A late scoring burst from St. Colmcille’s seen them come away with a hard earned win in Ballinlough on Sunday afternoon.
Ballinlough………………………1-6 St. Colmcilles…………………..1-9
Ballinlough played with the aid of a gale force wind in the second half and when they drew level five minutes after the break all the signs were that they would canter to an easy victory, but a succession of bad misses kept St. Colmcilles in contention and then they pounced late on to earn a well deserved victory.
Ballinlough’s Ken Rothwell got the first score of the game after St. Colmcilles struggled to utilise the strong breeze and were guilty of some wayward shooting in the early exchanges. The Ballinlough defence; led by Padraig Muldoon and Robbie Farrell who were outstanding, looked in control early on but they lost possession close to their own goals after 10 minutes and Anthony O’ Grady took advantage to finish the ball past Keith Mc Guinness. The goal gave St. Colmcilles the confidence to take on the Ballinlough defence, they set about running at their opponents and winning frees closer to goal rather that shooting from distance, their next three scores all came from frees with Damian O’ Brien (2) and Jack Reynolds on target and then the impressive Reynolds kicked a good point from play as they went ahead; 1-4 to 0-1, after 19 minutes.
Ballinlough struggled to get good possession into their forwards as the wind played havoc with much of their kick passing but slowly they got to grips with the elements and Ken Rothwell did find some space to kick a good score and narrow the gap in the 27th minute and they could have been even closer had they taken a couple of good chances before half-time, however they had to settle for a five point deficit as they went in trailing; 1-4 to 0-2, as the change of ends.
It didn’t look so good for St. Colmcilles when The North Meath outfit started full of purpose with points from Benji Smith and Rothwell (2) to narrow the margin to a two points; 1-4 to 0-5, in the 33rd minute. Jack Reynolds gave the St. Colmcille’s some breathing space when he kicked a placed ball over from 25 meters but the home team were now in total control and things got worse for St. Colmcilles when Benji Smith collected a Rothwell flick and finished to the net after 36 minutes. At 1-5 apiece and playing with the elements at their back Ballinlough must have felt it was only a matter of how much they would win by and they had their opponents pinned in their own half for most of the remaining 24 minutes.
But it was a classic case of ‘making your own luck’ and while Ballinlough wasted chances St. Colmcilles dug deep to keep themselves in contention and only trailed by a Ken Rothwell point with time running out. Jack Reynolds glided over a brilliant equaliser in the last minute and the visiting side sensed their opponents were wilting as they finished in style converting three scores in quick succession from; Damian Beakey, Eoin O’ Brien and John Mc Kenna to earn a morale boosting victory.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, R. Farrell, P. Muldoon, E. Smith, B. Smith (1-1), R. Mc Guinness, T. Mc Cullen (0-1), M. Mc Cullen, J. Reilly, S. Geraghty (0-1), G. Reilly, J. O’ Higgins, K. Rothwell (0-5, 4f), N. Farrelly. Subs: S. Deevy for J. Reilly, S. Fagan for J. O’ Higgins and J. Reilly for R. Mc Guinness (BS).