Tadhg Brosnan's pointed free in the last action of this hoganstand.com SFC Group A round two fixture at well-appointed Kildalkey earned Blackhall Gaels a win over Ballinlough on Saturday evening.
Blackhall Gaels ........ 2-9
Ballinlough ............... 1-11
The second outing for both teams in the campaign was settled with a considerable degree of composure by Brosnan given that he had missed a free from a more central position moments earlier.
He responded with the penultimate score, also a free from the right-hand-side, in the 60th minute. That levelled matters for the second time after the break. The scores were tied just once in the opening 30 minutes.
Both sides lost their opening games by double-digit margins; Ballinlough to Gaeil Colmcille, Blackhall Gaels to Skryne. Getting something from this fixture could prove invaluable to the victor in their efforts to retain senior status.
Having been seven points, 0-4 to 2-5, off the pace shortly after half-time, Ballinlough with Peader Byrne prominent and assistance from the breeze set about erasing the deficit.
Ballinlough were considerably boosted in the 36th minute when Thomas McCullen's long delivery was forced to the Blackhall net by Colm Mallen.
Ballinlough's revival continued with an excellent Lorcan Maguire point from distance. A Brosnan free briefly broke the Ballinlough momentum. A good Dereck Muldoon point was an apt reply.
Heading into the final quarter, Blackhall Gaels led by 2-7 to 1-7 after Mallen was off target from a free. Unbowed by that setback, Ballinlough responded with four scores on the spin to lead by 1-11 to 2-7 after 54 minutes.
Kevin Devine's fourth pointed free, the last one in that sequencem proved to be Ballinlough's final score. In an exciting finale just two more scores were posted, Brosnan's pair that brought his tally to 1-4.
Both sides passed up scoring chances in that tense finale. Peader Byrne missed the chance to double Ballinlough's lead with a 55th minute free. Moments later came the aforementioned Brosnan miss.
Ballinlough can point to chances wasted in the latter stages while the wide count was 8-1 against Blackhall in the opening half.
Backed by the elements, Blackhall Gaels landed three points in the opening six minutes. Sean Whelan, Stephen Morris and Paul Kelly were the scorers.
Just after the hour entered the second quarter, Ballinlough were on terms thanks to Sean Geraghty and Devine (two frees).
Both sides had goal chances before Paul Kelly netted for Blackhall in the 18th minute. Graham Dillon and Noel O'Hora provided support. Brosnan bagged the second four minutes later having fielded ahead of Ballinlough full-back Michael Geraghty.
Johnny Meyler added a point and the scoreboard read 2-4 to 0-4 with 23 minutes gone. There were no more scores before the break.
Blackhall Gaels - Tommy Dalton; Tommy Murphy, Dan O'Neill, James Kelly; Hugh Smith, Colm McElligott (0-1), Kevin O'Keane; Donncha Tobin, Johnny Meyler (0-1); Stephen Morris (0-1), Sean Whelan (0-1), John Kelly; Paul Kelly (1-1), Tadhg Brosnan (1-4, 0-4 fs), Graham Dillon. Subs - Noel O'Hora for Whelan (11), Dan Carty for Meyler (bc 30), D Healy for Dillon (bc 49) Sean Whelan for Carty (60).
Ballinlough - Lorcan Gibney; Benji Smith, Michael Geraghty, Robert Farrell; Emmet Smith, Lorcan Maguire (0-1), Johnny Reilly; Thomas McCullen, Dereck Muldoon (0-1); Colm Mallen (1-1), Ronan McGuinness (0-1), Sean Geraghty (0-1); James Higgins, Kevin Devine (0-4 fs), Peader Byrne (0-2). Subs - Paudge Muldoon for Reilly (46), Mark McCullen for Higgins (52), Reilly for McGuinness (58), James Baugh for B Smith (bc 60).