A late surge from Dunshaughlin was enough to see them come from behind and snatch victory over Ballinlough, in wet conditions on Saturday evening.
Dunshaughlin: 1-10 Ballinlough: 0-11
Ballinlough's Tommy McCullen had his shooting boots on on Saturday
While several other league games had to be postponed due to the torrential rain on Saturday, the high quality surface in Dunshaughlin allowed this fixture to continue as planned.
Ballinlough started the better of the two sides, with Peadar Byrne opening the scoring in the fourth minute after great fielding by Kevin Beirne. Moments later Johnny Reilly doubled the lead, his shot hitting the cross bar on it’s way over.
Two efforts from Trevor Dowd soon levelled matters for the home side, before Tommy McCullen put the ‘Lough back in front after a great run by Benji Smith. Around this stage of the game, the Reds were unlucky to see two goal chances come back off the post. They soon rued these missed chances when Conor Devereux registered a goal and a point inside a minute to put the home side in front for the first time in the contest.
Ballinlough closed the half in the ascendancy - first Tommy McCullen curled a majestic point over the bar from out wide, before Byrne converted a free to leave the bare minimum between the sides. Cian Mallen brought the half to a close with a fine score after good work by Jack Tunney and Sean Geraghty. This left the sides level at 1-3 to 0-6 at the change of ends.
The ‘Lough regained the lead early in the second half, McCullen firing over another hugely impressive score from an improbable angle. Not to be outdone, Peadar Byrne curled a scintillating score off the outside of his boot to put his side two points to the good. A brace of frees from Cathal O’Dwyer levelled matters soon after, before Cian Mallen blazed the ball over the bar when the goal seemed to be at his mercy. This goal chance would prove to be costly for the ‘Lough, as some clever play from Dunshaughlin saw them earn and convert a brace of frees.
Tommy McCullen’s impressive display of scoring wasn’t over yet though, as he picked up his fourth of the evening with a great shot off his left boot. A great team move involving Lorcan Maguire and Emmett Smith saw Podge Muldoon level matters again. Ballinlough’s stalwart full back over the last number of years put on a virtuoso performance at wing back, winning a huge amount of breaking ball and tirelessly running up and down the line throughout the contest.
Dunshaughlin finished strongly, with Dowd putting them ahead in the thirtieth minute of the half, before Devereux completed the scoring with a well struck 45 to clinch a two point victory for his side.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith, M. Geraghty, R. Farrell, P. Muldoon (0-1), L. Maguire, E. Smith, Colm Mallen, P. Byrne (0-3), K. Beirne, S. Geraghty, Cian Mallen (0-2), J. Tunney, Johnny Reilly (0-1), T. McCullen (0-4). Subs: J. O’Higgins for J. Tunney.