Ballinlough played their final group game in the Junior D Championship and once again they came out on top with a ten point victory over Dunderry in Moynalty on Monday night, the win secured Ballinlough’s position as group winners.
Ballinlough started brightly and had a lot of early possession, however the slippery conditions made it difficult for their forwards to find their stride and they struggled to make any impression on the scoreboard.
It was Dunderry that opened the scoring with a well worked goal and they were in the driving seat when they followed up quickly with two pointed frees to go; 1-2 to 0-0, ahead. Ballinlough needed a boost and James O’ Higgins provided the inspiration when he got the scoreboard moving with a well taken point, ‘The Lough’ began to show some of the form that has seen them unbeaten in the Junior D Championship, Daire Farrelly pounced to rattle the Dunderry net putting his team right back in contention.
Ballinlough finished the half well with further points from Byran Smith, Jack Tunney, Kevin Mallon and Niall Farrely (0-2); this left them ahead, 1-6 to 1-4, at the switch of ends.
The match was still up for grabs as the second half began so an early score was always going to be important, once again it was Daire Farrelly who reacted quickest volleying into the goal after the ball dropped in around the square. Pa Baugh was strong in defence while Kevin Mallon and Gary Reilly were starting to dominate around midfield as Ballinlough moved six points clear but a well taken goal gave Dunderry some hope. However Ballinlough moved up a gear and a goal by Bryan Smith got them moving again, they rattled off a further five points to run out ten point winners.
Mickey Rennicks and Kevin Reilly will be pleased with the progress their team has made and they have now qualified for the quarter final of the Junior D Championship as group winners and with players like; Conor Briody, Simon Deevy, Nicholas Finaly, Shane Smith, Gerry Smith, Joe Farrelly, Seamus Fagan and Junior O' Reilly set to come back into contention for starting places in the knock-out stages they will be hopeful of going one step further than 2010 when they reached the final.
Ballinlough: M. Brady, J. Baugh, V. Ryan, P. Baugh, J. O'Reilly, G. Reilly, J. O'Higgins 0-1, N. Farrelly 0-2,K. Mallon 0-3, J. O'Reilly 0-1, B. Smyth 1-02, M. Geraghty 0-1, J. Tunney 0-1, T. Shine 0-2, D. Farrelly 2-0 Sub: P. Farrelly for T. Shine (inj)