Veteran Performers Michael Reilly and Tom Shine were instrumental once introduced
Seneschalstown opened the scoring when Ronan Conneely pointed after getting on the end of a move started by Steven Dillon. However, Ballinlough found themselves in front after six minutes when Ken Rothwell was brought down in the area and a penalty was awarded. James O’Higgins cooly slotted the ball into the bottom left corner of Shane Corbally's goal. Aled Ingman brought Seneschalstown back to within a point with a free after a foul on Colin Lynch before two points in a row from the North Meath outfit. O’Higgins was responsible for both scores, the first an expertly taken point when he was facing away from the goals. His second was a well converted free, after Simon Deevy had been brought down while bearing down on goal.
Seneschalstown began to dominate around the middle of the field after this and were very dangerous for the remaining ten minutes of the first half. Dillon and Ingman tapped over consecutive scores before Brendan Lynch tied the game up after he carried the ball in from the left hand sideline to fire over the bar. Ingman then kicked his third point of the half and first from play to send Seneschalstown into the lead by one. This score in the twenty ninth minute left the scoreboard reading Seneschalstown 0-06 Ballinlough 1-02.
Having kicked the last four points of the first half Seneschalstown continued to dominate the early part of the second period as Ingman notched his second from play. Colin Lynch extended his sides lead to three when splitting the posts at the end of a move which owed much to the persistence of full forward Meade.
Four minutes later Lynch curled over a fine free into the teeth of the stiff breeze after a trip on Meade. Steven Dillon then grabbed his second of the match with an impressive score to increase his sides lead.
In the forty fourth minute Seneschalstown extended their advantage to six points when Darragh Keogh pointed from an acute angle after reacting quickest when Brendan Lynch's shot for goal came back into play off the butt of the left hand upright. In hindsight though this turned out to be a major turning point as instead of finding themselves eight points in the ascendancy with fifteen minutes remaining they were only six.
Ballinlough, boosted by this reprieve, ended their scoring drought with a forty sixth minute goal. Ken Rothwell smashed the ball into the back of the net after a great run forward by lightning quick wing back Paul Monaghan. Kevin Mallen, who was beginning to grow in influence in the middle of the field, got a point immediately afterwards when capitalising on poor defensive play from Seneschalstown.
Simon Deevy was moved from his full forward position to midfield, and was vital in helping to drive this turnaround for Ballinlough with his impressive ball winning capabilities. In the fifty first minute the ‘Lough found themselves a point to the good after their third, and most impressive, goal. Substitute Tom Shine blasted an effort from range into the top corner, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance
The accurate Ingman tagged on a further two points for Seneschalstown, but these were to be their final scores of the afternoon, as the ‘Lough seemed to find another gear in the closing minutes
A fifty seventh minute goal by Gary Reilly saw them go two points in front. The young midfielder showed great strength to break through a couple of tackles before rounding the keeper and tapping into the back of the net. They then closed out the match with three points in a row, first Kevin Mallen struck an excellent forty five, before he then converted a free kick from similar distance. Gary Reilly then picked up the games final score with a sensibly taken point from play in the dying moments.
Ballinlough will be delighted that their great form across all competitions is continuing, and will hope their winning ways remain for the final against Clann na Gael in two weeks.
Ballinlough: L. Gibney, J. O’Keefe, E. Smith, M. Farrell, P. Monaghan, Junior O’Reilly, S. Smith, G. Reilly (1-1), K. Mallen (0-3), P. Briody, K. Rothwell (1-0), K. Beirne, J. O’Higgins (1-2), S. Deevy, D. Farrelly. Subs: J. Montgomery Francis for S. Smith, T. Shine (1-0) for D. Farrelly, M. Reilly for P. Briody, D. Montgomery Francis for J. O’Higgins.
Seneschalstown: S. Corbally, L. McAuley, M. Keating, J. Muldoon, S. Doyle, S. Dillon, S. Gargan, R. Waters, A. Ingman, B. Lynch, J. Gillic, R. Conneely, C. Lynch, E. Meade, T. Duggan. Subs: D. Keogh for L. McAuley, J. Macken for T. Duggan, M. Gleeson for E. Meade.