2003/04 SECOND TEAM SEASON (with 2002/02 Review)

2nd Team Management
Barry O'Connor, a long time servant and player with the club, takes over the running of the second team for the coming season.  Barry has long being invloveld with the club as a player, but this is his first venture into management.  He is being assisted by last years manager John Bullman, both are still "available to play" if selected.  We wish them all the best and know that if their commitment counts for anything they will have a successful season.

3rd Division Cup Final Ballinasloe Vs Santa Cruz  - 30th May 2004
With a number of players on the Roscommon & District County team, Santa Cruz entered the game as strong favourites, but Ballinasloe had been impressive in their earlier matches in the cup and were always going to be difficult opponents for them.  From the start Santa Cruz showed some great touches, but Ballinasloe were no over awed by their Brazilian counterparts and played some great football themselves.  Santa Cruz were doing most of the attacking with Ballinasloe happy to soak up the pressure and try and catch them on the counter attack, with Frank Delany and Warren Coyne doing the most damage down the flanks.  Vilamr at the back for Santa Cruz was having a good game and looked comfortable with most things that were thrown at him and with Jeigon Ferreira coming more into the game in midfield Ballinasloe were under more pressure.

The game was scoreless at half time and Ballinasloe, who looked the fitter team, knew they were going to get chance as they game went on and they did.  Firstly through Aidan Sheridan who saw his header tipped around the post and then on a few occasions Owen Keighrey went close from distance.  Ballinasloe seemed to be constantly facing free kicks as the Brazilians were going to ground at the merest of contact, but Mark Scannell and Padraig Ryan headed most clear.  On 85 minutes disaster struck for Ballinasloe when Max Tiago pounced after a goal mouth scramble to strike the ball goalwards, it looked like it was cleared off the line but the goal was given.  Ballinasloe complained but to no avail.  Deep into injury time as Ballinasloe pushed forward Rodrigo Freital clinched the cup with the easiest of tap-ins after some good work from Rodrigo Oliveria.  Santa Cruz win the cup, but not without controversy.

Teams: Padraig Moloney, Padraig Ryan, Michael OConnor, Billy Dempsey, Mark Scannell, Frank Delany, Greg Egan, Aidan Sheridan, Warren Coyne, Owen Keighrey, Ian Parker.
Santa Cruz: Girvan Pinto, Jose Carlos Gornes, Osvaldo Silva, Vilmar, Amaum, Roberto Ferreira, Jeigon Ferreira, Max Tiago, Rodrigo Oliveria, Rodrigo Freital.

May 16th - Home Vs Castlerea Divisional Cup Semi-Final
The 2nd Team qualified for their Divisional Cup Final after a hard fought extra time victory over Castlerea Celtic.  Ballinasloe came from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to two goals from Ian Parker.  Best for Ballinasloe were Ian Parker, Padraig Moloney and Greg Egan.

Match Day - May 2nd  - AWAY Vs Shiven Rovers - Divisional Cup
The 2nd team qualified for their divisional cup semi-final after beating Shiven Rovers 2-1 in a very tight tough game.  Ballinasloe scored two great goals from distance from Joey Walshe and Owen Keighrey and while they didnt play all that well they defended brilliantly.  Shiven will no doubt feel they should have taken something from the game, but for sheer effort Ballinasloe just about deserved the win.  Best for Ballinasloe were Mark Scannell, Padraig Ryan and Owen Keighrey.

Match Day 25th April - HOME Vs Abbey Rovers - Divisional Cup
The Ballinasloes 2nd team had a good win in their divisional cup at the weekend beating local rivals Abbey Rovers one nil.  The all important goal came after 25 minutes when the evergreen Joey Walshe headed to the bottom corner.  It was a tough but fair game played in very warm conditions and played a great pace.  Ballinasloe deserved their win after working hard for the 90 minutes and at times they played some lovely football.  It really was a great team effort and all the players involved should take credit for a job well done.  Padraig Maloney, Padraig Ryan, Mark Scannell and Warren Coyne were just about the best for Ballinasloe on the day.  Next up for Ballinasloe are Shiven Rovers away in the quarterfinals on Sunday at 11.30 am.

Match Day 21st March - Home Vs Abbey Rovers – League
The hoodoo continues ... for the 4th time this season Ballinasloe have failed to beat Abbey Rovers.  Ballinasloe playing with a strong wind in the first half and with Abbey sitting back and maintaining their "kick and chase" tactics - Balinasloe failed to create decent chances.  The second half saw Ballinasloe continuing to push forward, but with the wind against them they were at times vunerable to the long ball over the top.  It wasn't a great game to watch, with the weather playing as much a part as the differing tactics.  Both sides did manage to get the ball in the net towards the end of the game only to see marginal offside decision given against them.  The game ended nil all.  Best for Ballinasloe were Padraig Ryan, Waren Coyne, Mark Scannell and Brian Shepard.

Match Day 14th March - Away to St. John's - Austin Healy Cup
Ballinasloe faced a daunting trip away to in form St. John's in the Austin Healy Cup, St. John's look likely to win the 1st Division and get promotion to the Premier Division while Ballinasloe are playing their football in the 3rd Division.  This didn't phase Ballinasloe as they started the 1st half into a very strong wind and they knew that they would be under pressure.  Despite the strong wind against them, it was Ballinasloe who scored first, after a superb through ball from Frank Delaney held up in the wind long enough for Ian Parker to beat the on rushing St. Johns keeper and cooly slide home.  Ballinasloe defending brilliantly catching St. Johns offside on numberous occasions.  However, in the last minute of the first half St. Johns did manage to spring the offside trap and after a bit of a scramble managed to bobble the ball home.  Playing with the wind in the secondhalf Ballinasloe took the game to thier hosts and despite making chances they failed to capitalise.  With 8 minutes to go St. Johns scored a contraversal goal, with a Ballinasloe player being illegall prevented from making a crucial tackle.  Ballinasloe knew they had to push forward and almost immediately they were caught on the break.  Padraig Maloney in the Ballinasloe goal, who had been brilliant all day looked to have the shot comfortably saved only to see it hit a bobble infront of him and loop over his despairing dive.  With the game all but over Ballinasloe still kept on trying and got some reward when Ian Parker scored again, after a number of rebounds.   Ballinasloe will consider themselves unlucky not to have taken more out of the game, but once again this season they loose by the odd goal.  Best for Ballinasloe were Aidan Sheridan, Ian Parker, Padraig Ryan and Billy Dempsey.

Match Day - 7th March - Away to Ballymoe FC
The 2nd team were away to Ballymoe in the league in a very open game.  They won by 6 goals to 1, but in reality the game was a lot closer.  Ballymoe had chances but they failed to convert them.  Warren Coyne scored a hat-trick from  midfield, Joey Walsh scored twice and Ian parker got on the score sheet as well.

Match Day - 29th February - Away Vs Shiven Rovers
The 2nd team were away to Shiven Rovers in the League, but unfortunately they lost a tight game 2-1.  It was a disappointing result and like so many games this season Ballinasloe will feel like they deserved to have got more out of the game. Ballinasloes only goal was scored by Warren Coyne from the penalty spot.  Ballinasloes only remaining chance of silverware is in the Divisional cup that is due to start shortly.

Match Day - 8th February - Away Vs Cam Celtic
The 2nd Team were away to Cam Celtic in the Roscommon Cup and although they were two divisions below their hosts Ballinasloe felt they could get something out of the game.  Playing against a strong wind in the first half Ballinasloe were happy to sit back, soak up the pressure and hit Cam on the break.  This ploy very nearly worked on a number of occasions, but the first half ended scoreless.  Ballinasloe took the lead early in the second half through a well taken goal by Owen Keighrey, but couldnt hold on to the lead.   Cam fought back and scored their first when they beat the offside trap, their second from a fortune penalty and their final goal was on the break when Ballinasloe had pushed up players looking for an equaliser.  Despite the score line Ballinasloe will feel that they should have taken something from the game.  Best for Ballinasloe were Padraig Ryan, Aidan Sheridan and Billy Dempsey

Match Day - 12th January - Home Vs Lisnamult
The 2nd Team were at home in the league to Lisnamult on Sunday as well.  It proved to be an easy game for the home side who won 4 nil in the end.  A great early strike from Ian Parker started off the scoring, followed by goals from Owen Keighrey, Mark Scannell and another from Ian Parker.  Ballinasloe played some great passing football throughout the game and thoroughly deserved the win.  It was a great performance by the whole team and it is hoped that this will be start a good run of form with the cups starting on Sunday.  It is difficult to single out individuals for praise but best for Ballinasloe were probably Bjorn Manning, Owen Keighrey and Michael O’Connor

Match Day 9 - 26th October -Away Vs Lisnamult Celtic
The second team travelled to Lisnamult in the league.  It was a good open game of football with both sides trying their best to play a passing game on a heavy pitch.  Ballinasloe took the lead in the first half when Tom Cawley got the slightest of touches to an Owen Keighrey free kick.  In the second half Lisnamult pushed more men forward in an effort to get the equaliser and the gamble paid off after 75 minutes when they scored a fine equaliser.  Ballinasloe felt that they deserved all 3 points but it was looking unlikely with time running out, but player-manager Barry OConnor came on for his first game of the season to score the winner in injury time.  Best for Ballinasloe were; Warren Coyne, Aidan Sheridan and John Bullman.

Match day 8  - 19th October - Home Vs Abbey Rovers
The 2nd lost 1 nil at home to Abbey Rovers in what was a poor display from the home team.  Ballinasloe conceded a early goal and while they had a few chances throughout the match really didnt deserve anything from the game.  Manager, Barry O'Connor, can't explain his teams poor performance, he felt that training was going well but was in no doubt that the best team won on the day.  Best for Ballinasloe were Warren Coyne and Jesus Menendez.

Match Day 7 - October 12 - Away to Castlerea Celtic
Ballinasloes second team were away to Castlerea Celtic in the league on Sunday, it was a game that Ballinasloe needed to win to kick start their season.  Castlerea started better and had a few early chances before Ballinasloe got into their rhythm and their passing game.  After missing a few chances Ballinasloe took the lead 25 minutes into the game when Owen Keighrey fired a shot into the bottom corner from just inside the box.  It remained that way until mid way through the second half when Jason Fallon found himself in space in the box to put Ballinasloe 2 nil up.  Castlerea to their credit came back strong and had a few good chances but they failed to convert them.  The game was over as a contest when Aidan Sheridan brilliantly volleyed home an Ian Parker cross leaving Ballinasloe convincing 3 nil winners.  Those to catch the eye for Ballinalsoe were Colin Forde at left back, Jesus Menendez playing sweeper and Warren Coyne in the centre of midfield.  Manager, Barry OConnor was delighted with the win and praised his team for their work rate and commitment.  He added that it was a very important win and he hoped that it was the lift they needed to get themselves going in the league.

 Match Day 6 - September 28 - Away to Ballymore FC
The 2nd team were away to Ballymoe in the league and despite being 3-1 up with ten minutes remaining they could only manage a 3 all draw.  Ballinasloe will wonder how they let the 3 points slip, they were dominant in the first half especially and should have been out of sight but for some poor finishing.  Ballinasloe created enough chances to be 6 or 7 goals up at half time but it has been the story of their season so far, starting well but not putting teams away when they get the chances and yet again finishing poorly.  Having said all that, it must be pointed out that the pitch in Ballymoe is on a severe hill and it really does make it a games of two halves.  Best for Ballinasloe and the goal scorers were: Jason Fallon, Joey Walsh and Warren Coyne.

Match Day 5 - 21st September - Home to Lisnamult
The 2nd Team were at home against Lisnamult Celtic in the league, it was a game that they should have won comfortably but yet again their wastefulness in front of goal let them down.  Ballinasloe took the lead through Jason Fallon and it looked like they would build from there, but the second goal never came.  Lisnamult to their credit kept battling and with 10 minutes remaining caught Ballinasloe on the break to equalise.  Ballinasloe piled on the pressure looking for the winner and were unlucky hitting the crossbar twice.  The game finished 1 all.  Best for Ballinasloe were Frank Delany, Bjorn Manning and Warren Coyne.

Match Day 4 - 14th September - Away to Shiven Rovers
Ballinasloes 2nd team were away to Shiven Rovers in the league on Sunday.  Ballinasloe went one up through Gary Stephens in the first half and were looking comfortable, but a mistake in midfield let in Shiven for a soft equaliser.  Within 15 minutes of the restart Ballinasloe were reduced to 10 men and faced a tough half hour in what was turning into a very physical contest.  Ballinasloe continued to play good football and created chances despite being a man down.  The team worked hard for each other but with only 4 minutes remaining Shiven scored the vital goal after Ballinasloe had tired.  Ballinasloe will consider themselves unlucky, it was a game that they deserved to get something out of.   Best for Ballinasloe were Billy Dempsey, Tom Cawley and David Bannerton.

Match Day 3 - 7th September - Home to Baylough
The second team lost at home to a last minute goal against Baylough Rovers in the league.  It was a game where both sides dominated large portions of the game and created chances, but it looked like it was going to end scoreless.  But with both sides pushing for the win and taking risks, there was always going to be space left at the back and when Ballinasloe lost possession in their own half Baylough broke to slot home the winner.  It was a bit a cruel for Ballinasloe who played well and deserved at least a draw.  Best for Ballinasloe Bjorn Manning and David Bannerton who had another fine game in goals.

Match Day 2 - 31st September 2003 Away Vs Monkland
The second team were playing in a League game away to Monkslands, this was a game they had to win to have a chance to make the A section, when their league splits.  It was a game of contrasting styles, Ballinasloe tried to pass the ball through midfield while Monksland persisted with a long ball game.  Both sides had chances, but neither managed to score in the first half.  The second half followed a similar pattern and it looked like Ballinasloe were going to pay for their missed chances, but with 8 minutes remaining a great ball in from the left saw Ian Parker slide home what proved to be the winner.  Best for Ballinasloe were; David Bannerton, who had a solid debut in goals, Bjorn Manning and Billy Dempsey.

 Match Day 1 - 24th September 2003 Home Vs Abbey United
The Second team were out in the league for the first time this season against Abbey Rovers as home.  A poor display saw them beaten 1 nil.  Best for Ballinasloe Aidan Sheridan and Aidan Coyne.  We don't want to talk about it ...........

 2nd Team Season Review 2002-2003 (previous year)
The second team was a late starter this season with insufficient numbers turning up for training etc it was decided to field only one team.  But at the last minute and with players willing to commit to the team for the year, John Bullman stepped in to manage the team along with Joey Walsh.  Other teams in the league had played a few games before Ballinasloe had even got a manager in place never mind started to train.  The team struggled early on trying to play matches against teams who had more times to organise and play together and subsequently they failed to make the A section. 

As the season went on Ballinasloe progressed and played some wonderful football at times, however, the inconsistency of the team was eventually their downfall.  They were beating the teams at the top of the league and losing or drawing to the lower placed teams.  Going into the last game of the season they still had a chance of making promotion, but with other results not going their way they narrowly missed out.  In the cups they lost twice away to Lisnamult Celtic, getting well beaten in the League Cup and losing on penalties in the quarterfinal of the Divisional Cup. 

Much thanks must go to John Bullman and Joey Walsh for taking the job at the last minute and giving players the opportunity of playing soccer.  They did a tremendous job and hopefully have laid the foundations for a more successful season to come.  It wasnt for their lack of effort or commitment that the team failed to win any silverware.