Castletown progressed to the IFC semi-final after a hard fought victory against Ballinlough in Moynalty on Saturday evening.
The game was in the balance right up until the final whistle but over the course of the hour Castletown were good value for their win and they will now go on to face Na Fianna in the semi-final championship. For Ballinlough it was disappointment again in the knock-out stages, they will be the first to admit that the best team won but they will also know that they taken one of a number of goal chances that they may have taken something from the game.
Castletown started the contest the more lively of the two teams, and had converted two frees by the time the Lough registered their first score in the sixth minute, through Sean Geraghty. However, Kevin Ross was in ominous form for the winners, going on to pick up four points by the half time break. Three points late in the half from Peadar Byrne gave Ballinlough some much needed hope going into the change of ends, leaving the score at 0-6 to 0-4.
The second half was a much tighter affair. Ballinlough got off to a great start with a fine point from Tommy McCullen, but this was quickly cancelled out with points in quick succession from Castletown’s Ken Smith and Darren Finney. The ‘Lough then seemed to briefly find their shooting boots with further points from Byrne and McCullen, bringing the deficit to the bare minimum with five minutes to go.
However, just as the momentum seemed to be swinging in their favour, a penalty was awarded against Ballinlough, which was calmly slotted home by Ross. This left four points between the teams with three minutes remaining, which was too big of an ask for the reds to overcome. There was time left for another pointed free from Byrne and agonisingly Ronan McGuiness hit the side netting with a goal chance, but it was not to be the ‘Loughs day.
Best for Ballinlough on the day were Colm Mallen, Peadar Byrne, Benji Smith and Tommy McCullen.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, M. Geraghty, K. Devine, Colm Mallen, P. Byrne(0-6), T. McCullen(0-2), Cian Mallen, R. McGuinness, G. Reilly, S. Geraghty (0-1), S. Deevy, M. McCullen. Subs: K. Rothwell for Deevy, J. O’Reilly for G. Reilly.
Castletown: R. Hoey, J. Metry, F. Hoey, N. Farrelly, S. Duffy, S. Farrelly, J. Carry, G. Farrelly, M. Hickey, K. Ross, J. Finerty, T. Smith, D. Finney, D. Cribbin, K. Smith