The old cliché of ‘a good start is half the battle’ would be a suitable way to describe Ballinlough’s performance in this Division 2 A-League match in Carlanstown on Thursday evening as they set up the win with an impressive first-half performance.
Ballinlough…………………2-16 St. Michaels……….……...1-14
This match marked a timely return to winning ways for Ballinlough in the A-League, ending a turbulent three match losing streak which finished their promotion aspirations after a promising start to their campaign.
Ballinlough raced out of the blocks and took control of the game with Cian Mallen and Tommy Mc Cullen dominating at midfield. Ronan Mc Guinness pulled the strings at centre half forward as their forward line made good use of possession; Ken Rothwell and Kevin Mallen got first-half goals as the St. Michael’s defence struggled to contain their opposition. Mc Guinness, Mallen, Mc Cullen, Gary Reilly were also on target as ‘The Lough’ eased ahead, 2-10 to 0-4, at half-time.
However St. Michaels improved considerably in the second-half, a significant improvement in performance coupled with a lackluster approach from Ballinlough almost seen the home team overturn the 12 point half-time deficit. Felim Reilly became more involved at midfield and then a penalty from Daithi Regan gave them renewed hope as they cut the lead down to three points and indeed but for a good save by Keith Mc Guinness, in the Ballinlough goals, they might well have salvaged something from the game.
Ballinlough awoke from their slumber just in the nick of time as they tagged on a couple of late points to secure the win and move them to the upper half of the Division 2 league table.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, R. Farrell, P. Muldoon, E. Smith, M. Geraghty, K. Devine, Colm Mallen, Cian Mallen (0-2), T. Mc Cullen (0-1), S. Deevy, R. Mc Guinness (0-2), G. Reilly (0-2), K. Mallen (1-2), K. Rothwell (1-4) N. Farrelly. Subs: M. Mc Cullen (0-2) for R. Mc Guinness, J. O’ Higgins (0-1) for Smith and J. Baugh for N. Farrelly.