Bective started the contest the strongest and scored two points in the opening five minutes. Although Ballinlough put some nice moves together early on, their finishing was not up to scratch as they put several chances wide. James O’ Higgins was also unfortunate to see a good goal chance go begging. The visitors extended their lead however, their clinical finishing soon seeing them go 0-4 to 0-0 up with fifteen minutes on the clock.
The ‘Lough’s fightback soon started, with Daire Farrelly leading the charge. The reliable corner forward, picked up a rapid brace of points, both near identical scores resulting from Simon Deevy winning a high ball played into the full forward line, before laying it off for Farrelly to tap over.
Farrelly clawed another point back to leave the minimum between the sides, before Jack Tunney levelled matters in the 22ndminute, with a great score off his left boot from a tight angle.
Exciting young forward Johnathan Montgomery Francis had a good chance at goal, only to see his effort expertly saved by the Bective keeper. Tunney closed the half with a well struck 45 to see the hosts go in to the break leading by 0-5 to 0-4.
It didn’t take long for Bective to level matters at the start of the second half, as the game continued to pulsate from end to end. O’Higgins edged the Reds back in front with a well struck free kick from close range, after Montgomery Francis had been brought down by the Bective keeper. Although Bective worked some nice opportunities following this, they saw a lot of balls drop short, which were well covered by Lorcan Gibney. The young Ballinlough keeper continues to grow in confidence with each passing game.
Both teams wasted chances in the following exchanges, as tensions began to rise on the pitch. A scuffle soon broke out which resulted in Bective being reduced to fourteen men, when a straight red card was issued to their midfielder. Bective struggled to come back from this blow, and conceded further points to Deevy and Kevin Devine.
Best for the home side on the day were Gary Reilly, Mattie Farrell, Daire Farrelly and Paul Monaghan. The ‘Lough will be pleased to see their good form in all competitions continue, and will hope to take it into Fridays encounter with Clann na Gael.
Ballinlough: L. Gibney, J. O’ Keefe, E. Smith, M. Farrell, Johnathan O’Reilly, K. Devine, P. Monaghan, G. Reilly, K. Beirne, J. Montgomery Francis, K. Rothwell, J. Tunney, J. O’Higgins, S. Deevy, D. Farrelly. Subs: M. Reilly for J. O’Higgins, C. Gaughran for K. Rothwell, A. Fox for J. Montgomery Francis, D. Montgomery Francis for D. Farrelly.