Sports

Ballyholland secure promotion

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Ballyholland secure promotion thumbnailTHE victorious Ballyholland team that defeated Parkview in the First Division promotion play-off last Tuesday evening. Photo: Sean McKevitt.

BALLYHOLLAND secured promotion to the top flight of the Carnbane League in their inaugural season as a club, after coming from a goal behind to defeat Parkview in the First Division promotion play-off at Jennings Park last Tuesday evening, writes Sean McKevitt.

The two sides finished the league campaign in joint-second position on 44 points, just a point behind champions Rockview United, thus forcing a play-off to determine which team would join Rockview in the Premier Division next season.

Parkview drew first blood in this one, breaking the deadlock midway through the first half when the industrious Chris McCaul headed home a cross by Tommy Gorman.

But just two minutes later Ballyholland striker Mark Finnegan had his side back on level terms, firing home from the penalty spot, to leave the scoreline all square at the break.

It was to get better still for Ballyholland in the opening minute of the second half, when Parkview defender Ciaran Quinn inadvertently headed into his own net, to give Deaglan Bradley's side the lead for the first time in the game.

Packy Higgins almost restored parity for Parkview just after the hour mark, curling his 20 yard effort inches past the post. While at the other end, Ballyholland almost added to their advantage on 75 minutes, but Parkview goalkeeper Brian Havern was equal to Tiarnan Rushe's fiercely struck drive from just outside the box, diving low to his left to parry the ball wide.

Parkview desperately tried to force a way back into the tie in the final 15 minutes, but were unable to break down a resolute Ballyholland rearguard, marshalled by the excellent Aaron Kennedy and Sean Anderson.

The Drumalane side can be proud of their efforts for the season though, and Micky Gorman's troops will learn from this experience and look to bounce back next season.

Ballyholland, on the other hand, have exceeded all expectations in their maiden season in the Carnbane League, and look forward to mixing it with the cream of the crop in Carnbane next year.

"We were disappointed with how the season ended for us in our last two games, but the boys showed great character to bounce back tonight," said Ballyholland manager Deaglan Bradley, who incidentally played for Parkview for over a decade.

"We were the better side on the night. We played the better football and I think our boys were a bit more up for it than Parkview were.

"It's our first year together and I'm absolutely delighted with the season we've had. I couldn't have asked for any more of the boys. We'd have taken this at the start of the season, that's for sure.

"We're looking forward to the bigger challenge next year. If we can finish mid table I'll be happy."

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