Ballinlough started the contest the brightest, opening up a three point advantage in the first 10 minutes. Cian Mallen got the visitors off the mark, with an expertly finished score. Peadar Byrne extended the Lough’s lead before Tommy McCullen split the posts after great work by Ronan McGuinness.
Crosby scored the hosts first point with a finely taken free. This seemed to breathe life into Walterstown, as they scored a succession of points, with Crosby and Paul Donnellan particularly impressive in attack.
Ballinlough’s young half forward, Johnny Reilly, curled over a beautiful point before the break, to leave his side trailing by 0-05 to 0-04 at the change of ends.
The second half proved to be an even tighter fought affair, as the game continued to balance on a knife edge. Scores from Byrne, Cian Mallen and Ken Rothwell edged the ‘Lough ahead early on in the half, but Crosby was keeping Walterstown in touch with his reliable free taking.
With the clock ticking away, a scuffle broke out which resulted in both sides being reduced to fourteen men.
Once proceedings were resumed, Byrne converted a difficult free to tie the sides level at nine points a piece, with only seconds remaining. Just as the match seemed destined to end in a stale mate, the home side launched one final attack which resulted in a free kick directly in front of the Ballinlough goal posts. Crosby stepped up, and tapped the free over to win it at the death for the hosts.
Best for Ballinlough on the day were Robbie Farrell, Niall Farrelly and Peadar Byrne.
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith, M. Geraghty, R. Farrell, J. Baugh, N. Farrelly, R. McGuinness, P. Byrne, T. McCullen, J. Reilly, K. Devine, S. Geraghty, K. Mallen, Cian Mallen, Colm Mallen. Subs: K. Rothwell for J. Reilly, E. Smith for J. Baugh, J. O’Reilly for S. Geraghty, J. O’Higgins for Colm Mallen, L. Gibney for K. Mallen