It was a game that had everything from penalties saved to last minute goals to dodgy points to black card and for the first time in a while we came out on top.
The only thing missing this evening in cold wet Balla was some support for a great bunch of lads. All week people have been looking for tickets for the upcoming All Ireland Final and when the club senior team is out playing there is a distinct lask of support. Most of the year I can count on my two hands our supporters.
Less of that talk though and on to a great spirited team performance against a Balla team that are chasing promotion and would have fancied themselves to steam roll over us. Right from the get go when Liam Moran scored two points in first minute we showed our intent for the game.
It took till the 13th minute for Balla to open their account. Kevin McShea struck immediately back with a great point to put us two ahead again.
Again Balla got one back only for Kevin McShea to again rule it out before Balla scored a free before the break to leave it Balla 0-3 Swinford 0-4 We should have been further ahead but it was a tough game in difficult conditions.
In the second half we faced into a difficult wind but right from the throw in Mark Forkan kicked a simply marvellous point. Balla struck back with two frees which were split by a great save by Aaron Kinsella.
In the 42nd minute Balla went ahead for the first time in the game only for Liam Moran to beautifully strike a 45 over the bar into the wind. Right from the kick out we won possession and Liam popped over another. Balla came back with a point to level the game but up again came Liam Moran to put over a point for his fifth of the game.
There was now ten minutes left and for some bizarre reason the referee awarded Balla a penalty. No bother though to Aaron Kinsella who pulled off another great save.
Then Balla kicked for a point that was for all to see wide of the post but the umpire raised the white flag and the referee chalked it up, the teams were level for the 4th time in the game with seven minutes left.
Balla put another one wide of the upright but again the umpire raised the white flag but this time the referee was having none of it and signalled a wide. Balla went ahead then in the 68th minute from a free and extended it in the 1st minute of injury time to lead by two for the first time in the game.
It looked like another soul destroying end for Swinford but the team took the ball and the game straight at Balla and were awarded a penalty. Bedlam reigned in the penalty area as the referee came under huge pressure but stood his ground and in the 64th minute Liam Moran stood up to take the kick facing a stand in goalkeeper as Balla changed keeper for the kick.
No bother to Liam as the ball hit the back of the net. There was still time for another attack but this was snuffed out by the Swinford defence.
Full time whistle came to jumps of joy by Swinford team and management and shouts of derision from Balla as they surrounded the referee. Full time score Balla 0-10 Swinford 1-8
A very hard win and an important two points in a road to survival.
You cannot pick out any players in particular as the entire team and substitutes played well. From Aaron in goals to Sean Brady in Full back who took no shit from the Balla forwards, to Aiden and Alan in the corners, James Lavin and Kevin Barry and Mark McNicholas who mopped up everything, to big Mick and Wire in the middle who drove the team forward and in attack all six Joshua, Mickey P, Liam Moran, Cillian, Kevin and Daz played their part in attack and as the first line of defence. The subs Tom Horkan who came in the first half and our youngsters Conor Conway and Sean Prendergast all played their part in a great win. There is a lot of pride in that Black and Red Jersey.
Upwards and onwards now to Burrishoole and Bonniconlon.
Swinford: Aaron Kinsella, Aiden McLoughlin, Sean Brady, Alan McLoughlin, James Lavin, Mark McNicholas, Kevin Barry, Michael Walsh, Mark Forkan, Joshua Smith, Michael Prendergast, Liam Moran, Cillian O’Donnell, Kevin McShea, Darren Campbell. Subs Tom Horkan, Conor Conway, Sean Prendergast
Scorers; Liam Moran 1-5, Kevin McShea 0-2, Mark Forkan 0-1