Ballinlough’s Division 5 B-League campaign received a major boost on Saturday evening in Drumconrath when they recovered from a nine point deficit early in the second-half to gain an important victory. The win leaves Ballinlough joint top of the table with three matches left to play.
Ballinlough were short numerous regulars and when a goal by Drumconrath’s Peter Mc Evoy put the home side nine points ahead four minutes into the second-half it looked as if Ballinlough were going to suffer a heavy defeat, but it was a case of “all shoulders to the wheel” and superb commitment and spirit seen the intermediate club grab an unlikely victory.
Ballinlough did not register a score for the first ten minutes until a foul on Bryan Smith was converted by Tommy Shine but the home side hit a purple patch and hit six points in a row to take a commanding lead. Tommy Shine registered three more points for Ballinlough before the break but Drumconrath’s superiority was evident as they went led; 0-9 to 0-4, at the break.
An early Alan Byrne free and a goal from Peter Mc Evoy goal put Drumconrath nine points clear; 1-10 to 0-4 as things went from bad to worse for the visitors. From that point on it seemed almost inevitable that Ballinlough would come out second best but some inspired performances from key players began to swing the result in Ballinlough’s favour.
Emmet Smith and James Baugh were in fine form at the back. They were in turn complemented by good movement and forward play by Jonnie Reilly, Jack Tunney and James Lydon; who was drafted in to make his first start as adult level. Kevin Mallen was in inspirational form in the second half covering a lot of ground and getting some nice scores from difficult angles, Bryan Smith was also to the fore with a brilliant point from a ‘45.
Simon Deevy popped up with the vital goal for Ballinlough, but Drumconrath did respond to go two points ahead afterwards but the visitors had victory within their sights and with their forward line now playing with confidence they held on for a morale boosting one point victory.
Ballinlough: M. Brady, P. Baugh, E. Smith, J. Baugh, K. Devine, J. O’Reilly, J. O’Higgins, K. Mallen, B. Smith, J. Tunney, J. Reilly, T. Shine, S. Deevy, K. Rothwell, J. Lydon.