Uninformed onlookers may have mistaken this match as a far higher grade as Seneschalstown edged out Ballinlough in a riveting Junior D contest at Cortown on Saturday evening. Both teams produced enough quality football to suggest they may meet at a later stage in the championship.
Superb accuracy and score taking isn’t always a feature of Junior D football but both attacks gave an exhibition of quality finishing in a match that produced 29 scores and some great spells of flowing football.
Ballinlough took an early lead through scores from Michael Reilly, Bryan Smith and Christopher Gaughran; but there good work was undone when they conceded a goal in the 15th which propelled Seneschalstown into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead. Boosted by their goal they were the better team for the remainder of the half and despite the good work of Michael Reilly at midfield for Ballinlough his team trailed; 0-6 to 1-7 at half-time.
Ballinlough narrowed the deficit to a goal early in the second half but the concession of a second goal gave their opponents a decisive 2-9 to 0-9 lead, unperturbed ‘The Reds’ knuckled down and played some of their best football with substitute Vincent Ryan, Simon Deevey and James O’ Higgins impressing, a couple of frees from Bryan Smith brought his team back into contention.
Full-forward Christopher Gaughran was also influential during Ballinlough’s best period and he worked tirelessly earning numerous frees and then in the 46th minute he goaled with the type of expertise that would suggest he is capable of playing at a higher level, that score left his team trailing by the minimum; 2-9 to 1-11. Another free from Bryan Smith put the teams on level terms but the concession of a third goal in the 52nd minute was a fatal blow as Seneschalstown went ahead 3-9 to 1-12. A late goal from Gerard Smith brought Ballinlough within a point but time ran as Seneschalstown were the narrowest of winners in a highly enjoyable contest.
Ballinloiugh: S. Gaughran, P. Baugh, J. O’ Keffee, G. Smith (1-0), P. Briody (0-1), S. Deevey, D. Mc Namee, M. Reilly (0-2), J. O’ Reilly, J. O’ Higgins, B. Smith (0-8, 7f), P. Monaghan (0-1), N. Finlay, C. Gaughran (1-1), S. Kane. Subs: V. Ryan for J. O’ Reilly, E. Smith for M. Reilly and M. Mc Grane for Finlay.