Ballinagore travelled to Tymon Park, Dublin on Sunday August 12 to take part in the All-Ireland GAA Junior Rounders Championship.
Ballinagore and Sean Connolly’s (Longford) were in Group One, while Naomh Croans (Roscommon), Na Fianna (Dublin) and Skryne (Meath) made up Group Two. Each group game was played over two innings with the final played over three innings. As there were two teams in their group, Ballinagore played Sean Connolly’s in a best of three games format.
Ballinagore won the toss and elected to field first conceding four runs and scoring three. They held their opponents to one run in the second innings, which meant that they needed to score at least three to win. They managed to score five before the third batter was called ‘out’ to win on a scoreline of Ballinagore 8, Sean Connolly’s 5.
In the second game, Ballinagore were much better and scored a total of 13 runs in the first innings to take a commanding lead. Sean Connolly’s managed two runs in the second innings before their third batter was called ‘out’. This meant that Ballinagore couldn’t be caught and they qualified for the final on a scoreline of Ballinagore 13, Sean Connolly’s 3.
Skryne were the south Westmeath club’s opponents in the final. With runners on first and second base, Enda Claffey stepped up to bat and he hit an 80-yard strike which allowed Tally Flynn and Martin Furey to romp home for the win.
There was an air of silence and disbelief for a few moments before rapturous joy took hold and the Ballinagore contingent realised they had won their first national rounders title.
The Ballinagore team was: Shane Heraty (Catcher, 1 Run), Declan Claffey (Pitcher, 2 Runs), Martin Furey (Short Stop/2nd Base, 1 Run), Tally Flynn (1st Base, 2 Runs), Dympna Claffey (3rd Base, 1 Run), Enda Claffey (Left Outfield, 1 Run), David Langan (Centre Outfield, 1 Run), Aisling Heraty (Right Outfield, 1 Run). Sub: Kevin Glennon.