Ballinlough produced a strong final quarter to edge out Wolfe Tones and claim the Division 4 U-17 league final in Cortown on Sunday. Both teams contributed to an excellent match that produced 30 scores and some great spells of flowing football.
A large crowd turned up at the North Meath venue to witness an exciting underage final between two strong teams, Wolfe Tones looked to be in the ascendancy midway through the second-half but Ballinlough dug deep and finished strongly to claim the clubs only title of the year.
It was ‘The Reds’ who started better with early scores from Ricky Mc Dermott and Jack Tunney but Wolfe Tones responded with Brughach O' Fionnagain, Gary Mc Fadden and Fiachra Ward hitting the target. Ballinlough forged ahead again with further scores from Mc Dermott and Tunney but when Ward converted a penalty Wolfe Tones went ahead 1-4 to 0-6 after 20 minutes.
The goal was a blow to Ballinlough but their response was emphatic, impressive midfielder Gary Reilly drove forward and finished brilliantly despite considerable pressure and then only minutes later Jonnie Reilly and Jack Tunney combined to put Ricky Mc Dermott through on goal and the U-15 player finished low to put his team in the driving seat at half-time; 2-7 to 1-7.
Wolfe Tones shaded the third quarter with Fiachra Ward prolific from placed balls, Ballinlough’s Daire Farrelly improvised to flick over a good score but the momentum appeared to be with Wolfe Tones as Ward brought them level midway through the half. It looked as if Wolfe Tones were in the better position to push on for the win but Ballinlough stepped it up considerably in the final quarter. James Baugh, Michael Geraghty and Paul Farrelly defended resolutely and Gary Reilly and Ricky Mc Dermott got late scores to seal a memorable victory.
Ballinlough captain James Baugh accepted the trophy from minor board chairman John Kavanagh after the match.
Ballinlough: Lorcan Gibney, James Baugh, Matthew Farrell, Kevin Beirne, Michael Geraghty, Paul Farrelly, Gary Reilly (1-1), Brian Brady, Jonnie Reilly, Ricky Mc Dermott (1-8), Daire Farrelly (0-1), Jack Tunney (0-4), Ferdia Mc Cormack. Subs: Oliver Brady, Joe Farrelly, James Lydon, Killian Mc Caffrey and Matthew Mc Enerney.