Rourke who made an impact.
Ballyhaise – who had a total of seven wides and dropped another six efforts short – moved 0-11 to 0-6 clear with a classy point from Tierney and the game was more or less ended as a contest when Watters’ attempt was foiled by a foot block and Tierney coolly tucked away the resultant penalty.
Sub Jamie Smith kicked the first of his three points after good work from Lyons to put nine between the sides and Ballyhaise kept their foot on the accelerator in the final quarter.
Another for Jamie Smith after a great run by Tierney was followed by one for Adam Heaslip (created by Colin McKiernan) and further scores from play by Tierney, Stephen Smith, Jamie’s Smith’s third, this time from long range, and O’Rourke.
Morris had the final say with another free for Arva; Ballyhaise were denied a goal when Joe Reilly cleared off the line but the result was beyond doubt at this stage.
Ballyhaise will be happy with the win but have plenty to work on. Arva, minus several important players, have a win under their belts against Killeshandra and will still be optimistic that they can make the knock-out stages, although they will have to improve.
Ballyhaise: Niall Costello, Adam Heaslip (0-1), Darren Reilly, Marcus Duffy, Aodhagán Watters (0-1), Eoin Clarke (0-1), Aaron Watson, Conor Lyons (0-1), Michael Brady, Martin Conaty, Sean McCormack, Colin McKiernan (0-1), Kevin Tierney (1-4, 1-0 pen), David Brady, Stephen Smith (0-5, 3f)
Subs: Brían O’Rourke (0-1), Shane McKiernan, Jarlaith Brady, Jamie Smith (0-3), Patrick Teevan
Arva: Cian O’Hara (0-1f), Stephen Ellis, James Morris, Cormac McCabe, Thomas Brady (0-1), Finbar McAvinue, Mikie Cully, Shane Hamilton, Bryan McEntee, Ciaran Stanley, Kevin Bouchier, Jamie Gray, Paul Cassidy, Peter Morris (0-5f), Joe Reilly
Ref: Ollie Donohoe