Ballinlough won their fourth game in a row in the All County A League Division 2 but relegation to Division 3 was already sealed before Sundays round 13 win over Nobber in windy and wet conditions at Ballinlough.
Ballinlough……………3-12 Nobber……………….. 1-11
Ballinlough will look back on their league campaign with plenty of regret; after struggling with injuries in the earlier rounds they were left pointless and rooted to the bottom of the table after nine rounds, as the matches came thick and fast a bad situation continued to get worse.
However much credit must go to manager Brian Donoghue who worked diligently with whatever numbers he had available and the tide started to turn after a smash and grab victory in the first round of the championship against raging hot favourites St. Michaels.
Ballinlough now look like a much different outfit; despite having little to play for they showed a huge work rate and plenty of quality as Nobber struggled in all sectors in the opening half.
The winners played with the aid of a strong breeze in the opening half and worked up a 3-9 to 0-3 interval lead. Jack Tunney and Peadar Byrne accounted for 2-7 of that opening half score.
Tunney got the scoreboard working with the first point of the day, Byrne followed with a brace before Tunney got in for a well-executed goal. Former county star Byrne netted Ballinlough's second midway through the half and Mark McCullen wrapped up the first half with the winners third major.
Jack Tunney extended Ballinlough’s lead with the first score of the second half but from there on Nobber, playing with the elements, dominated and outscored the home side, 1-8 to 0-2, for the last twenty minutes.
The Lough, who share top spot in Group A with Dunderry, now turn their attention to next weekends Intermediate Championship clash with Longwood in Kildalkey.
Ballinlough: Lorcan Gibney, Benji Smith, Emmet Smith, Robbie Farrell, Podge Muldoon, Lorcan Maguire, James Baugh, Tommy McCullen, Seanie Geraghty 0-1, Junior Reilly 0-1, Peadar Byrne 1-4, Jack Tunney 1-5, Ronan McGuinness, Mark McCullen 1-1, Micheal Geraghty. Subs: Gary Reilly, Simon Deevy, Adam Fox, James O'Higgins, Conor Fleming, Patrick Briody Nobber: B McEntee. E Fagan. P Meade 0-1. T McEntee. J Condra 0-1. S.O.Brien. N Farrell. T Murtagh A Farrell 0-3 G Campbell D Larkin 0-3 D Cassidy D Lambe F McEntee 0-3 A Shields. Subs: DHutchinson for B McEntee, C Clarke for N Farrell, P Weldon 1-0 for T McEntee, S Ongumbe for Cassidy, A Owens for Shields Referee: Paddy Melia