Senior Men 2003/2004 Season Match Reports 

Management Team - 1st Team
Ballinasloe soccer club recently announced the appointment of their new First Team Manager, Mr. Peter Carroll.  Mr. Carroll has a wealth of experience in the game having played for Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United in Ireland he was also on the books of Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End in England for some 5 years.  Since hanging up his boots some time ago Peter has turned to coaching and management.  He had a year coaching in Belgium and then returned to his native Dublin where he carried on for a numbers of years before settling in Ballymoe where he got the local team into the Roscommon and District Premier division.  Peter will be joined by the returning Henry Loughnane, who will be his assistant manager as well as a player.  Henry returns after a very successful spell playing with Mervue United, Mervues loss in definitely Ballinasloes gain.  The whole club are delighted with both appointments and they are very hopeful that the duo can bring back some success to the club.  Chairman, Johhny Walsh, says that there is a great buzz around the club since the appointments and that they are eagerly awaiting the start of the new season.

Premier Divisional Cup Final -Ballinasloe Vs Skyvalley 29th May 2004
Skyvalley started the better and had Ballinasloe under pressure from the kick off.  They were rewarded after 10 minutes when Ballinasloe failed to clear a corner and Fergal Costello found himself unmarked at the back post to drill the ball past the Llyod Kelly.  Ballinasloe raised their game having gone a goal behind and began to play some excellent passing football and were the dominant team for the remainder of the half although they found it difficult to create any clear cut chances.  Skyvalley defence and in particular Cathal Glennon were managing to cope with the lively Ballinasloe strike force of Henry Loughnane and Steven McNally.  Skyvally did threaten on occasion in the half with Sean Fahy in particular troubling the Ballinasloe rear guard.

Ballinasloe continued where they left off after half time and finally got the equaliser 15 minutes into the 2nd half.  A long throw in from the right wing was flicked on at the front post and Peter Keighrey came in at the back post to nod past Cokey Lennon for the equaliser.  Ballinasloe were definitely in the ascendancy and scored a second on 70 minutes. Henry Loughnane picked up possession in the midfield and after skipping past two challenges slipped a precise ball into the path of Wayne Coyne who placed a right foot shot into the top corner of the Skyvalley goal.

Skyvalley to their credit never gave up and with 86 minutes on the clock they got their reward when a defensive mix up in Ballinasloe rearguard found Vinny Costello unmarked and from 15 yards out he thumped home an unstoppable volley to take the game to extra time.

After a long hard season for both teams you would have expected time to be a tame affair.  This was not the case however and both sides engaged in an end to end battle.  Both sides hit the woodwork during extra time and created a host of other good chances.  Neither team managed to break the deadlock and the season was to end with the dreaded penalty shoot out.

Skyvalley missed their 4th penalty and Ballinasloe captain Kevin Flanagan stepped up to hit the winner and cap a great double winning season for Ballinasloe. Best for Ballinasloe: Peter Keighrey, Gary Egan, Wayne Coyne, Henry Loughnane. 

Match Day May 23rd - Vs Manula Connacht Junionr Cup Final Mile Bush Park, Castlebar.
Ballinasloe has a new group of heros.  Ballinasloe Town had already made history by reaching their first ever Connacht Junior Cup Final on Sunday against Manula in Castlebar and even though Manula were at practically at home, they made even more history by winning the cup.  Ballinasloe are the 1st team from the Roscommon and District league to win this competition in the 75 years of the competition.  When Ballinasloe took to the field they were cheered on by the hundreds of supporters who made the long trip to Milebush Park, the fans out cheered their hosts and lifted the team from start to finish.

Ballinasloe started the game the brighter of the sides playing some lovely passing football, it seemed Manula would be out passed.  15 minutes into the games and Manula had just settled, they were prone to the long ball and didnt look like hurting Ballinasloe, when out of nowhere a wind assisted speculative shot from well outside the box crashed against the Ballinasloe crossbar.  This spurred Manula into life and they came more ands more into the game.  Ballinasloe were still playing great football and creating half chances and this is all it took for them to take the lead.  Jason Twohig had no right to get his head to a cross in front of the Manula goalkeeper, but bravery got him there and Ballinasloe had the lead on 43 minutes.

Ballinasloe had a great start to the second half when after on 7 minutes Vinny Doherty latched onto a great through ball, held off the defender and blasted past the advancing keeper.  Ballinasloe were in dreamland and you could only see one winner in this game.  Credit to manual they proved why they deserved to be in this final, from a team that was 2 down they changed their formation and they were a different side.  Ballinasloe had dropped back a little deeper and Manula charged forward.  On 65 minutes after great pressure Manula pulled one back, with a sweet strike from the edge of the box and the game was on a knife edge.  The 25 minutes plus the 8 minutes of extra time seemed like an eternity to the Ballinasloe supporters, Manual were coming forward in waves and only some outstanding defending and determination saw them through.  Ballinasloe Captain, Kevin Flanagan, finally lifted the cup after what was surely the longest game of his life and the celebrations started.  Lets hope they finish before Ballinasloe play in their Divisonal Cup final against Skyvalley on Saturday evening at 6 pm in the Curragh.

The triumphant Ballinasloe team was Llyod Kelly, Peter Keighrey, Kevin Flanagan, Gary Egan, Gary Furey, Wayne Coyne Paddy Ryan, Jason Twohig, Shane Duffey, Henry Loughnane and Vinny Doherty.  Subs used were Patrick Loughnane, Mark Forde and Stephen McNally, everyone a hero.

May 16th -Home Vs Castlerea - Premier Division Cup Semi-Final
Ballinasloe gave themselves a great confidence boost for the weekend by beating Castlerea Celtic 5-1 to qualify for the Roscommon Premier Division Cup Final.  A brace of goals for Gary Egan and one each from Patrick Loughnane, Henry Loughnane and Vinny Doherty saw Ballinasloe win comfortably.  Best for Ballinasloe were Shane Duffy, Henry Loughnane and Wayne Coyne.

Match Day - May 2nd - Home Vs Renmore AFC Connacht Cup Semi-Final
A brilliant performance from Ballinasloe saw them through to their first ever Connacht Junior Cup Final.  Ballinasloe were home to Renmore on Sunday in front of a great crowd.  Ballinasloe settled first and were the dominant team from the outset, Wayne Coyne was unlucky to see his fine effort come back off the post after 15 minutes.  The possession was shared, but Renmore werent able to threaten the Ballinasloe goal and were limited to long range efforts.  In the second half Gary Egan saw his brilliant free kick come back off the angle of post and crossbar.  Ballinasloe continued to play some excellent football and they created chances, with Henry Loughnane unlucky on a number of occasions.  Renmore were also playing well, but their final ball wasnt good enough and Llyod Kelly in goals was always comfortable.  With the game scoreless at fulltime the game went into extra time and while there was plenty of effort extra time saw no real goalmouth action, so the game went to penalties.  With Llyod Kelly providing heroics in goals during the shootout it was left to Ballinasloe captain, Kevin Flannagan, to take the last penalty and take them into the final.  He held his nerve brilliantly and Ballinasloe have a first Connacht Junior Cup Final on May 23rd.  Renmore played well, but on the day Ballinasloe deserved the win.

Match Day - 25th April - Away Vs Kilkerrin
Ballinasloes 1st team lost one nil to Kilkerrin in the league on Sunday.  It was a tough sometimes over physical; game, played on a poor pitch.  Ballinasloe were one nil down after only 3 minutes and had to chase the game for the rest of the match.  They created chances but failed to convert them.  Best for Ballinasloe were Llyod Kelly, Paddy Ryan and Stephen MacNally. 

Match Day - 4th April - AWAY Vs Moore United
Ballinasloe First team were away to local rivals Moore United in the Roscommon Premier Division Cup at the weekend.  The match was played in terrible conditions, with a very strong wind blowing right down the pitch.  Both sides like to play passing football, but this near impossible given the weather.  Ballinasloe played into the wind in the first half and managed to hold their hosts scoreless at half time.  Approaching 20 minutes into the second half, Glen Campbell tried his luck from all of 30 yards and although it wasnt the cleanest of strikes the ball found the back of the net.  Moore came back and a long hopeful ball into the box eventually found its way to an unmarked player who fired home the equaliser.  Extra time couldnt separate the teams, so the game went to a penalty shootout.  Moore missed their first penalty and Ballinasloe scored all 5 of theirs to advances through to the next round.  It was a poor game, but nevertheless Ballinasloe go through to the semi-finals. Best for Ballinasloe were Patrick Loughnane, Shane Duffy and Paddy Ryan.

Match Day -March 28th - Home Vs Moyne VIlla
Ballinasloe advanced to the quarterfinals of the Connaught Cup after a great win over Moyne Villa.  Ballinasloe entertained their guests on a super pitch, which was appreciated by both teams as they played their passing games.  Ballinasloe were two nil up after 17 minutes, firstly from a great header from a corner by Jason Twohig and then after a great cross from Gary Egan, Vinny Doherty powered home another header.  Moyne Villa came back into the game and were level going in for the break, their first came after a corner caused some confusion in the Ballinasloe box, before the ball was somehow deflected into the net.  Their Equaliser was from the Penalty spot.  Ballinasloe dominated the second half and had numerous chances, but it took something special to win the game.  A Gary Egan thunderbolt from all of 35 yards out, direct from a free kick left the visiting keeper with no chance.  Best for Ballinasloe were Gary Egan, Shane Duffy and Paddy Ryan.

Match Day - March 21st - Away Vs Killkerrin
The 1st Team had a disappointing loss at the hands of Killkerrin United in the quarterfinals of the Roscommon Cup losing one nil.  Even though they were playing in very poor conditions and missing 5 first choice players, Ballinasloe will feel that they should have won the game.  Playing against a very strong breeze in the 1st half Ballinasloe went one down on 15 minutes after Kilkerrin sprung their offside trap.  After that and especially in the second half Ballinasloe were dominant and despite creating some great chances just couldnt score.  Best for Ballinasloe were Peter Keighrey, Paddy Ryan and Shane Duffy.

Match Day - March 7th - Home Vs Rahara
Ballinasloes first team were at home to Rahara in the league on Sunday.  It wasnt one of their best performances of the year, but despite being behind twice they managed to win  score line of 4 goals to 2, which perhaps flattered them a little.  Ballinasloes Patrick Loughnane scored a great hat-trick and Vinny Doherty got their other goal.  Best for Ballinasloe were Patrick Loughnane, Gary Furey and Paddy Ryan.

Match Day - February 29th -Home Vs Lough Harps
Ballinasloe 1st Team were at home to Lough Harps in the 3rd Round of the Roscommon Cup on Sunday.  The home side would have been expected to advance to the next round given that they play in the Premier Division and the visitors are in the 1st Division.  Ballinasloe played well and in particular Gary Egan who scored a first half hat trick from midfield.  He was ably assisted by Glen Campbell and Wayne Coyne who also caught the eye.  Lough Harps simply had no answer to Ballinasloe on the day, further goals in the second half from Partick Loughnane and Vinny Doherty sealed their passage through to the next round on a score line of 5 goals to 1.  Ballinasloe manger, Peter Carroll, was delighted with the result and the attitude shown by his players and he even found time to pay a special compliment to the groundskeeper for the superb condition of the pitch.

Match Day - March 7th - Home Vs Castlerea Celtic
Ballinasloe hopes of winning the league are all but lost after a disappointing 3-2 loss to Castlerea Celtic.  Ballinasloe really needed to win their last 3 games and hope that other results went their way, but after today their chances is gome.  The game was played in poor conditions, with a strong wind dominating the game.  This doesn't suit Ballinasloe passing game.  Ballinasloe were further hindered with a number of players missing through injury and other reasons.  They still will feel that should have taken something from the game, but the their offside trap was dubiously sprung on 3 occasions.  They did manage to come from 2 goals down to draw level thanks to goals from Gary Egan and Glen Campbell, but despite their best efforts coming back a third time was beyond them.

Match Day - February 22nd - Home Vs Carbury FC
The 1st Team had a great home win against Carbury FC from Sligo in the 4th Round of the Connaught Cup.  It was a very good game between two sides that play good passing football on an excellent surface.  It was the home side who scored first after a good move starting with their goalkeeper and played through midfield culminating with a great first time shot from Vinny Doherty.  Carbury continued playing football, but it was through a long free kick that they equalised, the long ball from their goalkeeper caused confusion in the Ballinasloe box and when the ball wasnt cleared it was slotted home from close range.  Ballinasloe took the lead again midway through the 2nd half after another fine move down their left hand side saw Liam Lynch fire home from close range.  Carbury came back once more and must have thought they had equalised only to see Llyod Kelly pull off a magnificent save in the last minutes of the match to see Ballinasloe through to the next round.  Best for Ballinasloe were Llyod Kelly, Patrick Loughnane and Vinny Doherty.

Match Day - February 8th  - Home Vs Skyvalley Rovers
Ballinasloes 1st Team were at home to Skyvalley Rovers in the 3rd Round of the Connaught Cup on Sunday.  Ballinasloe started very well and were comfortably in control of the game without ever really threatening the visitors goal.  On 30 minutes Ballinasloe were awarded their fifth corner of the game and unlike the previous ones they crossed this one to the near post where it was met with a bullet of a header by Kevin Flanagan to give the home side the lead.    Despite both sides best efforts this was the only goal of a good entertaining game that was dominated by the defences, although Glen Campbell did see his 30 year effort brilliantly tipped onto the crossbar in the last minute.  Ballinasloe will feel delighted to have beaten their local rivals once again this season.  Best for Ballinasloe were Pete Keighrey, Glen Campbell and Patrick Loughnane.

Match Day - 1st February - Home Vs Ballymoe FC
Ballinasloe were at Home against Ballymoe FC in the 2nd Round of the Roscommon Cup on Sunday.  It was a game that Ballinasloe would have been expecting to win given their recent form.  Ballinasloe had been notoriously slow starters in their cup games so far this season, but that changed spectacularly on Sunday.  The home side found themselves 3 nil up after only 9 minutes, Gary Egan scoring their first after only 2 minutes direct from a free kick, Egan scored again 3 minutes later direct from a corner and then Wayne Coyne finished off an excellent move after 9 minutes.  Ballymoe could have been forgiven for giving up at this stage, but to their credit they continued playing and got some reward after 35 minutes when they scored after a goalmouth scramble to leave the score 3-1 at half time.

Match Day - 25th January - Away to Castlerea Celtic
The 1st Team were away to Castlerea Celtic in the league on Sunday.  It was an important game as they both have ambitions to win the league. Ballinasloe scored first through Glen Campbell who met a Gary Egan free kick perfectly to head the visitors into the lead after 17 minutes.  They didnt have to wait long for their second, it was a brilliantly worked goal that started from their own goalkeeper and was passed up the pitch between 6 or 7 different players before Patrick Loughnane slid in to get the important touch just in front of the advancing Castlerea keeper.  Ballinasloe were holding out very well and looked comfortable with Castlerea not really threatening until the 70th minute when a punched clearance landed outside the box and with seemingly no real danger, that was  until a Castlerea player volleyed it brilliantly to the back of the net for a superb goal.  That was the end of the scoring and Ballinasloe held out for a great 2-1 win, which puts up to second in the league.  Normally we would pick out players for special mention, but this really was a great team effort and they all deserve credit for it.

Match Day - 11th January - Home vs CP Ajax
The 1st Team were at home to CP Ajax in the league on Sunday.  It was a game that Ballinasloe really needed to win to keep their chances of winning the league alive.  Throughout the game it was a case of CP Ajax defending and trying to catch Ballinasloe on the break, which they did after only 17 minutes when a hopeful ball over the top caused some confusion in the Ballinasloe defence that let the visitors in for a soft goal.  Ballinasloe to their credit didnt let their heads drop and 6 minutes later a great move down the left hand side saw Stephen McNally hammer home the equaliser.  That was to be the last of the scoring, although Ballinasloe continued to make half chances the CP Ajax defence was very well organised and their keeper easily handled everything that Ballinasloe threw at them.  A draw was probably a fair result, but it now means that to have any chance of winning the league Ballinasloe have to win their remaining games and hope that someone does them a favour.  Best for Ballinasloe were Gary Egan, Glen Campbell and Mark Forde.

Match Day 10 - 7th December - Away Vs Clonfad United
Ballinasloe were away to Clonfad United in a top of the table clash on Sunday.  It was a very important game for Ballinasloe, as a win would put them in a great position to win the league.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be Ballinasloes worst performance of the season.  By the 23rd minute they were 2 nil down after unsuccessfully trying to play offside twice.  First Clonfad broke down the left and squared the ball for an easy finish on 12 minutes and then the same ball down the right saw them score again on 23 minutes.  Ballinasloe seemed unable to cope with the very physical approach by Clonfad United.  However, they did give themselves a chance when Patrick Loughnane latched on to rebound to leave the score 2-1 at half time.  Clonfad secured the points as early as the first minute of the second half, when they sent a long free kick into the box which wasnt dealt with and ended up in the back of the net to leave the final score 3-1.  There was no doubt that Clonfad deserved the points, as they seemed to want the victory more.  Ballinasloe will be unhappy with their performance with a few of their players doing themselves justice.  Llyod Kelly who was back in goals had a good game and couldnt be faulted for any of the goals, Paddy Ryan in midfield was impressive but on his own and Patrick Loughnane who was playing upfront gave it all he could.  Next up is Rahara away on Sunday at 11am and Ballinasloe know that they must get back to winning ways. 

Match Day 9  - 30th November - Home Vs Skyvalley Rovers
The 1st Team were at home to Skyvalley Rovers in the league on Sunday.  It was a game that Ballinasloe wanted to win not only to help their league ambitions but also because of the local rivalry that exist between the two clubs.  Ballinasloe started the better and for the opening 20 minutes were on top, but a long hopeful ball out of defence caught Ballinasloe out and Skyvalley took the lead.  Skyvalley double their lead 10 minutes later when a corner wasnt properly dealt with by Ballinasloe and a Skyvalley player managed to poke the ball into the net.  It wasnt looking for Ballinasloe being 2 nil down against a well organised team, but to their credit they never stopped playing their passed game and continued to create chances.  Ballinasloe got one goal back at the end of the first half when Gary Egan slotted home a penalty.   Immediately after the re-start Ballinasloe were level, a long ball into the Skyvalley box saw Vinny Doherty score a vital but scrappy equaliser.  With 15 minutes remaining Ballinasloe broke with Vinny Doherty beating 2 players before squaring the ball to the on rushing Jason Twohig to blast home the winner and complete a great comeback.  It was a very good game with Ballinasloe just about deserving the victory.  Best for Ballinasloe were Mike Bradley, Mark Forde and Jason Twohig. 

Match Day 8 - Away Vs Glen Celtic
The first team lost 2-1 away to Glen Celtic in the league.  Ballinasloe were 2 nil down after only 5 minutes following poor defending from two corners.  Ballinasloe created enough chances to win the game but failed to capitalise on them, although the excellent Vinny Doherty did pull one goal back early in the second half.  It was a disappointing result given that Ballinasloe had being playing so well of late, but Manager, Peter Carroll was happy that at least they are creating the opportunities even if they are not scoring the goals.  Others who played well for Ballinasloe were Warren Coyne and Peter Keighrey.  

Match Day 8 - 26th October - Home Vs Kilkerrin
The 1st Team were at home to Kilkerirn in the league on Sunday.  It was the visitors who started the better and were on top for the first 25 minutes hitting the cross bar during this period.  This was the wake up call Ballinasloe needed, they regrouped and for the rest of the game were the much better team.  10 minutes into the second half Kevin Flanagan, who played brilliantly along with Mark Forde in the heart of the defence, gave Ballinasloe the lead.  15 minutes later Jason Twohig doubled the lead to leave Ballinasloe comfortable. Kilkerrin did get a consolation goal in injury time, but Ballinasloe still ran out deserving 2-1 winners of a very physical contest.  Others to catch the eye for Ballinasloe were Henry Loughnane and Vinny Doherty.  The game was kindly sponsored by Melodys Bar & Restaurant.

Match Day 7 - 20th October - Home Vs Heatmerchants - CUP
Ballinasloe 1st team played out an interesting Cup tie against 2nd Division Heatmerchants.  It was a game that Ballinasloe would have been expected to win being top of the Premier Division, but they didnt have it all their own way.  Heatmerchants were very much up for the game and the result was still in the balance after 75 minutes with the teams sharing 6 goals, but in the final 15 minutes Ballinasloe scored twice to go through to the next round 5-3.  Manager, Peter Carroll was happy with the win, but he wasnt impressed with the performance on the day.  Best for Ballinasloe were Gary Egan and Greg Egan.

Match Day 6 - 28th September - Home Vs Moore
The 1st Team hosted Moore United in the league on Sunday.  It was a typical derby game with hard tackling and a little bit of an edge to the match throughout.  Moore started well and for the first 20 minutes were the better side, but Ballinasloe fought their way back into the game and started to get on top with Vinny Doherty and Henry Loughnane holding the ball well up front.  There wasnt much in the way of clear chances for either side with both defences playing well.  With 20 minutes gone in the second half Henry Loughnane read a spinning bounce and lobbed the Moore keeper with a clever headed to give Ballinasloe the lead.  As you would expect Moore came back at Ballinasloe, but with Lloyd Kelly doing everything that was asked of him in goals and Mark Forde excellent in defence there was to be no way back for the visitors.  The game finished one nil with Ballinasloe staying top of the table.

Match Day 5 - 22nd September - Away to CP Ajax
The 1st Team had a good win away to CP Ajax at the weekend.  This was their 3rd consecutive away win and they remain unbeaten in the league.  A first half header from debutant Marcus ONeil and a second half hat trick from Henry Loughnane gave them the points.  It was a physical game played on a tight pitch but at times there was some great football played.  Ballinasloe created a lot of chances and probably could have scored more, but in the end they were very happy with the result.  Patrick Loughnane and Wayne Coyne deserved special mention for their brilliant displays in midfield.

Match Day 4 - 7th September - Away to Monksland
The 1st Team were away to Monksland in the league on Sunday and they came away with a 3-2 victory.  Ballinasloe played some terrific football throughout that game and could have scored many more goals against a physical Monksland side.  Ballinasloe were cruising at 3-1 up, with goals from Henry Loughnane, Jason Twohig and Mark Forde but with 5 minutes remaining they conceded a goal from the penalty spot to leave some anxious moments before the final whistle.  Best for Ballinasloe were Gary Canavan, Henry Loughnane and Patrick Loughnane. The victory puts Ballinasloe top of the premier league.  A special mention must go Michael Bradley, who after playing with the club for more years than he would care to remember has decided to hang up his gloves.  He has been a great servant to the club over the years and will be very hard to replace, although no one is ruling out a change of heart if he is needed in the future.

Match Day 3 - 31st August Home Vs Glen Celtic
The first team played host to Glen Celtic in the league on Sunday and the team were confident of getting a favourable result after starting the season playing some great football, even if they didnt necessarily get the results to match.  Ballinasloe went behind after only 10 minutes when a mistake led to them getting caught on the break.  Their heads didnt drop and they continued with passing game, putting tremendous pressure on the Glen Celtic goal.  For the remainder of the game Ballinasloe dominated possession and had some great opportunities, but the Celtic defence was giving nothing away and they were countering well when they got the chance.  Finally with 10 minutes remaining, Ballinasloe got the break through when Liam Lynch pounced on a rebound to grad the equaliser.  It was a game that Ballinasloe should have won, but didnt take the their chances.  Best for Ballinasloe were Henry Loughnane, Simon Leonard and Gary Canavan.  

Match Day 2 - 24th August 2003 Away Vs Skyvalley Rovers
Ballinasloes First Team had a great win away to Skyvalley Rovers in the league.  Ballinasloe won thanks to 2 first half headers from Henry Loughnane, but it could and maybe should have been a lot more.  With Greg Egan and Wayne Coyne controlling midfield and the whole team playing excellent football there was always going to be only one winner.  Gary Canavan also deserved a mention for a very impressive debut at the back.  Manager, Peter Carroll, was delighted with the way the team played as a whole and hoped that they could keep this level of performance going throughout the season.

Match Day 1 - 17th August 2003 Home Vs Glen Celtic
In their first league game of the season Ballinasloe 1st entertained Glen Celtic.  Ballinasloe started the brightest and created a number of chances early on, but failed to score.  Gary Egan was in great form on the right wing and Patrick Loughnane and Paddy Ryan were controlling the midfield, but there was a certain degree of rustiness as would be expected in their first competitive game and Ballinasloe continued to miss chances.  Ballinasloe continued to create chances, but could not score mainly due to a man of the match performance from the Glen Celtic goalkeeper who was in inspired form.  The match finished nil-nil.  New manager, Peter Carroll, was happy with the performance, if not the result, but he knows on another day they would have won comfortably.  The match was kindly sponsored by Melodys Bar & Restaurant.