A strong second half performance from Ballinlough paved the way for a comfortable victory over Longwood at a windy O'Growney Park Athboy on Sunday afternoon.
As with most games over the weekend in the Meath championship the wind proved a big factor. Longwood had the best of the opening exchanges and when Aaron Ennis, just back from a break in Australia, opened their account things looked good for the 2009 junior champions. Ballinlough playing with the wind found it hard to get into the game but a point from Tommy McCullen steadied their nerves and further scores from Colm Mallon, Derek Muldoon and Kevin Devine (2) gave the Reds a 0-5 to 0-2 interval lead.
Despite playing into the wind Ballinlough completely dominated the second half. Kevin Devine and Derek Muldoon kicked two early scores and with Seamus Fagan bossing the midfield exchanges The Lough went on to win withn some ease.
Padraig Muldoon was outstanding at full back for the winners, veteran Joey Byrne cleaned up a lot around the half back line, Colm Mallon kicked two very important frees in the second half while Tommy McCullen and Seanie Geraghty also showed well for the winners.
This was Longwood's first outing in the championship after having a bye in the first round and while disappointed with their display the experience of John Cullinane, Mickey Burke and Rory Maguire should be enough to trouble the rest of the teams in this group.
Ballinlough scorers: Colm Mallon and Kevin Devine 0-3 each, Padraig Muldoon 0-2, Seamus Fagan, Ken Rothwell and Tommy McCullen 0-1 each.
Longwood scorers Rory Maguire 0-2, Aaron Ennis and Ryan Keenan 0-1 each