Moylagh was the venue as local rivals Carnaross and Ballinlough went head to head in the first round of the Junior D championship on Monday evening. A large crowd of local enthusiasts were on hand as Carnaross hit four late points to secure and impressive win.
It was classic junior D football with glimpses of silken skills from a few older players and plenty of endeavor from some of the youngsters aspiring to see action at a higher grade later in the year.
Ballinlough put in an impressive spell midway through the second half and appeared to be in the driving seat, but they must have used up all their luck in the previous night’s I.F.C. match against St. Michaels, as injuries to both midfielders; Gary Reilly and Niall Farrelly in the last quarter along with first half injuries to Conor Briody and Shane Smith stretched their resources to the very limit and was partly to blame for their demise.
The first half was an even battle, Carnaross aided by the breeze eventually gaining the upper-hand; the attacking trio of Ollie Murphy, Ollie Farrelly and Declan Reilly looking particularly menacing and they were all on the scoresheet at their team lead; 1-9 to 1-5, at the switch of ends. The Ballinlough goal came courtesy of full-forward Kevin Devine.
Ballinlough made a good start to the second half and when a long delivery deceived the Carnaross defence Ken Rothwell finished the ball past Eamon Commaskey. Niall Farrelly, Simon Deevy and Rothwell (2) exchanged points with Ollie Murphy, Paddy Smith and Declan Reilly as Carnaross led by the minimum; 1-14 to 2-10, after 45 minutes.
Ballinlough found another gear and Jonathon Francis, Bryan Smith and Niall Farrelly kicked good scores to push them two clear; 2-14 to 1-15, but just when they seemed to be heading for victory on the home straight, midfielder Gary Reilly had to depart the action with a knee injury.
Carnaross gained control around the middle of the field and Paddy Smith and Declan Reilly kicked good points to level the match; 2-14 to 1-17. Ballinlough’s other midfielder Niall Farrelly was also forced out of the action with an injury in the closing stages as Carnaross substitute John L. Magee pointed twice (1f) to earn his side the victory.
Keith Mc Guinness made a couple of great saves in the Ballinlough goals and he was well supported by debutant Niall Mc Donnell, Matthew Farrell, Gary Reilly, Niall Farrelly and Ken Rothwell.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, E. Mc Cabe, J. O’ Keeffe, M. Farrell, N. Mc Donnell, P. Briody, S. Smith, G. Reilly, N. Farrelly, C. Briody, K. Rothwell, J. O’ Higgins, A. Fox, K. Devine and S. Deevy. Subs: J. Francis for Briody, B. Smith for S. Smith, T. Fagan for G. Reilly, K. Mc Caffrey for E. Mc Cabe, J. Lydon for A. Fox and M. Mc Grane for Farrelly.