The home side started the contest the brightest, and quickly opened up a three point lead, largely due to Alan Shine who was pulling the strings at centre forward. The ‘Lough soon found their feet though, with Johnny Reilly clinically despatching the ball into the back of the net, after a fine passing move.
Bective were struggling to cope with the explosive speed of the Ballinlough full forward line, allowing Reilly, David Lynch and Jack Tunney to benefit, as each split the posts in rapid succession. Lynch then put the visitors further in front with a well struck goal.
The hosts gathered themselves up, and started to reduce the deficit, quickly notching up a goal and five points before the half was out, as the momentum seemed to be swinging back in their favour. Ballinlough managed to claim a slender lead before the end of the opening period though, through scores from Ken Rothwell and James O’Higgins. This left the visitors leading by 2-06 to 1-08 at the change of ends.
The ‘Lough began to dominate proceedings in the second half, and quickly extended their lead. Lynch picked up his second goal early on, after good work by Kevin Beirne in mid field. Reilly, Rothwell and Niall Farrelly all found their range to stretch Ballinloughs advantage even further.
Bective began to gain more possession as the half wore on, but the Ballinlough backline stood firm, with Matthew Farrell and James Baugh commanding in defence.
Reilly was causing all sorts of problems for the Bective full-back line, and scored some incredible points as the half wore on. Rothwell and Tommy Shine tagged on further points for the ‘Lough.
The hosts managed to pick up a late goal, but despite further pressure at the death, Ballinlough held on to finish the game six point winners.
Best for Ballinlough on the day were Johnny Reilly, Ken Rothwell, Niall Farrelly and James Baugh.
If the ‘Lough win their remaining two fixtures against Cortown and St. Michaels, a place in the final will await them.
Ballinlough: M. Brady, M. Farrell, E. Smith, J. Farrelly, P. Farrelly. J. O’Reilly, J. Baugh, N. Farrelly, K. Beirne, J. O’Higgins, K. Rothwell, O. Brady, D. Lynch, J. Reilly, J. Tunney. Subs: L. Gibney for M. Brady, N. Finlay for O. Brady, T. Shine for D. Lynch.