One of the favourites for outright honours, Ballinlough, left it late to overcome a very well organised Longwood outfit in this round 3 Intermediate Football Championship clash played in perfect conditions at Kildalkey.
Ballinlough 1-9 Longwood 0-10
The 2013 Mattie McDonnell Cup winners were very sluggish in the opening half. Longwood controlled most of the proceedings in the opening 30. A pair of pointed frees from county man Mickey Burke and a fine effort from the impressive Ryan Moore had them 0-3 to 0-0 up after 15 minutes.
Seanie Geraghty finally got Ballinlough on the scoreboard but Moore replied with three more points to push Longwood five ahead. Peadar Byrne narrowed the gap with the last score of the half from a free.
With ten minutes gone in the second half Longwood looked set for victory. Fine efforts from Sean Coloe and Moore opened up a six point gap 0-8 to 0-2.
The introduction of Micheal Geraghty to the Ballinlough midfield area and the score of the match from half back James Baugh ignited the Reds revival. Mickey Burke steadied Longwood with his third point.
But Ballinlough were beginning to dominate. Lorcan Maguire and Byrne (2) had the lead down to three before the games only goal arrived. Good work along the end line by former county man Byrne set up Seanie Geraghty who calmly finished to the Longwood net.
At this stage both teams would have gladly settled for a draw but Longwood went in front courtesy of Moore after a rare attack. That was to prove their last score. Ballinlough pushed on in the final minutes and were rewarded with points from Ronan McGuinness, Micheal Geraghty and Byrne to put the issue beyond doubt.
Next up for the winners is Trim while Longwood are still looking for a win as they play St. Michaels.
Ballinlough scorers: Seanie Geraghty 1-1, Peadar Byrne 0-4, Micheal Geraghty, James Baugh, Lorcan Maguire and Ronan McGuinness 0-1 each.
Longwood scorers: Ryan Moore 0-6, Mickey Burke 0-3, Sean Coloe 0-1
Ballinlough: Lorcan Gibney, Robbie Farrell, Emmet Smith, Benji Smith, James Baugh, Lorcan Maguire, Padraig Muldoon, Gary Reilly, Tommy McCullen, Junior Reilly, Seanie Geraghty, Jack Tunney, Mark McCullen, Peadar Byrne, Ronan McGuinness. Subs: Micheal Geraghty, Simon Deevey.