Ballinlough conceded home advantage in this Feis Cup match as their pitch was deemed unplayable earlier in the day and it could be argued that the loss of home advantage cost them, as Skyrne did just enough to warrant the win.
Despite being once again short a handful of regulars Ballinlough began brightly and Peader Byrne had 1-2 on the board to Skryne’s solitary point from a Neal Burke free kick in the first ten minutes. On a heavy pitch – difficult for any good football – both sides contributed to an entertaining and closely fought game. Skryne had the advantage of the slight breeze in the first half and fought back to level the scores at half time; 0-5 to 1-2.
Level at the break having played against the breeze Ballinlough should of been able to push on for the win but a malfunction on front of the posts was their undoing, they were on top early in the second half but despite this 15 minutes had elapsed before they registered their next point by which time the Blues had added three of their own. In fact Ballinlough scored only one point from open play for the hour while Skryne managed seven and crucially five points into the wind in the second half.
The blues fielded without their three County players which offered some excuse for a poor first half showing but they regrouped in the second period and finished much stronger than the Reds, who lost influential midfielder Michael Geraghty to injury.
Both sides were guilty of some wayward shooting with Skryne registering 12 wides, Ballinlough had considerably more.
There were some good performances from both sides and it was difficult to single anybody out but special mention must go to both goalkeepers Ian Gillett (Skyrne) and Lorcan Gibney (Ballinlough) who both made two brilliant saves at key stages in the game.
Ballinlough: Lorcan Gibney, James Baugh, Padraig Muldoon, Robbie Farrell, Benji Smith, Lorcan Maguire,Emmet Smith, Micheal Geraghty (James O' Keeffe), Dereck Muldoon, Niall Farrelly (Kevin Devine), Peader Byrne, Mark Mc Cullen, Patrick Briody (Paul Monaghan), Tommy Mc Cullen, Kevin Beirne (Colm Mallen)
Skryne – Ian Gillett. Niall Lenehan, Martin Mulvaney, Mark Jordan. James Looby, Ciaran Lenehan, Stephen O’Brien. Aidan Tuite, Tomás McKeown. Neal Burke (0-4, 3frees), Conor O’Brien (0-2), Bryan Davis (0-1). Paddy Fox (0-2), John Morley (0-1), Jason Fox. Subs: Declan Morley, Niall Morley and Eoghan Greene