Ballinlough safely negotiated there way through the preliminary quarter final of the intermediate championship with a routine win over Clann Na NGael on Monday evening in Millbrook.
Ballinlough........................1-12 Clann Na NGael...............0-6
It was a case of "job done" for Ballinlough as they led from start to finish and whatever chance Clann Na NGael had, it faded after they kicked seven wides in the opening thirteen minutes.
Much of Ballinlough's play was based around a strong work ethic and they looked considerably fitter than their opponents, fittingly it was a defender; Colm Mallen who got their first score, Mallen was one of four Ballinlough defenders to hit the target as they repeatedly attacked at pace from deep positions.
Despite having plenty of possession early on Clann Na NGael trailed 0-5 to 0-2 after 17 minutes with Peadar Byrne on target three times (2f) for Ballinlough, points from Jamie Shaw and Caoimhin O' Griofa provided scarce reward for the efforts of the Athboy/Rathcairn outfit.
Ballinlough stepped it up considerably and started to dominate possession and when Colm Mallen lofted a high ball towards Ronan Mc Guinness the centre forward was hauled close to goal and Derek Muldoon converted the spot kick to leave 'The Reds' coasting 1-5 to 0-2 after 24 minutes and indeed they could have been out of site before the break if they had converted a couple of guilt edged opportunites. Mc Guinness was particularly unfortunate to see a shot come back off the crossbar and Clann Na NGael gave themselves some hope with a couple of points before the break to trail by just four; 1-5 to 0-4 at the switch of ends.
Clann Na NGael needed to start the second half well but it never materialised as Ballinlough went through the gears, they added another three points by the 40th minute to take a commanding, 1-8 to 0-4 lead and effectively end the game as a contest. Gary Woods hit a good score for Clann Na NGael and promising minor player Ronan Mc Donagh also hit the target as they reduced the deficit to five, but it was the closest they got as Ballinlough upped the tempo considerably.
The difference in fitness levels was very evident in the last quarter as Lorcan Maguire found himself in unfamiliar territory and notched a great score on the run, Mark Mc Cullen, Kevin Devine and Jonnie Reilly tagged on scores as Ballinlough lined up a quarter final meeting with Dunderry.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith (0-1), P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, L. Maguire (0-1), Colm Mallen (0-1), J. Reilly (0-1), D. Muldoon (1-0), P. Byrne (0-3, 2f), M. Mc Cullen (0-2), R. Mc Guinness, Cian Mallen, S. Geraghty, T. Mc Cullen, K. Devine (0-3, 1f). Subs: S. Deevy for T. Mc Cullen, K. Rothwell for Mc Guinness, Junior O' Reilly for Mark Mc Cullen, J. Tunney for Devine, J. Baugh for Reilly and Jonathon O' Reilly for Geraghty.