A closely fought draw between Ballinlough and Trim in Bohermeen on Sunday afternoon, means that progress for either side to the knock out stages of the Intermediate Championship won’t be finalised until the final round of games is played in two weeks time.
A stiff breeze throughout this contest prevented both teams from playing to their full ability. It was Trim that opened the scoring in the third minute, after converting a close range free kick. The ‘Lough responded in the seventh minute when Peadar Byrne split the posts with an impressive free of his own.
Trim had restored their lead soon after, only for Byrne to equalise again with a fine finish after good work from Jonathan O’Reilly and Tommy McCullen.
Trim got their noses in front again in the twelfth minute, with their first score from play, and were unlucky soon after to see a goal chance come back off the crossbar. Momentum seemed to swing towards the ‘Reds after this miss, and a further brace from Byrne saw them edge back in front. The first a well struck 45, and the second from play after an expert assist from Ronan McGuinness.
Trim tagged on further frees late on in the half, but on the whole, struggled to break down a determined Ballinlough defence anchored by the ever-present Padraig Muldoon at full back. Byrne converted a further two frees before the change of ends to leave his side leading by 0-7 to 0-5.
Trim, with the aid of the breeze in the second half, opened the scoring for the period to reduce the deficit to the bare minimum again. Mark McCullen then announced his return from injury with a powerful score against the wind, after good work by industrious corner forward Sean Geraghty.
Ronan McGuinness finished off another good move soon after, that started with a majestic pass from Colm Mallen, who has taken no time to adapt to his adopted position of centre-back.
Throughout this period, Trim were wasteful with their chances, notching up a number of wides, and not taking full advantage of the wind at their back.
With ten minutes remaining Kevin Devine knocked over a close range free, after Benji Smith had been fouled at the end of one of his marauding runs forward, to leave his side ahead by 0-10 to 0-8. Ballinlough couldn’t control the game for the closing minutes however, and allowed Trim draw level once again. Byrne saw a free kick go agonisingly close to winning it for the ‘Lough at the end, but the wind brought it inches wide. The referee blew the whistle to leave both teams unsure of their destinies going into the last round of matches.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith, P. Muldoon, R. Farrell, Johnny Reilly, Colm Mallen, Jonathan O’Reilly, P.Byrne (0-7), D. Muldoon, Cian Mallen, R. McGuinness (0-1), M. McCullen (0-1), S. Geraghty, T. McCullen, K. Devine (0-1).