Town going for the Double

G AND H CUP SEMI FINAL Ballinasloe Town ………. 2 Cloonfad United ……….. 1 Dave Dibble Edna Concannon’s Ballinasloe Town team were lucky to survive this game against Premier Division Cup winners Cloonfad United in Newbridge before winning in extra time with a Henry Loughnane goal to set up the double. It was Ballinasloe who started the game the more brightly of the two teams on show and had all the early pressure, with Darragh Concannon and Henry Loughnane on top form. Just before the half time break, Town won a corner kick, which was taken by Darragh Concannon and met by Peter Keighery who side-footed to the Cloonfad United net. It was Cloonfad United who started the second half the better side and within two minutes of the restart United’s David Keavney was taken down in the Ballinasloe Town penalty area. The same player calmly scored from the penalty spot. United had a good shout for another penalty for handball on 51 minutes, but it was turned down by the referee. Against the run of play Cloonfad United took the lead after sixty-three minutes of play with a fine cross by Alan Glynn which picked out David Birmingham and his knock down was headed past Smith in the Ballinasloe Town goal by Patrick Flatley. Just when it seemed Cloonfad United had done enough, Town’s Henry Loughnane chipped the ball to oncoming Mark Duffy in the first minute of injury time to score the equaliser and send the game into extra time. Cloonfad United spent the extra time looking for a penalty shoot-out, but it was Ballinasloe Town who were looking to kill the game off. It was almost a repeat performance of the equaliser when Darragh Concannon headed the ball across the Cloonfad United goal with five minutes of extra time to play and Henry Loughnane scored from close range to send Ballinasloe Town into the Cup Final. Ballinasloe Town: Darren Smith, Toby Kelly, Gerry Fury, Peter Keighery, Garry Egan, Robbie Brookes, Shane Duffy, Mark Duffy, Henry Loughnane, Darragh Concannon, Noel Lyons. Subs: Emmett Kelly Enda Concannon. Cloonfad United: Cormac Costello, Declan Birmingham, Danny Flatley, David Birmingham, Declan Costello, John P. Burke, Alan Glynn, Pascal Ronane, Patrick Flatley, David Keadney, Aidan O’Boyle Subs: David Mullarkey, Darren Prendergast, Daryl Connelly, Aiden Keadin. Manager’s Comment Ballinasloe Town Manager Enda Concannon told the People, ‘We had to fight all the way against a very strong Cloonfad United side.’ He declined to comment on the chance of his side doing the double. Man of the Match  I could have picked a number of players for man of the match, with Henry Loughnane outstanding up front from the Town. Garry Egan had a good game at the heart of the Town defence, but my vote goes to Darragh Concannon who showed a master class of football on the day.