Ballinabrackey got off to a good start with 2 points on the scoreboard within the first 5 minutes. Peadar Byrne won a free which he himself converted to get Ballinlough up and running. This was soon followed by a point from Benji Smith after a superb solo run up the field from defence. Damien Carroll, Ballinabrackey’s meath representative, caught the ball in midfield from the next kickout which resulted in a goal after a fierce strike of the ball from the Ballinabrackey midfielder. This was soon followed by a score for Ballinlough as a crisp pass from Sean Geraghty to Peadar Byrne resulted in another free for the ‘Lough. Kevin Mallen converted to bring the score to Ballinlough 0-3 to Ballinabrackeys 1-2.
The first half brought about a lot of easy frees for Ballinabrackey which kept them consistently in the game but Ballinlough too kept plugging away with their final score of the first half coming from Byrne after another good pass from Sean Geraghty. The half time score was Ballinlough 0-5 to Ballinabrackey’s 1-4.
Ballinabrackey got off to a better start in the second half as a point was given their way after some uncertainty between the umpires. Moments later, Jonnie Reilly was in for goal but the shot was expertly saved by the Balinabrackey goalie. More good darts forward by Ballinlough’s corner back Benji Smith kept Ballinlough involved in the game. A foul on Smith led to a routine free for Peadar Byrne to pop over to keep Ballinlough in contention, as well as a 50 a few moments later which Byrne also put over the bar.
Ballinlough had their second goal chance soon after this, with Jonnie Reilly unluckily fisting the ball against the crossbar. A free was awarded to Ballinlough soon after this near the sideline which resulted in an exceptional score by Byrne. From then on though things started to go downhill for Ballinlough, and Ballinabrackey were given a number of easy chances, which they made count.
Ballinlough were awarded a couple of frees towards the end of the game but they were put wide. The final score of the match was to go to Ballinabrackey as a long ball was launched into an unmarked substitute in Ballinabrackey’s forward line who chipped the ball over Keith McGuinness in the Ballinlough goal. This was to be the last kick of the ball resulting in a disappointing defeat for Ballinlough. Best on the day for Ballinlough were Peadar Byrne, Benji Smith and Robbie Farrell.
Ballinlough: Keith McGuinness, Benji Smith, Michael Geraghty, Robbie Farrell, James Baugh, Padraig Muldoon, Niall Farrelly, Kevin Devine, Tommy McCullen, Ronan McGuinness, Jonnie Reilly, Peadar Byrne, Kevin Mallen, Cian Mallen, Sean Geraghty. Subs: Junior Reilly for Kevin Mallen, Ken Rothwell for Jonnie Reilly.