Ballinlough Clinch Victory in Dramatic Fashion (13/05/15)
A point from Peadar Byrne in the sixty-first minute saw Ballinlough emerge victorious by the slimmest of margins in this entertaining clash played in Kilskyre on Wednesday evening.
Ballinlough: 0-10 Na Fianna: 0-09
Ballinlough's Benji Smith with Conor Downey Na Fianna
Na Fianna got the game up and running with a fine point from influential midfielder Daniel Queeney in the second minute. Kevin Devine soon levelled matters for the home side with a confidently struck free kick.
The visitors would go on to dominate the following fifteen minutes, with Queeney kicking a further brace of points, either side of a great finish from Dalton McDonagh. Ronan McGuinness got the ‘Lough back on track with an impressive score after some great work by Johnny Reilly, who is starting to look more at home in his new home on the full forward line.
Benji Smith reduced the deficit further with one of the scores of the game, splitting the posts from distance after a great run from defence. The energetic corner back was causing huge problems for the Na Fianna defence all evening with his electric pace and clever use of the ball.
Queeney added another point for the visitors, before they saw a great goal chance saved by Keith McGuinness. With the end of the half approaching, Ballinlough were pushing hard for scores, and got two in quick succession. First, Ronan McGuinness picked up his second of the evening after an excellent pass from Peadar Byrne, before Kevin Devine put the finishing touch on a fine team move to level matters. This saw the teams go into the change of ends at 0-5 to 0-5, and with it all to play for in the second half.
As with the opening half, Daniel Queeny got the first score of the period with a well struck point. The big midfielder was at the heart of almost every Na Fianna attack, and was a constant menace for the Ballinlough rearguard.
Sean Geraghty levelled matters again just minutes later, after a good pass from Tommy McCullen. Geraghty was tireless as ever in his efforts, tracking back at every opportunity, as well as causing a potent attacking threat.
A free from Byrne soon after saw Ballinlough take the lead for the first time, but another Queeney score, this time a fisted point, ensured the lead did not last long. Another brace of points from the same source saw Na Fianna go two ahead with five minutes left; Queeney having scored eight of their nine points.
The ‘Lough were not finished yet however, and refused to allow another narrow defeat in the league as has happened in earlier encounters. The home side controlled the final minutes, with Lorcan Maguire, Junior O’Reilly and Cian Mallen cleaning up any breaks around the middle of the field. They maintained possession well in the Na Fianna half of the pitch, and picked up a brace of free kicks as the half reached its conclusion. Colm Mallen ruthlessly dispatched both of these to bring the game level again, just as the clock ticked into injury time.
The ‘Lough sealed their second league win with almost the last touch of the game - Byrne showing great composure to stroke the ball over the bar, as the home crowd erupted with delight.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith (0-1), M. Geraghty, R. Farrell, P. Muldoon, L. Maguire, E. Smith, P. Byrne (0-2), Colm Mallen (0-2), S. Geraghty (0-1), R. McGuinness (0-2), Cian Mallen, T. McCullen, Johnny Reilly, K. Devine (0-2). Subs: J. Tunney for K. Devine, Junior O’Reilly for E. Smith, K. Beirne for R. McGuinness.