Ballinlough returned to winning ways in the final of the Corn na Boinne with a convincing win over neighbours Oldcastle. In near perfect conditions on Sunday in Pairc Tailtean, the men in red imposed themselves and took the lead after 3 mins with a Peader Byrne free and led for the rest of the game. A point from the well marked Ronan McGuiness was followed by a point from Peader Byrne before Oldcastle got their first point after 14 mins.
The ‘ Lough were moving well with Johnny Reilly, Sean Geraghty and Podge Muldoon all working well and never let the town team settle. Two more points from the unmarkable Byrne left it 5 to 3 at half time.
The Reds remained unchanged for the second half while Oldcastle made 2 changes. With Tommy McCullen and Michael Geraghty working tirelessly, Ballinlough were in the driving seat and points from Ronan McGuiness, Peader Byrne (2) and Simon Deevey stretched the lead.
It was on the 20 minute mark when the killer blow arrived when Ronan McGuiness finished to the net after some brilliant inter play among the forward. Surging runs from Mark McCullen and Benjy Smith piled on the pressure and they were rewarded with another goal this time from Tommy McCullen. While Oldcastle did have their chances saves from the outstanding Derek Muldoon in goals kept the Reds in control. Brian Donohoe ‘s charges used all their experience to finish out the game and forced Oldcastle into shooting from long range. With Robbie Farrell , Emmet Smith and Mattie Farrell tenacious in Defence there was only going to be one winner.
A special mention of the outstanding Lorcan Maguire who postponed a trip to the states to stay back and play in the final. A late Oldcastle goal wasn’t enough to spoil the party and the large vocal Ballinlough supporters celebrated at the sound of Cormac Reilly ‘s whistle.
This was the third victory over Leo McEnroe ‘s charges this year and will go in some small way to ease the pain of loosing the IFC final a few weeks ago. The Lough can look back on a year when the media tipped them for relegation yet persevered and became IFC finalists, won the Corn na Boinnie and consolidated their league position.
Ballinlough: D. Muldoon, R. Farrell , P. Muldoon, M. Farrell, E. Smith, M. Geraghty, J . Reilly, L. Maguire, T. McCullen ( 1-00), S. Geraghty, R. McGuiness (1.02) , M. McCullen, B . Smith, S. Deevey ( -01 ) , P . Byrne ( -06 3 F) Subs used ,J . Baugh, N. Farrelly, C . Briody ,
Corn na Boinne - Semi Final
Ballinlough 4 .15 Sydan. 2. 11
Ballinlough turned on the style in the semi final of the Corn na Boinne at Carlanstown on Thursday night. In their first outing since loosing the IFC final the ‘Lough were in control from start to finish. Goals in the first half from Ronan McGuiness and Simon Deevey left Sydan with a mountain to climb.
With Peader Byrne on target with the free taking and Sean Geraghty working tirelessly the Reds were fluent in attack and went in at half time 2.10 to 0.07 ahead.
Brian Donohoe ‘s men continued on the second half and a spectacular goal was blasted by Mark McCullen ten minutes later. With Emmet Smith working hard and the Reds full back line tenacious, Sydan were finding it hard to make progress but to their credit never gave up and were rewarded with two well taken goals late in the game.
Man of the match Ronan McGuiness put away the ‘Lough ‘s fourth goal in clinical fashion to leave thoughts of a final yet again in supporters minds. Others to impress on the night were Johnny Reilly, Benjy Smith, Derek Muldoon and Lorcan Maguire.
Subs used : C Briody , P Briody, N Farrelly, E McCabe
Ballinlough: D Muldoon, R Farrell, P Muldoon, M Farrell, E Smith, L Maguire, J Reilly, S Geraghty, T McCullen , M Geraghty, R McGuiness, M McCullen, B Smith, S Deevey, P Byrne
Intermediate Football Championship - Semi Final
Ballinlough. 1-10 Oldcastle. 1-09 Ballinlough reached the final of the IFC for the second time in four years courtesy of the tightest of wins over neighbours Oldcastle in Pairc Tailtean on Saturday evening. The two teams had already met with Ballinlough victorious earlier in the Championship and this again was a tight affair.
Oldcastle took control of the early scoring registering 3 points while the Reds squandered chances before Johnny Reilly found the back of the net after 12 minutes. Robbie Farrell was replaced by James Baugh with what looked like a serious arm injury as the town team kicked 2 more points. The clock was heading for half time when Peader Byrne put over a free which was quickly followed by points from Ronan McGuiness, Sean Geraghty and Tommy McCullen to go into the break leading 1.04 to 5 . The second half was five minutes old when the reds lost Ronan McGuiness who entangled with the Oldcastle full back who himself had seen red the previous game. This gave Oldcastle the boost they needed and they soon started to take control. A Peader Byrne free was the only Ballinlough score to dent Oldcastle as they fully used the extra man eventually beating Derek Muldoon to find the Reds net.
With 7 minutes left Oldcastle were 3 points up and Ballinlough were holding on by a thread grateful only for their opponents wastefulness in front of the posts. It was at this stage that the experience of Ballinlough kicked in and they started the comeback. A Peader Byrne pointed free at 23 mins was quickly followed by a point from Substitute Gary Reilly. With Man of the match Johnny Reilly and Mark McCullen winning possession a lot of play was now in the Oldcastle half. With man mountain Simon Deevey giving the town defence a nightmare frees inevitably came with veteran Byrne drawing the teams level with 3 minutes left.
Both teams pushed hard for the winner in the last frantic minutes. With time up Oldcastle conceded a line ball on their ‘ 45 but indiscipline meant the ref brought in the ball 10 metres. With a side wind blowing into his face up stood Peader Byrne to kick a famous winner and start joyful scenes at the end of this thriller. Brian Donohoe’s men lived to fight another day and drew on all their experience to pull this one out of the fire. This is a tough group of players who have been together many years now and never panic and will relish the challenge to play Senior football once again.
Ballinlough. D. Muldoon, R. Farrell, P Muldoon, M. Farrell, E. Smith, M. Geraghty (C), J. Reilly ( 1-0),L. Maguire, T. McCullen (0-1), S. Geraghty (0-1),R. McGuiness (0-1), M.McCullen,B.Smith,S.Deevey, P. Byrne ( 0-5) Subs : J Baugh / R. Farrell ( 5 mins ) , G. Reilly (0-1) / J Baugh ( 50 mins )
Intermediate Football Championship - Quarter Final
Ballinlough 1 13 St Michael ‘s 0 13
Ballinlough qualified for this years IFC semi with a hard fought win over last years beaten finalists St Michael’s at Carnaross on Saturday evening. Indeed Ballinlough opened the scoring in the first minute with a fine point from Tommy McCullen. This was followed by 2 pointed frees from Peader Byrne. The crucial score of the game came after 18 minutes when full forward Simon Deevey used his strength well to bundle the ball to the Carlanstown net. Deevey, who won an all Ireland medal with Ashbourne RFC earlier this year, won a lot of valuable possession on what was a wet evening under lights. The goal was soon followed by a superb point from the busy Michael Geraghty. A Peader Byrne point on the stroke of half time left the ‘ Lough 1.05 to 6 ahead at the break.
Ballinlough started off the second half where they had left off with man of the match Sean Geraghty pointing inside the first minute. This was quickly followed by a Benjy Smith point. With Johnny Reilly and Lorcan Maguire immense in defence Ballinlough took control of the game. Points from Sean Geraghty, Tommy McCullen and Ronan McGuiness kept the distance between the two teams. Gary Reilly replaced the injured Emmet Smith on 18 minutes and used his height well around the centre. 3 pointed frees from the evergreen Byrne was enough to see The Reds over the line but thoughts will quickly turn now to next weekend ‘ s semi final.
Overall it was a well balanced team effort from Brian Donoghue ‘s men who were well served also by Matty Farrell, Robbie Farrell ,Podge Muldoon and Mark McCullen.
IFC Group C - Round 3
Ballinlough 2. 10 Oldcastle. 1. 11
Ballinlough made It 2 Championship wins from 3 with a win over neighbours Oldcastle in Moylough on a bright Sunday evening. A point in the first minute by Michael Geraghty got the perfect start for the ‘Lough followed by 2 points from Peader Byrne in the next 7 minutes left the game 3 points to 2 after 20 minutes. But Oldcastle dominated the next 10 minutes scoring 1. 03 to go in at half time leading by 6 points.
Whatever was said in the dressing had the desired effect as Ballinlough looked a different team in the second half. A goal inside the first minute by man of the match Peader Byrne kickstarted the comeback. Ballinlough, trained by ex Cavan footballer Brian Donoghue, showed a ‘meanness‘ in defence with a rock solid fullback line competing for every scrap. Oldcastle perhaps having a hangover from their recent Div 2 final win could not break down the Reds as attack after attack was smothered out. Oldcastle goalkeeper Conor McHugh while having an off day with his frees made 2 point blank saves from Simon Deevey and James Baugh to keep Oldcastle hopes alive but with Veteran Byrne pulling all the strings the ‘Lough never really looked like loosing. With Mark and Tommy McCullen working well in the middle and Benjy Smith covering acres of ground, the introduction of Gary Reilly put the result beyond all doubt. While it was a full 16 man team effort it would be unfair not to point out the exhibition football played by ex Meath Player Peader Byrne who finished with a personal tally of 2.08 including converting 2 45 ‘s. Others to show well were Lorcan Maguire, Johnny Reilly and Emmet Smith.
Ballinlough: D Muldoon, R Farrell, P Muldoon, M Farrell, E Smith, L Maguire, J Reilly 0-1, T Mc Cullen, M Geraghty 0-1,J Baugh,S Geraghty, M McCullen, B Smith, S Deevey, P Byrne 2-08, subs G Reilly / J Baugh.
All County A Football League Division 3 - Round 11
Ballinlough 1. 17 Longwood 1. 13
Ballinlough finished off their final league match with a win in Kilskyre and moved to the top half off Div 3.
This game had no real significance as neither team had anything to gain or loose. The game itself was a good open contest as a result and entertaining to watch. The home team never really looked in trouble with Mark McCullen and Niall Farrelly dominating the ariel exchanges. Both were also on target early with McCullen helping himself to 3 points. The Reds led 9 - 5 at halftime.
The free flowing game continued in the second half but with man of the match Johnnie Reilly making probing runs upfield and the excellent Simon Deevey winning a lot of ball upfront the ‘Lough looked comfortable until Longwood converted a penalty leaving only a score in the difference.
But the ever reliable Podge Muldoon cleaned up defensively and good scores coming from Josh Lynch and Substitute Peader Byrne kept Ballinlough noses in front until a brilliant individual goal from Deevey finally put the game beyond doubt. The home team were also well served by Emmet Smith, Lorcan Maguire and Benjy Smith
Ballinlough D.Muldoon,R Farrell (1), P.Muldoon, M.Farrell,J.Baugh,M.Geraghty(2), J.Reilly(2),L.Maguire,N.Farrelly(3),E.Smith,R.McGuiness, M McCullen(3),B.Smith(1),S.Deevey(1.01),J.Lynch(2) subs N.McDonnell,P.Byrne(2),O.McCabe, J O Higgins.
All County A Football League Division 3 - Round 5
Ballinlough. 2-12 Cortown. 3-04
Ballinlough took full points from this Div 3 league encounter at home. Both teams are hovering in the bottom half of the Division so a win was essential for either side’s ambitions to stay up .
As it turned out the home team had too much firepower and led from start to finish. With James Baugh immense around the centre Ballinlough were able to move the ball with purpose and built a commanding lead early on.
But Cortown as you would expect threatened to spoil the party and found the net twice to reel in the hosts . But with veteran Peader Byrne keeping the scoreboard ticking over with some fine frees there was always daylight between the teams. Mark Mc Cullen got his now customary goal from a long ball played in straight from man of the Match Niall Farrelly. Farrelly won a huge amount of ball around the middle and rounded off an excellent performance with 2 points .
Simon Deevey up front caused many problems for the Cortown defence and was rewarded for his work with a second half goal . Cortown converted a late penalty and never gave up but time ran out on a fine Tuesday evening.
Ballinlough now sit on 8 points mid table and with only 2 games left may have done enough to stay up while the dreaded drop looms closer for their North Meath neighbours . Ballinlough were well served by Conor Fleming, Tommy McCullen and Mattie Farrell.
Ballinlough. D.Muldoon,E Smith,P Muldoon,M Farrell,C Fleming,M Geraghty, J Baugh, T McCullen(2), P Byrne(6) ,K Byrne(1)R Mc Guinness , N Farrelly(2) B Smith, S Deevey (1g), M Mc Cullen (1g)
All County A Football League Div 3 - Round 8
St. Vincents 2-11 Ballinlough 2 .12 Ballinlough took full points with a win by the minimum over St Vincent’s on Sunday evening. Both teams were missing regulars and needed a win to move away from relegation.
It was Ballinlough who settled in the quickest and soon open up a four point lead . With Mark and Tommy McCullen working well the visitors were on all out attack and should have been out of touch by half time only for some wayward shooting. Only a goal separated the teams after 30 minutes but half time changes seemed to work for the home team .
The game was played from end to end with good scores from both teams . This was typified by man of the match Ronan McGuiness who received a lot of attention from the hosts finished with a personal tally of 4 well taken points . A goal from Mark McCullen at the 50 minute stage after good work by Simon Deevey seemed to take the pressure off the ‘Lough . Indeed Deevy who is fresh from a very successful season with Ashbourne RFC , winning an all Ireland title , seemed to improve as the game moved on using his considerable strength to gain vital possession when needed most . But a very dogged Vincent’s scored their second goal of the half with 5 minutes to go to set up a very nervy last few minutes with only a point separating the teams .
Both sides had chances but that single point remained when the final whistle went. Ballinlough were also well served by Lorcan Maguire , Conor Fleming and Michael Geraghty. A mention also of the impressive grounds the hosts have developed over the last few years and can feel rightly proud of their achievements.
Ballinlough: D Muldoon, C Fleming, P Muldoon, M Farrell, J Baugh , L Maguire, E Smith, T McCullen , M Geraghty, J Tunney, R McGuiness, Niall Farrelly, J Lynch , M McCullen , S Deevey .
All County A Football League Div 3 - Round 7
Ballinlough 1 .16 Kilmainham 2 .11
Ballinlough claimed the honours with a hard earned win over Kilmainham in near perfect conditions on Friday night. With both sides trading scores in the first half there was only a point between the two teams .
Kilmainham opened up a five point lead in the second half and looked to be in control . But Ballinlough responded in fine fashion with Peader Byrne kickstarting the revival with a spectacular goal . The home team took control at midfield with Tommy Mc Cullen and Michael Geraghty dominating exchanges. Kilmainham ‘s over reliance on Mickey Newman’s excellent free taking for scores proved costly as Ballinlough finally took complete control but a late late goal from the ‘ spot ‘ by Newman wasn’t enough to save the points .
Man of the match Robbie Farrell was outstanding at corner back and managed to score 2 points from play . He was well assisted by Johnny Reilly, Ronan McGuiness and James Baugh
Ballinlough , D Muldoon, R Farrell , P Muldoon, M Farrell, E Smith ,L Maguire, J Baugh , T McCullen , M Geraghty, M McCullen , R Mc Guinness, J Reilly , B Smith, N Farrelly , P Byrne, subs C Briody , J Tunney
IFC - Group C - Round 2
Ballinlough 2 09 Bective 1 11
Ballinlough got their first 2 points in this years Championship in Carlanstown with a convincing win over favourites Bective . Indeed it only took Bective 5 minutes to put the ball in the Ballinlough net but 2 minutes later Mark McCullen punched in a high ball from his brother Tommy to score Ballinlough ‘s first goal . Bective were confined to 3 pointed frees for the rest of the half while Ballinlough had 5 more scorers, with 2 points from both Peader Byrne and Michael Geraghty and points from Sean Geraghty , Benjy Smith Lorcan Maguire .
The second half started even better when Man of the Match Benjy Smith had the ball in the Bective net in just 3 minutes. The goal seemed to spur on Bective and they piled on the pressure scoring 8 points . A point from Benjy Smith in the 50 th minute sent shockwaves thru the crowd as an upset looked on but it must have blown the lights also as the pitch was plunged into Darkness . Play resumed after a short break and Ballinlough used all their experience gained at Senior level to close out the game. While a black card was issued to a player from both sides the game was played in the right spirit on a dry night in front of an an enthusiastic crowd . Full marks as ever to the hosts St Michael ‘s for having the pitch in such good order after a very long winter .
Ballinlough were well served by Derek Muldoon , Mathew Farrell , Gary Reilly and Johnny Reilly . D.Muldoon, R Farrell, P Muldoon, M Farrell, J Baugh , L Maguire, J Reilly, M Geraghty , G Reilly, T Mc Cullen , R Mc Guinness, M Mc Cullen , B Smith , P Byrne, S Geraghty. Subs E Smith / J Reilly ( BC ) , J Tunney