Ballinlough Hold Out for Narrow Victory (20/03/15)
Ballinlough managed to overcome a late fightback from Dunsany as they won by the narrowest of margins in Ballinlough on Friday night.
Ballinlough: 0-14 Dunsany: 1-10
Kevin Beirne put in a big performance in Midfield
Both sides were sluggish to get going, and the opening exchanges were strewn with mistakes. It was the fifth minute when the home side opened the scoring, Daire Farrelly splitting the posts after a fine flowing move from defence.
Dunsany had experience and speed in their full forward line, and it soon paid dividends when they found the back of the net with a powerful finish. The ‘Lough continued to dominate possession however, and soon levelled matters after a fine score from Ronan McGuinness and a well converted free from James O’Higgins.
Incisive runs from the back by Paul Monaghan and Johnny Reilly led to the Dunsany defence being stretched on numerous occasions, allowing the Reds to regain the lead as Adam Fox and Lorcan Maguire registered impressive scores, before O’Higgins converted another free. Dunsany almost had the ball in the back of the net for a second time, but for some brave defending by Emmett Smith who threw himself in the path of the ball.
The visitors hit a purple patch before half time, briefly bringing the game level, before Benji Smith closed the opening period with a trademark run from the back and excellent score. This left the home side leading 0-07 to 1-03 at the change of ends.
Ballinlough raced clear at the beginning of the second half, quickly building up a five point advantage. McGuiness got the first score of the period, before Maguire, Ken Rothwell and Smith showed clinical finishing to put some breathing space between the sides for the first time.
Dunsany weren’t finished however, and fought back valiantly. Some good play, combined with some sloppy fouls from the home side saw them draw level with just minutes remaining.
The ‘Lough spurned several chances to edge back in front in the closing moments, before finally getting that vital point to seal their third consecutive victory of this B-League campaign.
Ballinlough: L. Gibney, J. O’Keefe, E. Smith, M. Farrell, J. Reilly, B. Smith, P. Monaghan, L. Maguire, K. Beirne, A. Fox, J. O’Higgins, D. Montgomery Francis, K. Rothwell, R. McGuinness, D. Farrelly. Subs: C. Maguire, J. Farrelly, O. Brady, M. McInerney, J. Lydon.