Skryne 0-14 Ballinlough 2-4.
In the second game the Skryne seniors made it a double for the Blues as they ran out winners by 4 points in a game which was never as close as the first match. In fact Skryne won more easily than the score suggests and apart from the concession of two goals were in control of the game from start to finish. As a result of the first goal Skryne went in at half time behind by a point on a score line of Ballinlough 1-3 Skryne 0-5.
The second half proved similar to the first with the last score for Ballinlough being their second goal which put some respectability on the scoreboard from their point of view. Their only other score in this half being a point in answer to Skryne's nine which left four between the sides at the end.
Skryne were short the services of the injured Patrick O'Rourke and played the first half without the influential Harry Rooney but still managed to control the game for most of the hour. The winners had excellent displays in defence from the classy Ciaran Lenehan, and the half back line of the tight marking Ronan McCabe and the attacking Adam O'Sullivan and Mark Jordan (in the first half).
At midfield both Donie Ryan and Aidan Tuite got through a tremendous amount of work and defended well when necessary. In attack Paddy Fox caused panic in the Ballinlough ranks every time he got possession and John Morley and Mark Battersby came into their own in the second half when the introduction of Harry had settled the ship.
Skryne - Ian Gillette. Niall Lenehan, Ciaran Lenehan, Vinny O'Reilly. Ronan McCabe, Mark Jordan, Adam O'Sullivan (0-2). Aidan Tuite, Donie Ryan. Thomas McKeown, Conor O,Brien (0-1), Paddy Fox (0-1). John Morley (0-1), Brian Davis (0-3), Mark Battersby (0-5). Subs. Harry Rooney and Stephen O'Brien (0-1).
Skryne point way to hat-trick of championship wins
Skryne showed their ability to pick off scores and defeat a tenacious Ballinlough side by 0-14 to 2-4 in the SFC at Kells on Sunday evening.
The 'Lough dominated the opening half, but were left to rue missed chances, as they let several good scoring opportunities go to waste.
Brian Davis opened the scoring for Skryne in the fourth minute, with Kevin Devine drawing things level shortly after with a well struck free kick. The game ebbed and flowed in these opening exchanges with both teams maintaining good possession, but unable to apply the finishing touch.
Wing back Adam O'Sullivan briefly restored Skryne's lead with a fine effort off the outside of the boot, but just minutes later his side fell behind. Ballinlough captain Cian Mallen sent a great cross field ball into the area and Devine was on hand to flick it into the back of the net.
Conor O'Brien and Paddy Fox got the Tara men back into it with good points from play, before Mark Battersby picked up his first score of the afternoon with a confidently struck free.
The Reds finished the half in the ascendency, as Tommy McCullen fired over a brace of points. First he curled over a close range effort after great work by Sean Geraghty and Colm Mallen further out the field. The second was a fisted point after a high ball in from Peadar Byrne. This left his side leading by 1-3 to 0-5 at the change of ends, after having played the better football in the opening period.
Harry Rooney was introduced for the second half, and had a big impact for the eventual winners, ensuring they won the majority of breaking ball around the middle of the field.
Davis and Battersby were also to the fore as the game wore on, picking up a further six points between them in the final twenty minutes of the contest.
Sean Geraghty got Ballinlough's sole point in the second half, splitting the posts after a surging run from Cian Mallen in the middle of the field. A goal from Tommy McCullen in the closing stages turned out to be mere consolation for the North Meath men.
The last, and best, score of the game went to Battersby who curled over a superb effort from an impossibly tight angle to seal a four point victory for his side.
Tom Shine's side never stopped working but they were unable to garner enough points despite a very good opening half. Ballinlough have now one win from three games, while Skryne sit atop the group with three wins..
Ballinlough: K. McGuinness, B. Smith, M. Geraghty, R. Farrell, P. Muldoon, L. Maguire, E. Smith, Cian Mallen, Colm Mallen, S. Geraghty (0-1), R. McGuinness, P. Byrne, T. McCullen (1-2), Johnny Reilly, K. Devine (1-1). Subs: Junior O'Reilly for R. McGuinness, J. Tunney for K. Devine, K. Beirne for E. Smith.
Skryne: I. Gillette. N. Lenehan, C. Lenehan, V. O'Reilly. R. McCabe, M. Jordan, A. O'Sullivan (0-2). A. Tuite, D. Ryan. T. McKeown, C. O'Brien (0-1), P. Fox (0-1). J. Morley (0-1), B. Davis (0-3), M. Battersby (0-5). Subs. H. Rooney and S. O'Brien (0-1).