Donaghmore Ashbourne Claim Victory Over Ballinlough (11/04/15)
Donaghmore Ashbourne, the beaten finalists of the 2014 championship made hard work over overcoming the 2014 Intermediate winners Ballinlough when the sides met in the opening round game in Walterstown on Saturday.
Donaghmore Ashbourne 2-11 Ballinlough 2-06
Donaghmore Ashbourne's Ciaran Ellis
Donaghmore Ashbourne opened the scoring with a Bryan Menton point from play on 3 minutes and Sean Curran extended the lead with a point on 5 minutes. The Moor’s purple patch continued with Aidan Hughes pointing on 8 minutes and Menton getting his second from a fisted point on 10 minutes to go 0-04 to 0-00 ahead.
Ballinlough opened their account with a Peadar Byrne free on 12 minutes to reduce the deficit to 3 points at the end of the first quarter. The second quarter saw the North Meath men settle into the game and was a more even affair. Benji Smith got the ‘Loughs second point with a fine finish in the twentieth minute after good work by Byrne and Johnny Reilly.
Menton got his third of the afternoon on 24 minutes from the right hand side but again Ballinlough refused to go away and replied with the last score of the half, Ronan McGuinness converting a fine individual score, after good work further out the field by Tommy McCullen. This left the interval score at Donaghmore Ashbourne 0-07 Ballinlough 0-03.
Donaghmore Ashbourne were quickest out of the blocks in the second half, and racked up a number of scores in the first eight minutes of the period. Michael Deegan pointed from play on 31 minutes and followed with a 21 meter free before Aidan Hughes registered his second of the afternoon.
Ciaran Beirne found the net after some good work by Darragh Mc Govern and Hughes also raised the green flag within 60 seconds as he a collected a good pass from Riordan following a long ball from Deegan from out the field. This score left Donaghmore Ashbourne 2-10 to 0-03 ahead and seemed to end the game as a contest, however Ballinlough showed great spirit and determination to fight back, and dominate the remainder of the game.
Mark McCullen began this fightback in the thirty eight minute when he fisted to the back of the net after a high ball into the area by his brother Tommy. The Reds began to cause serious problems for Donaghmore Ashbournes defence for the remainder of the tie, and won numerous free kicks in the oppositions half. Colm Mallen and Kevin Devine converted two of these chances to further reduce the deficit, before a surging run from centre back Lorcan Maguire ended in a great point.
A penalty was awarded to the Lough in the fifty eighth minute when Devine was brought down in the box. Peadar Byrne dispatched it with style into the top right corner to reduce the deficit to five points. This proved to be the last score of the game as Donaghmore Ashbourne held out for the victory.
Ballinlough’s attention will now turn to their next championship clash with St. Pat’s.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith (0-1), P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, M. Geraghty, L. Maguire (0-1), J. Reilly, Cian Mallen, M. McCullen (1-0), P. Byrne (1-1), K. Devine (0-1), Colm Mallen (0-1), T. McCullen, R. McGuinness (0-1), S. Geraghty.
Donaghmore Ashbourne: A. Colgan, JP Casserly, C. Mc Gill, T.Mc Govern; C. Ellis (0-2), C. Carton, P. Gilligan; C.Carey, B. Menton (0-3); A. Hughes (1-2), M. Deegan (0-2)(1f), D. Mc Govern; E. Riordan, C. Beirne(1-1), S. Curran (0-1). Subs: M. Devine for Riordan (44mins), E. Callaghan for D.Mc Govern (44 mins), S. Byrne for Hughes (44mins), J. Boland for T.mc Govern (50 mins), C. Donnelly for Beirne (50 mins)