The Swinford junior team lost out to Balla’s first team last Saturday evening in what was an evenly fought contest.
Down a number of players due to exam commitments and injuries to the senior squad, Swinford played with great passion and it was only in the last 10 minutes when Balla were able to put some distance between the two teams.
As has been the case in every game this year Swinford started very slowly and were largely outplayed for most of the first half by their hosts. Swinford had only one solitary score to show for their efforts at half time, a point from Michael Smyth who was putting his more than ample presence to good use in the full forward line. Down by 0-6 to 0-1, manager Billy McNicholas had some choice words for his players at half time and this resulted in a much improved effort in the second half.
Youngster Eoghan King got the comeback going when he soccer styled over the bar – an effort Lionel Messi would have been proud of! Danny McNicholas was leading the line superbly from the 40 and suddenly Swinford were winning all the breaks around the middle. A high ball in to Michael Smyth resulted in a penalty for Swinford and minor star Mick Walsh made no mistake from the spot. Swinford were only one point in arrears at this stage but could not get the equalizer that could have given them the belief to go on and win the game. Balla found their rhythm again from that point onwards and were able to see the game out on a scoreline of Balla 1-12, Swinford 1-06.
This was a good performance from the junior team and if they could come out of the blocks a bit sooner they would surely be winning more games. Billy McNicholas is hoping to build on the good aspects of the performance as championship is now rapidly approaching.
Team: Robert Hunter, Stephen Kenny, Fergal Harte, Jimmy Henry, Shane McDonagh, Fintan Kenny, Kevin Barry, Vincent Roughneen, Barry Brennan, Enda Heaney, Danny McNicholas, Darragh Price, Mick Walsh, Michael Smyth, Eoghan King Subs: Colm O’Hara, Martin Haran
Thanks to Sean Kavanagh for the pictures!