It was Ballinlough’s first victory of a torrid campaign in which they have struggled with injuries and absentees. However following a first round win over St. Michaels in the championship there was once again significant signs of improvement during an enjoyable encounter. Central to Ballinlough’s success was county hurler Sean Geraghty who operated at centre half forward in his first league start of the year, Padraig Muldoon, Gary Reilly and Michael Geraghty also returned to league action as the North Meath outfit fielded the strongest team of their league campaign to date.
Both teams traded free’s in the opening ten minutes and when Andrew Coyle received a cross field ball he calmly slotted the ball past Lorcan Gibney to give the away side a three point lead. Ballinlough’s Peadar Byrne responded with a point but this was cancelled out from the hard working Padraig O’Hanrahan who slotted over from play.
A second Gavin Coyle free put his side 1-3 to 0-2 in front but Ballinlough started to dominate around midfield with Gary Reilly and Michael Geraghty outstanding, however ‘The Reds’ were wasteful on front of the posts with three goal chances; including a penalty and numerous frees squandered during a wasteful period.
They did however add a couple of points before the break to trail by just two points; 0-4 to 1-3, at the switch of ends. With the slight wind advantage at their backs Ballinlough kicked five unanswered points following the restart with Sean Geraghty, Peadar Byrne, Mark Mc Cullen, Jack Tunney and Gary Reilly all on target as they surged; 0-9 to 1-3 ahead.
A Coyle free steadied the ship for Curraha and both teams traded scores before Ballinlough got the games decisive score when Jack Tunney raised a green flag to give his team a five point advantage; 1-10 to 1-5.
Curraha worked hard to get back into the game and reduced the deficit to three points, but Ballinlough finished impressively with a couple of late pointed frees to secure a morale boosting victory.
Sean Geraghty was outstanding for Ballinlough and he was well supported by Padraig Muldoon, Gary Reilly, Michael Geraghty and Peadar Byrne.
Ballinlough: L. Gibney, B. Smith, E.Smith, R. Farrell, J. Baugh, L. Maguire, P. Muldoon, G. Reilly, M. Geraghty, J. O’ Reilly, S. Geraghty, J. O’ Higgins, J. Tunney, P. Byrne and Mark Mc Cullen. Subs: T. Mc Cullen for J. O’ Higgins. Curraha: L. McCarthy, PJ. McMahon, N. Murphy, D. Coyle, M. Jackson, S. McDermott, S. O’Hanrahan, C. Joyce, B. Joyce, G. Coyle 0-5, B. Murphy, A. Battersby, P. O’Hanrahan 0-1, A. Coyle 1-00, P. Dowling. Subs: E. McGovern 0-1 for B. Murphy, M. Phelan for C. Joyce, S. Keogh for McDermott, S. McDermott for B. Joyce (BC)