Ballysteen reached the semi-finals of the Limerick senior hurling championship with victory over Fr Casey's
THERE was more than the glorious autumn warming up Ballysteen on Saturday.
Their footballers travelled to Newcastle West to serve up their most clinical performance in years as they upset Father Casey's 0-14 to 0-8 in the county senior quarter-final.
For once, it wasn't founded on the finishing brilliance of Danny Neville.
The county corner-forward was tightly marked from the throw-in but the attention he received allowed colleagues to step up to the challenge and they responded with a mixture of composure and
intensity that grew as the game progressed.
After getting the better of Adare in their previous outing, Caseys were hoping to qualify for their first semi-final in six years but the knockouts curse fell again as they were outmuscled in midfield,
crowded out by a disciplined defence and never led in a game which was already inching from their grasp when they trailed by two at the first water break.
Early on, they kept in touch by hitting on the break but, once they were forced to chase the game, they struggled to find momentum in attack and their only scoring response of any consistency
was the free-taking of Cormac Roche.
Maybe they might have fared better had influential midfielder Chris Smith not hobbled off injured before the break.
But even if they had his power runs adding to the their options up front for the entire hour, they still would have struggled to pierce the collective intensity of the Ballysteen backs as they managed their space.
Ballysteen, for whom Mark Ranahan top scored over the hour with 0-4, including 3 frees, led 0-6 to 0-3 at half-time.
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.