St. Michaels proved to be too strong for Ballinlough in this Division 2 encounter played in sunny conditions in Carlanstown on Sunday morning.
St. Michaels...............0-16 Ballinlough.................0-11
The visitors got off to the perfect start when Kevin Devine opened the scoring in the first minute after great work by Cian Mallen. Mallen quickly doubled the ‘Loughs lead opting to fist the ball over rather than trying to beat the keeper.
St. Michaels soon found their footing though, and scored four consecutive points, two each for corner forwards Ronan Lynch and Ben Farrell. Devine split the posts again in the tenth minute to bring the sides within a point of each other, but this proved to be Ballinlough’s last score of the half.
The home side’s powerful full forward line were causing huge problems at the back for Ballinlough, and David Lynch was finding more space around the middle of the park, as St. Michaels went on to add a further six points before the break, to leave the score at 0-10 to 0-03 at half time.
The second half started in a similar fashion, as Kevin Cassidy scored a great individual point for the home side, finishing from a tight angle after a blistering run from midfield.
Ballinlough finally got back on the scoresheet thanks to a fine finish from Johnny Reilly, who had been switched from corner back to corner forward. Simultaneously, St. Michaels were reduced to fourteen men after Sam Briody picked up two yellows in the opening minutes of the second half. This seemed to increase the possibility of a comeback from the ‘Lough, but two points from Cassidy made this task even tougher.
The advantage of the extra man could soon be seen though, as Ballinlough gained more possession. Devine kicked a succession of impressive frees, as well as scores from Tommy McCullen and Johnny Reilly. However, overall the visitors shooting let them down, and they were left to rue a number of wides and wasted opportunities, as St. Michaels ran out five point winners.
Best for Ballinlough on the day were Devine, Johnny Reilly, Michael Geraghty and Benji Smith.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, R. Farrell, P. Muldoon, J. Reilly (0-02), M. Geraghty, M. McCullen, J. Baugh, T. McCullen (0-01), D. Muldoon, E. Smith, K. Devine (0-07), J. O’Reilly, N. Farrelly, Cian Mallen (0-01), B. Smith. Subs: K. Rothwell for E. Smith.