Continues for Ballinlough (02/11.14)
Offaly Intermediate Champions Raheen proved a stern test for
Ballinlough at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday, as the Reds had to dig deep to
quailfy for the Leinster Club intermediate football championship semi final.
2014 continues to be a fantastic year for the ‘Lough, as they
racked up another win, in what is becoming a very familiar setting in Navan.
Raheen played for 40 minutes with 14 men. Midfielder Declan Byrne
was sent to the line for 2 yellow cards offences. The Offaly winners also lost
corner back Brain Corcoran early in the opening half to a black card.
Once again former county player Peadar Byrne was Ballinlough's
scorer in chief. The midfielder finished with six points. Byrne kicked the
games opening point from a free. Shortly after, corner back Benji Smith doubled
their lead after a scintillating run from defence.
But Raheen, after a few bad wides, levelled matters with points
from Ben Ridgeway and Paddy Rigney. Between the 10th and 20th minute
Ballinlough opened up a four point gap. First, Mark McCulen knocked over a
difficult point from a tight angle, before he doubled his tally with a classy
finish, after Ronan McGuinness was unlucky to see a shot on goal saved. Good
work from Sean Geraghty and Simon Deevy, then led to a fine score from James
Baugh. A foul on Johnny Reilly resulted in Byrne converting another free
leaving his side 0-06 to 0-02 ahead.
Raheen were reduced to 14 players following Byrne's dismissal and
looked in trouble. But two pointed frees from John Crombie and Rigney, either
side of an impressively converted 45 from Peadar Byrne for Ballinlough, gave
them hope going in the break 0-7 to 0-4 in arrears.
The visitors came out a more determined side in the second half.
As in the first half Byrne opened the scoring, this time from a 45, after a
Sean Geraghty attempt on goal had been deflected wide. However, the Raheen
fowards were beginning to find more space and three points from Richie Reynolds
sparked them in to life. The introduction of Dyland Hyland had the desired
effect. The young attacker kicked two fine points to tie the game up at 0-9
The Ballinlough defence looked out of sorts and the North Meath
outfit could have found themselves in arrears but for a fantastic one on one
save from goalkeeper Keith McGuinness to deny Raheen a certain goal.
This save sparked North Meath club back to life. Byrne steadied
the ship with a point from a 45 and followed this up with another from a free.
Danny McEvoy got his first score of the game to narrow the gap to a point with
five minutes left.
Referee Noel Hand issued a second black card this time to the
influential Byrne. But this didn't unsettle 'The Reds'. Some fine defending
kept Raheen at bay and Jack Tunney, on as substitute, kicked the insurance
point in the final minute to seal another memorable win for Tom Shine's men.
Ballinlough will now face either the Carlow or Wexford champions
in the Leinster semi final in two weeks time. However in advance of this, they
will have to prepare for Wednesdays showdown with Nobber in the Intermediate
Ballinlough: Keith McGuinness, Benji Smith (0-1), Padraig Muldoon,
Robbie Farrell, Lorcan Maguire, Colm Mallen, Johnnie Reilly, Peadar Byrne (0-6),
James Baugh (0-1), Mark McCullen (0-2), Sean Geraghty, Cian Mallen, Ronan
McGuinness. Tommy McCullen (0-1), Simon Deevey.
Subs: Kevin Devine, Jack Tunney (0-1), Kenneth Rothwell, Emmet Smith. Tommy
McCullen for Byrne (Black Card)
Raheen: James Boland, Brian Corcoran, Liam Boland, James Lalor,
Brian Crombie, Mick McManamon, Chris Floody, Padraig Bracken, Declan Byrne, Ben
Ridgeway 0-1, Brian Kehoe, John Crombie 0-1, Paddy Rigney 0-2, Danny McEvoy
0-1, Richie Reynolds 0-3.
Subs: Dylan Hyland 0-2, Niall Dempsey, Mikey Keogh for Byrne (Black Card)