This was an enjoyable and sporting game between neighbouring North Meath clubs as Ballinlough's three first half goals proved decisive.
Paul Donoghue kicked the first score for Carnaross but Ballinlough settled into the game after Thomas Shine kicked a point and despite playing against the wind they started to get on top in most areas of the field.
Brian Brady made his debut at adult level for Ballinlough and he enjoyed a good tussle with Brian Commaskey at midfield. Brady kicked an early point and he was ably supported in midfield by the outstanding Niall Farrelly who got their first goal, which was soon followed up by another green flag as Jack Tunney finished clinically after some good work from Joe Farrelly and Jonathon O' Reilly in defence.
The visitors were four ahead as half-time approached when Jack Tunney received the ball tight to the end line and he produced a moment of real quality to calmly steer the ball into the top corner, which left his side leading; 3-5 to 0-7, at half-time.
Carnaross made the perfect start to the second half as they reeled off three points in quick succession to narrow the gap to four; 3-5 to 0-10, but Ballinlough had an economical forward line and Tunney fired over superbly to get his side back on track. Carnaross kept plugging away but some wasteful shooting prevented them from making a comeback.
James O' Higgins and Niall Farrelly along with Tunney kicked some nice scores as 'The Reds' kept a comfortable margin between the teams and when Ken Rothwell rattled the net after a misdirected clearance they looked to have sealed the victory. Liam Brogan got a late goal for Carnaross but it proved too little too late as Ballinlough held out for an encouraging five point victory.
Best for Ballinlough were: Paul Farrelly, James O' Higgins, Jonathon O' Reilly, Brian Brady and Jack Tunney.
Ballinlough: M. Brady, M. Farrell, K. Beirne, P. Farrelly, J. Farrelly, J. O' Reilly, J. O' Higgins, B. Brady, N. Farrelly, N. Finlay, K. Rothwell, O. Brady, T. Shine, J. Tunney, L. Gibney. Subs: M. Reilly for Gibney and B. Mallen for Finlay.