Ballinlough made hard work of this Division 2 A-League match against St. Ultans in Ballinlough on Tuesday evening; it took three late points for them to finally secure their second win of the campaign.
Ballinlough………………………….1-8 St. Ultans……………………………0-7
There was plenty of good scoring chances for both teams in the opening minutes; Ballinlough’s Derek Muldoon hit the crossbar and then moments later his team mate Colm Mallen was adjudged to have been in the square when he finished the ball to the net and there was also a combined total of eight wides between the two teams before Ballinlough finally got the scoreboard ticking.
Colm Mallen was lively early on and he carried possession into the St. Ultan’s square in the 15th only to be hauled down with a goal at his mercy, referee Tom Lorton signaled for a penalty and Cian Mallen expertly finished to the net for the games opening score. St. Ultan’s gradually came more into the game and Gearoid Rennicks got their first score in the 17th minute after Cian Rennicks had made the opening.
Joey Byrne was outstanding at full-back for Ballinlough and he was well supported by Benji Smith as they were solid in defence while playing against the wind in the first half. Points from Derek Muldoon and Colm Mallen pushed ‘The Reds’ further ahead, 1-2 to 0-1, but it was St. Ultans who made the stronger finish to the half outscoring their opponents 0-3 to 0-1 for the remainder. Pointed frees from Ciaran Lynch, Paul Murray and Daryl Mc Loughlin cut the Ballinlough lead to two points; 1-3 to 0-4; at the switch of ends.
Despite playing with the aid of the breeze in the second-half Ballinlough struggled to pull away as St. Ultan’s began to play with renewed confidence and they were in with a every chance of a win when they narrowed the margin to one point; 0-7 to 1-5, after Gearoid Rennicks pointed in the 43rd minute. Kevin Devine gave Ballinlough a little bit of breathing space when he pointed a free and then Derek Muldoon, who was their best attacker, pointed on the run and then made an opening for substitute Seamus Byrne to seal a four point victory for the home side.
Ballinlough will face Syddan in next round of the A-league.
Ballinlough: K. Mc Guinness, B. Smith, J. Byrne, R. Farrell, E. O’ Reilly, L. Maguire (0-1), K. Devine (0-2f), S. Fagan, Cian Mallen (1-0 pen), C. Briody, D. Muldoon (0-2), T. Mc Cullen, J. O’ Higgins (0-1), S. Deevey, Colm Mallen (0-1). Subs: K. Mallen for C. Briody, Junior O’ Reilly for E. O’ Reilly and Seamus Byrne (0-1) for Deevey.