Ballinlough got a Kevin Devine injury time point to ensure a share of the spoils in this high scoring, entertaining A league Division 2 clash played in Ballinlough last Wednesday evening.
The visitors got off to a great start when a well worked moved ended with Ivan Lenehan blasting to the net for a second minute goal. The hosts replied with a Benji Smith major of their own six minutes later to restore parity. Colin Curtis got on the end of another slick move to bury to the net and with nine minutes gone it was 2-0 to 1-0. Ballinlough sent over the next two scores before Curtis sent over a free. Ballinlough then hit three points through Conor Briody and Kevin Mallen (2) in a row before Curtis sent over another point for the visitors to leave it all square on the twenty minute mark. Owen Elliott put Rathkenny back in front before the hosts sent over two points in a row to go back in front. Brian Meade equalised for Rathkenny before Ballinlough pointed to lead by one at the interval, 1-8 to 2-4.
The hosts hit a purple patch on the resumption and when Cian Mallen dispatched a 37th minute penalty they lead by seven points having popped over three points in the opening five minutes. Substitute John Donegan and Murt Donnelly replied for Rathkenny to reduce the gap to five at the three quarter stage. Ballinlough extended the gap back to seven with two quick points with ten minutes remaining. Donal Keogan started the fightback with a nice point. Murt Donnelly then lost his marker and slotted to the net to reduce the gap to three with eight minutes remaining. Rathkenny attacked constantly for the next five minutes and scores from Ross Gore, John Donegan and Donnelly levelled matters with three minutes remaining. Donnelly then kicked over a free for Rathkenny to lead once more as the game entered injury time.
In the last attack of the game Peadar Byrne gathered possession in midfield and drove forward, his path to goal was cut short with a strong challenge and a 35 meter free was awarded, the decision was contested by some of the Rathkenny players and the referee brought the ball forward for Kevin Devine to tap over and rescue Ballinlough at the death.
Rathkenny - J. Martin; R. Gore (0-1), J. Macken, J, Gore; D. Donegan, D. Keogan (0-1), M. Macken; B. Meade (0-1), D. Smith; O. Elliott (0-1), I. Lenehan (1-0), D. Barron; M. Donnelly (1-3), T. Martin, C. Curtis (1-2). Subs - J. Donegan (0-2) for Barron, R. Timmons for Curtis, B. Carolan for J. DoneganAll square in Ballinlough
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith (1-0), P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, K. Devine (0-2f), Junior O' Reilly, Colm Mallen (0-2, 1f), T. Mc Cullen, Cian Mallen (1-1), C. Briody (0-2), S. Deevey, Peadar Byrne (0-1), R. Mc Guinness (0-1), K. Mallen (0-2), K. Rothwell (0-2). Subs: S. Geraghty (0-1) for Cian Mallen, S. Byrne for Briody and J. O' Higgins for Mc Cullen.