Oldcastle was the more consistent of the two sides as they recorded a win over their neighbours in this rescheduled Feis Cup match in Ballinlough on Friday evening. The match appeared to be heading for extra time as the home side made a late surge but Oldcastle refused to panic and scored the last two points to record a three point win.
Ballinlough will look back ruefully on a poor start and the concession of scorable frees against an Oldcastle side that were more economical with possession.
Loran Maguire got the home side off to a good start with a pointed free in the first minute but they had to wait another 18 minutes before they registered another point. By that stage Paddy Gilsenan was proving influential for Oldcastle and they had five points on the board; courtesy of Gilsenan (3), Ronan Farrelly and Vincent Reynolds, two of these points came from close range frees. The Oldcastle defensive unit held a distinct advantage over the Ballinlough attack for most of the first half but Colm Mallen broke away from the shackles and kicked two great points, one from either wing, to put his team back in contention; 0-5 to 0-4 after 21 minutes. Eoin Gilsenan got the last point of the half when he split the posts from out on the right to give Oldcastle a 0-6 to 0-4 lead at half-time.
Ken Rothwell and Barry Curran exchanged points early in the second half and then Colm Mallen’s persistence was rewarded when he earned and converted a free to leave ‘The Reds’ trailing, 0-7 to 0-6, after 42 minutes. However the Oldcastle attack was profiting when they ran at the Ballinlough defense and they scored the next three points, two of which came from close range frees after their forwards had been hauled down close to goal. Despite the trojan efforts of Cian and Colm Mallen Ballinlough were trailing, 0-10 to 0-6, with six minutes remaining but Ken Rothwell sprung to life and kicked the next three points to drag his team back into contention, 0-10 to 0-9, with time almost up. Ballinlough were in the ascendancy and extra-time was a prospect but Oldcastle refused to panic and lively substitute Richard Kellett and Paddy Gilsenan (free) tagged on the last two scores as Oldcastle held on for a deserved victory.
The initial fixture ended prematurely last Saturday night after Colm Caffrey suffered a serious leg injury and Ballinlough GFC held a collection at the match in aid of the injured player.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, J. Byrne, L. Maguire (0-2f), C. Briody, S. Byrne, Cian Mallen, Jonathon O’ Reilly, D. Muldoon, R. Mc Guinness, Colm Mallen (0-3, 1f), S. Fagan, K. Rothwell (0-4). Subs: E. O’ Reilly for Briody, K. Devine for Fagan, Junior O’ Reilly for R. Mc Guinness and J. O’ Higgins for Jonathon O’ Reilly