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Ballycommon end year on a positive footing with league title

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kevin@tullamoretribune.ie

Having exited the championship at the semi final stage earlier this year, Ballycommon made sure to sign off on 2018 in positive fashion as they claimed the Division three football title.

In a battle with near neighbours Daingean, it was Conor Dunne, who helped himself to 1-4, who proved the difference as they left Walsh Island on a cold and wintry Friday with the league title in tow.

A first half goal from Conor Dunne had Ballycommon in control at half time but a mere two minutes after the restart, the game was pretty much put to bed with Ballycommon firing in their second goal courtesy of Robert Conneely.

A physical and entertaining affair, Ballycommon were the deserving winners and with some good spells of football throughout the hour, they will be happy with their night's work.

Daingean were best served on the night by Jamie Hayes and it was the centre forward who started the game in fine form with a point in the opening minute

Conor Dunne's influence on the game spread from start to finish and two points from him soon had Ballycommon in front before Hayes levelled matters again with six minutes on the clock.

Ballycommon took control of the game with Stephen Conneely in particular causing problems for the Daingean defence and his two points in the seventh and 12th minute, along with one point from Barry Bracken, helped Ballycommon open up a three point lead.

Stephen Conneely was a constant threat to Daingean and it was his pace and direct running that carved out the opening goal of the game.

Conor Dunne was also proving to be handful and when he got on the receiving end of Stephen Conneely’s pass he fired his shot past Conan Curley in Daingean goals like a rocket to give Ballycommon a 1-5 0-2 lead.

A Jamie Hayes free was quickly followed up by a Shane Tierney point as the gap closed to four points before Gareth Mann pointed the first of his four points.

Daingean were creating goal chances but not converting them. Shane Tierney blazed over the bar when a slip pass to Hayes was the better option and just two minutes later, the Daingean were given another avenue back into the game when they were awarded a penalty.

With only four minutes left to half time, Tierney saw his shot saved by Ballycommon keeper Gary Condron as he turned it out for a '45'.

Shane Tierney did point a free a minute later but Stephen Conneely had the last say of the half with a neat point to put them 1-7 to 0-6 up at the break.

Trailing by four points at half time, Daingean needed a strong start to the second half but a point after ten seconds from Tom Mealiffe set the tone for what was to come. Ballycommon were awarded a free from the resulting kick-out and Gareth Mann increased his sides lead to 1-9 to 0-6.

Ballycommon showed no signs of letting up and within two minutes of the restart they bagged their second goal of the net through Robert Conneely, who got on the end of a Stephen Conneely effort and shot past Conan Curley.

Jamie Hayes pointed twice for Daingean but Ian Scally and Conor Dunne (two) ensured a 10 point lead for Ballycommon with 17 minutes remaining.

Two further scores from Gareth Mann increased the deficit to 12 points with 15 minutes left but Ballycommon failed to score again for the remainder of the game.

Daingean to their credit never gave up and a Shane Tierney score in the 47th minute sparked a mini revival.

Alan McEvoy managed to bag as goal with 11 minutes on the clock and Jamie Hayes added two more points but Ballycommon had the job done and took home the Division three crown.

THE SCORERS

Ballycommon: Conor Dunne 1-4, Robert Conneely 1-0, Stephen Conneely 0-3, Gareth Mann 0-4 frees, Barry Bracken, Ian Scally and Tom Mealiffe 0-1 each.

Daingean: Jamie Hayes 0-7 (0-4f), Shane Tierney 0-4, Alan McEvoy 1-0.

THE TEAMS

Ballycommon: Gary Condron, Aidan Bracken, Brian Mealiffe, Brian Ryan, David Dempsey, Karl Dunne, Adrian Mann, Tom Mealiffe, Dylan Martin, Stephen Conneely, Conor Dunne, Barry Bracken, Robert Conneely, Gareth Mann, Ian Scally.

Daingean: Conan Curley, Tommy Cocoman, Colm Brophy, Adam Bolger, Brendan McAuliffe, Ciaran McEvoy, Stephen Burns, David Walsh, Paddy Hayes, Alan McEvoy, Jamie Hayes, Tim Spellman, Shane Tierney, John Kenny, Charlie Hayes. Subs: Larry O’Reilly for John Kenny, Liam O’Reilly for Paddy Hayes.

REFEREE: Martin Carty, Walsh Island.

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