After a slow start Ballinlough hit form midway through the second half of their third round intermediate championship match against St. Colmcilles as they ran out thirteen point winners in Rathkenny on Saturday evening.
Ballinlough………………………..2-15 St. Colmcilles……………………..0-8
The win leaves Ballinlough sitting comfortably in second place in Group C of the intermediate championship and bar annihilation at the hands of Trim next weekend they are guaranteed a place in the quarter final of the championship, should they beat the town team next Saturday they will go straight into the semi-final as group winners.
Despite a lackluster start from Ballinlough the win will give them plenty of hope for the latter stages of the championship; 2 goals and 15 points represented their highest score since they returned to the intermediate ranks in 2008 and it must also be noted that they hit 2-9 in the second half when they moved the ball with real pace and purpose despite playing into a stiff breeze.
St. Colmcilles played with a seventh defender in the first half as Ballinlough struggled to utilise the wind advantage and they were only one point ahead; 0-4 to 0-3, after 25 minutes when St. Colmcilles were reduced to 14 men after Eoin O’ Brien received his second yellow card for a tackle on Peadar Byrne. The dismissal had a major impact on the game as St. Colmcilles struggled to cope against the extra man as their opponents carried the ball at pace; Peadar Byrne with his fourth point of the half and Ronan Mc Guinness gave Ballinlough a 0-6 to 0-3 lead at the break.
The teams traded points early in the second half as Ballinlough led 0-8 to 0-5 after 40 minutes but then the North Meath outfit hit a scoring spree that showed their potential; Kevin Mallen gathered possession after a long delivery and made some space before unleashing a powerful shot to the top of the net. The goal was the catalyst for some great attacking play and Gary Reilly, Ronan Mc Guinness (2), Benji Smith, Cian Mallen and Peadar Byrne were all on target as they pulled clear; 1-14 to 0-7 after 55 minutes. The game was over as a contest but importantly there was still time for ‘The Lough’ to improve their score difference and Ken Rothwell rattled the net late on after he finished off a good move that involved Simon Deevy and Mark Mc Cullen.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith (0-1), P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, M. Geraghty, K. Devine, Colm Mallen, Cian Mallen (0-1) P. Byrne (0-7, 1’45, 4f), G. Reilly (0-1), R. Mc Guinness (0-3), T. Mc Cullen (0-1), K. Mallen (1-0), M. Mc Cullen (0-1), S. Deevy. Subs: K. Rothwell (1-0) for Cian Mallen, J. O’ Higgins for R. Mc Guinness, Junior O’ Reilly for Reilly, Jonnie Reilly for Kevin Mallen and James Baugh for Geraghty.