A five star show from Caolach Halligan was the difference between these two teams in this round 4 hoganstand.com Meath senior football championship clash in wet and windy conditions at Pairc Tailteann.
Rathkenny 1-13 Ballinlough 1-8
James O'Higgins got the scoreboard working with a pointed free for the North Meath side. Rathkenny hit back with a brace from Halligan and one from Thomas Martin. Halligan scored his 4th and 5th points in between fine scores from the Lough's Colm Mallon (2) and Derek Muldoon to leave a point 0-5 to 0-4 between the teams after 20 minutes.
Halligan was on hand to find the Ballinlough net soon after but Ballinlough replied immediately with a goal of their own. Good work by Mark McCullen allowed Ronan McGuinness to puch to ball to the Rathkenny to bring the gap back down to a point.
Muldoon tied up the game with his second score before Jack Gore and O'Higgins traded points and a fine effort from Andrew Crosbie gave Rathkenny a one interval lead 1-7 to 1-6.
With ten minutes gone in the second half Ballinlough went ahead with points from Mallen and O'Higgins but they proved to be their last scores of the game as Rathkenny went on to dominate the closing quarter.
Meath senior captain Donal Keogan went up field to score a fine point to level matters. Brain Meade, who at this stage was dominating the middle sector, lit up the game with two magnificent efforts. Thomas Martin chipped over a free and Man of the Match Caolach Halligan closed out the scoring with his 5th point.
Rathkenny take on Skryne in their final round while Ballinlough face the prospect of a relegation play off.
Rathkenny scorers: Caolach Halligan 1-5, Thomas Martin and Brian Meade 0-2 each, Jack Gore Andrew Crosbie, Brian Lenehan and Donal Keogan 0-1 each.
Ballinlough scorers: James O'Higgins and Colm Mallon 0-3 each. Ronan McGuinness 1-0, Derek Muldoon 0-2.
Referee David Gough