A last gasp goal from full-forward Martin Mc Donnell earned Ballinlough a draw in this thrilling Meath FL division 2 final at Navan on Sunday.
The match finished in controversy as the equalizing score was hotly disputed. The umpires disallowed the goal but referee Paddy Smyth allowed it to stand. However, in the end a draw was probably a fair result and if the replay is as entertaining it should be well worth seeing.
The match opened in hectic fashion with Adrian O’ Halloran netting for Moynalvey inside the first minute. Play continued after O’ Halloran’s effort but the umpire ruled that Ballinlough ‘keeper Tommy Smith had stepped over the line. But Ballinlough were on level terms nine minutes later as Jody Devine fired past Willie Tyrrell and they might have built up a decent lead in this spell but for wasting several good openings.
They still managed to lead by 2-5 to 1-4 at the interval thanks to Mc Donnell’s second goal and they stretched this advantage to five points in the third quarter.
With Pat Brien, Liam Harnan, O’ Halloran, Melia and Cathal Sherdian performing well Moynalvey battled with great determination and brought themselves right back into contention. Their second goal from Melia rocked the North Meath outfit and with Moynalvey playing their best football of the match the trophy looked set to go to the senior club. They were three points up with time running up when Mc Donnell struck that late late equalizer.
Young defenders Derek Mullally and Vincent Ryan were among the stars for Ballinlough and Gerry Mc Namee, Philip O’ Brien, Declan Lynch, Gary and Martin Mc Donnell and Devine also played well.
Ballinlough: T Smith, M Tuite, G Mc Namee, D Mullally, V Ryan, P O’ Brien, P Lynch, D Lynch (0-2), F Higgins, C O’ Brien, G Mc Donnell (0-1), J Devine (1-2), F Tunney (0-3), M Mc Donnell (2-0), H Mc Donnell.