No fairy-tale Croke Park appearance for Ulster junior club football title-holders An Port Mor this year.
The Armagh side found Galway and Connacht champions Ballinasloe too slick in yesterday’s All-Ireland semi-final at Kingspan Breffni Park, Cavan and went under by 2-7 to 0-10.
Their cause was not helped by the fact that they had to play for the greater part of the game with just 14 men following the dismissal of Chris Lennon in the second quarter after he had incurred two yellow cards.
Yet despite their numerical disadvantage An Port Mor unveiled courage and character, restricting their opponents to just one point from play in the second-half.
But the goal that they craved to give them a real foothold in the game never came, the Ballinasloe tactic of packing their defence frustrating the Ulster outfit.
Ballinasloe had taken a firm grip on the game by half-time when they led by 2-5 to 0-4, their goals coming from Padraic Cunningham and Michael Colohan while Keith Kelly and impressive midfielder Liam Lynch led the way when it came to picking off points.
David Curran and Michael Casey worked hard to keep An Port Mor in the game, the former’s brace of points helping to sustain his team’s morale to some extent.
However, An Port Mor, despite the promptings of skipper Shane Nugent, were unable to convert possession into scores and too often carried the ball into the tackle.
Cunningham proved a clever playmaker for the winners on the ‘40’ spraying intelligent passes and constantly providing support to his colleagues.
Ballinasloe scorers: P Cunningaham (1-1), M Colohan (1-0), K Kelly (0-2, both frees), L Lynch (0-2), D McCormack (0-1), P Whelehan (0-1).
An Port Mor scorers: D Curran (0-5, 0-3 frees), M Casey (0-2), G Traynor, C Donnelly, S Nugent (0-1 each).