TP Brennan Connacht Junior Cup Final: Ballinasloe Town 3 West United 2 (After Extra-Time)
Ballinasloe Town’s joint manager Henry Loughnane praised the character of his team after they scored a dramatic fourth win in the Connacht Junior Cup, defeating Galway City side West United in a thrilling final played at Eamon Deacy Park last Sunday.
Ballinasloe came from a goal behind to lead 2-1 but West United equalised in the final minute before Ballinasloe kicked on again in extra-time to record a deserved victory with striker Eoin McCormack scoring all three goals for his side.
Henry Loughnane told People Sport that after being beaten 7-0 by Athenry in last year’s competition they had to revamp the team and they bounced back in sensational fashion to recapture the Connacht Cup that they last won in 2014.
He said: “I am so proud of the players. They have shown great character to come back and win this cup. The older lads were tremendous and we brought in a lot of younger players and they have really contributed to our strong finish to the season. There is a nice blend there now. Even in the final they showed their character and class. We were playing well but we fell behind early on but Eoin (McCormack) scored two great goals and even though West equalised we were not to be denied on the day and Eoin grabbed the winner in extra-time and we deserved it.
“It was a great team effort but I want to pay tribute to Eoin McCormack I wanted him to play for us for a while and I am so delighted that we got him this season. He is good at many sports but his attitude is fantastic and he showed his class last Sunday,” he added.
While delighted with yet another provincial success, Loughnane was quick to focus on his side’s remaining fixture and the prospect of more silverware.
“It was a great occasion and there was a huge crowd there (1,500), one of the biggest that there has been at a Connacht Cup final in years and it was great to see so many Ballinasloe followers there too. We celebrated the win in style I can tell you, but it is back to the serious stuff this week. We are playing in the Premier Division Cup final this weekend and we want to win another trophy so we will be going all out for that,” he said.
The Town could yet end the season with a cup double following a sluggish opening to their campaign.
“We had a slow start to the season in the league but we ended up losing the title by just one point and to have finished the season so strongly is fantastic, and hopefully we can win another cup competition this weekend. This is a great club and we showed our character again last Sunday. We are all delighted with our win and hopefully we can kick on again next season,” he concluded.
Ballinasloe won the Connacht Cup in 2004, 2013, 2014 and now they have added a fourth title. They fell behind to a Geoffrey Power penalty after only 9 minutes. But Eoin McCormack’s header levelled the scores in the 26th minute and 10 minutes before the break McCormack added a delightful second.
As the game headed for the 90th minute West United levelled with a John Egan header. However in extra-time, Eoin McCormack completed his hat-trick with the winning goal five minutes into the first period as he struck from close range.
Ballinasloe Town: P Maloney, C Clogher, J Woods, D Hope, G Canavan, S Duffy, K Kenny, M Duffy, D Cullen, L Lynch, E McCormack. Subs used: G Egan, S Tracey, J Maloney.