The Banner claimed a Junior double by claiming the 2020 Junior A football championship on Saturday evening with a 15 point win over Ballyvaughan to add to the Junior B hurling title they claimed last year.
Venue: Hennessy Park, Miltown
Life in the intermediate ranks will begin for the Banner on Sunday next with a first round championship clash with their neighbours Éire Óg.
North Clare side Ballyvaughan went into Saturday’s final as slight favourites mainly because they were seen as the more experienced outfit but, on the evening, they had no answer to the running game of the Ennis outfit who were without the services of star dual player, Shane Meehan, ruled out of action due to a hand injury.
The new champions started the game at a blistering pace and with wing forward Thomas Meenaghan a key figure in the opening move it led to a penalty inside the first minute when he was upended in the square. Daire Walsh’s effort from the spot went high and over the bar for the game’s first score.
Ballyvaughan responded with points from Jonah Culligan and James Howard to lead by the fourth minute but another Walsh effort from a free tied up the game before Ronan O’Halloran shot the Banner into the lead again only for Culligan to respond for the side from the Galway border and level the game for the third time.
Midfielder Darragh Gleeson edged the Banner ahead and they led by the odd point in seven at the first water break. When play resumed James Coakled pointed for the winners and they were never behind thereafter.
They were 0-8 to 0-4 ahead as the game entered ‘added time’ at the end of the half when the Banner put a defence splitting move together which ended with full forward Danny O’Halloran finding the net and this left the half time score at 1-8 to 0-4.
Ballyvaughan weren’t helped by the fact that they played ten minutes in the middle of the first half with fourteen men after centre back Philip Queally picked up a black card.
Ennis based Banner found themselves in a similar position for the opening ten minutes of the new half after their midfielder Darragh Gleeson was shown a black card in the last play of the opening half.
There were just three scores in the third quarter with the Banner adding two to their half time tally. Early in the final quarter Banner substitute John Collins finished off another good team move when he fisted to the net after James Coakley’s effort had been parried.
The winners had their third goal in the final minute when Danny O’Halloran was on hand to supply the finish to another good move.
In an impressive team performance, team captain Cian Rynne, Thomas Meeneghan, James Coakley, Daire Walsh and the O’Hallorans, Ronan and Danny were prominent throughout.
Kieran Casey, Mark Walsh, James Hynes, James Howard and Jonah Culligan worked hard for Ballyvaughan.
After the game Clare GAA assistant secretary Anne Hayes presented the Michael Toner memorial cup to the winning captain, Cian Rynne
Ronan O’Halloran (0-1)
James Coakley (0-3)
Danny O’Halloran (2-1)
Daire Walsh (0-6, 4 frees, 1 penalty);
John Collins (1-0) for Duffy (42)
Danny Cassidy for Martyn(50)
Tola Coote for O. Rynne (55)
Mark Duffy for Meenaghan(55)
Ollie Gleeson for R. Collins (55)
Mark Walsh (0-1)
James Howard (0-1)
Jonah Culligan (0-4, 3 f)
Cian Walsh for P. Kyne (25)
Ian Queally for Flanagan (29)
S. Flanagan for L. Mahon (HT)
T. Francis for N. Walsh (45)
John McCormack for Howard(55)
Referee: Barry Kelly (St Josephs Miltown)