A spirited Ballinlough performance in difficult conditions seen the hosts take the points and set-up a showdown with Oldcastle to decide who will be promoted from Division 2 and go on to contest the league final against Castletown.
Considering that Ballinlough were without a number of players due to their extra-time heartache in the Division 6 B-League final the previous evening a home win was an unlikely outcome. However as is often the case on a wet and cold Sunday morning attitude and determination were the decisive factors.
Two of the Ballinlough players; Seamus Byrne and Mark Mc Cullen, had played 80 minutes of football the night before and although Byrne might be over twice the age of his team mate he showed the same appetite and enthusiasm as they both played an integral part in an important victory.
‘The Reds’ were quickly out of the blocks and established an early 0-3 to 0-1 lead but a goal from Shane Barry put Simonstown ahead for the first time midway through the half. Ballinlough settled again and two points from Peadar Byrne left them well in contention; 0-5 to 1-4 at the break.
A Simonstown victory was still the likely outcome as the second half commenced but Ballinlough found another gear which the visitors struggled to match. The home team was inspired by Peadar Byrne and Thomas Mc Cullen, who held the upper hand in his battle against Shane O’ Rourke, pushed clear with points from Ken Rothwell, Peadar Byrne (2) and Sean Geraghty. The only Simonstown score of the second half came from a Wayne Mc Carthy ’45 as Ballinlough ran out two point winners.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, R. Mc Guinness, M. Mc Cullen, Colm Mallen, T. Mc Cullen, Cian Mallen, K. Mallen, L. Maguire (0-1f), S. Geraghty (0-2), P. Byrne (0-4), S. Byrne (0-1), K. Rothwell (0-2)