Longwood put in a good second half display to claim a place in the U-21 C football final with a seven point win over Ballinlough at the Navan O’ Mahony’s grounds on Saturday night.
A seven point Longwood victory looked unlikely at half-time with the game delicately poised, 0-5 to 0-4, in Ballinlough’s favour however the third quarter was the decisive period as Longwood scored 2-4 without reply to seal a final meeting with Carnaross.
Ballinlough’s Kevin Mallen was heavily involved early on; pointing a free and then setting up Niall Farrelly as the North Meath Meath outfit drew level 0-2 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter, indeed they came close to a major breakthrough but Sean Geraghty was unlucky to see a goal effort hit the post and go wide. Goalkeeper Matthew Brady pulled off a good save to keep Longwood at bay and points from Paul Monaghan, David Lynch and Mallen put Ballinlough 0-5 to 0-4 ahead at half-time.
With scores having been hard to come by in the opening half a goal was always going to have a major impact on the outcome, Ballinlough’s defence was caught napping and a quick free led to a Longwood major as they went ahead 1-6 to 0-5. A Ballinlough response never materialised as Longwood pushed further ahead; 2-8 to 0-5 to effectively end the game as a contest. Niall Farrelly and Paul Monaghan hit consolation scores for Ballinlough as Longwood were deserved winners.
Ballinlough: Matthew Brady, Emmet Smith, Shane Smith, Gary Reilly, Mark McCullen, Micheal Geraghty, Niall Farrelly (0-2f), Tommy McCullen, Jonathan O’ Reilly, Kevin Mallon (0-2, 1f), Paul Monaghan (0-2), Sean Geraghty, David Lynch (0-1) Subs: James Baugh and Jack Tunney