Both teams were fired up for this local derby, with the home side gaining first blood when Harry Newman split the posts in the third minute. His younger brother Mark quickly doubled their advantage with a well taken free from distance. Ballinlough got on to the scoresheet in the tenth minute when Kevin Mallen finished off some good work by Mark McCullen and Ronan McGuinness. The ‘Lough went on to score another five unanswered points. First Niall Farrelly drew the sides level, before both Kevin Mallen and Kevin Devine converted frees to put the visitors ahead. Colm Mallen fired over a rapid brace to complete a great spell of play for Ballinlough.
Both sides wasted several scoring chances in the remainder of the period, before Harry Newman brought an end to the half with a fine point to leave the score at 0-06 to 0-03.
The second half started with a bang, when Ballinlough were reduced to fourteen men after Derek Muldoon picked up a second booking for a dangerous challenge on Barry Lynch, who was subsequently taken off injured. Thereafter the game opened up, with both sides putting together some nice moves, but failing to convert their chances. Mark Newman finally got the first point of the half when he converted a free after ten minutes. Kevin Mallen and Mark McCullen split the posts to increase the ‘Lough’s lead further, before Kilmainham scored five points on the bounce to put them one up. Mark Newman was key in this drive, kicking three highly impressive scores. It looked as if the home side were going to win the tie at the death, but Kevin Devine held his nerve to convert a last minute free and leave the sides level once more.
Best for Ballinlough on the day were Benji Smith, Kevin Devine and Kevin Mallen.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith, K. Devine (0-02), R. Farrell, R. McGuinness, P. Muldoon, J. Baugh, Cian Mallen, D. Muldoon, K. Beirne, N. Farrelly (0-01), S. Geraghty, M. McCullen (0-01), K. Mallen (0-03), Colm Mallen (0-02). Subs: K. Rothwell for Beirne.