SPORT — 19 December 2013

Fullen Gaels (Manchester) 1-08, Ballinamere (Offaly) 0-10

By Damien O’Grady.

Fullen Gaels moved one step closer to a second All Ireland final appearance in12 months when they overcame Leinster champions Ballinamere in a thrilling contest at Pairc na hEireann on Sunday.

A wet and windy venue awaited the Manchester based side and the large band of travelling Ballinamere players, mentors and supporters and while the conditions made hurling very difficult both sets of players served up a thrilling affair of pride and passion with the result in doubt right up until the final whistle.

It was Fullen Gaels, playing with the aid of a strong breeze who made a blistering start and they had 1-1 on the board within the first minute, as wing back Eamonn Gleeson opened the scoring with a magnificent point which was quickly followed by the only goal of the game from Peter Ryan.

Midfielder Shane Lawless ran through the heart of the Ballinamere defence before laying it off to Alan O Neill who found Peter Ryan and he made no mistake as he found the top corner to give Fullen Gaels a dream start.

For more see our bumper Christmas edition of the Irish World

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