A strong opening half sowed the seeds for this Bracken's victory as they advanced to the County U-15 A football final for the second time in three years. Ballina started brightly and opened the scoring with a nice point from play in the second minute. They had a couple of other chances which they spurned and once Padraic O'Shea landed Brackens opening point they never looked back. Sean Burke followed up with a goal a minute later before two lovely points from play courtesy of Niall Delaney and Ryan Loughnane, along with another O'Shea free, had Bracken's six up inside eleven minutes. The greasy conditions prevented any real flow to the game with the third quarter only producing two points for both sides. Ballina got the first two of those to cut the gap to four. JR Corpez was in flying form at wing back and an upfield foray yielded Brackens fifth point before a left-footed effort from Ryan Loughnane put Brackens six ahead at the short whistle (1-6 to 0-3). Brackens looked the stronger at this stage with the backs and midfield well on top. This provided the platform for plenty of attacks with the forwards doing well despite the weather. And when the hard working Odhran Dalling was pulled to the ground four minutes in to the second half Brackens were awarded a penalty which was converted by O'Shea. The Ballina culprit was black carded and the North champions were left with a mountain to climb. To their credit the battled hard and replied with a point from a free and made Brackens wait nine minutes for their next score, a point from the hard working Dan Coffey. Further points from the excellent Dalling and another free from the impressive O' Shea had Brackens 2-9 to 0-4 ahead with eight minutes to go. Jack Noonan, Andrew Quinlan, Oisin Brophy, John Martin and Peter Breen were all introduced and the game finished with a flurry of goals with both sides grabbing two apiece. Sean Burke grabbed his second and Ryan Loughnane rounded off a fine team performance with Brackens fourth goal to give them a 4-9 to 2-6 victory. The second semi-final between Moyle Rovers and Arravale Rovers is down for decision in Cahir on Monday evening at 7.30pm. The final is provisionally fixed for next Thursday night. Best of luck to all involved.
Teams and Scorers: James Leahy, Jack Duggan, Kyle Quinlan, Thomas Deegan, JR Corpez (0-1), Niall Delaney (0-1), Larry O'Brien, Sean Stone, Ryan Loughnane (1-2), Stephen Fogarty, Padraic O'Shea (1-3, 1-0 pen, 4f), Odhran Dalling (0-1), Dan Coffey (0-1), Sean Burke (2-0), Jack Burke. Subs Used: Andrew Quinlan, Oisin Brophy, Peter Breen, Jack Noonan and John Martin.