There was no shortage of drama in the IFC today as both Longwood and Ballinlough booked their place in the last four.
With the help of a well-taken first-half goal from Simon Deevey Ballinlough defeated St Michael's 1-13 to 0-13 in their quarter-final tie at Carnaross this evening.
The wind and drizzle made handling conditions very difficult but it was Ballinlough, inspired by the industry and craft of Peadar Byrne and Deevey, who made it through to a last four.
Ballinlough manager Brian Donohoe had his troops well prepared for this encounter that drew a big crowd to Carnaross despite the conditions. Byrne hit six points, all from frees, as Ballinlough built on a 1-6 to 0-8 advantage to win. Ciaran Lynch and Oran Meehan registered eight points between them for St Michael's who struggled to find the momentum needed to overcome their gritty north Meath rivals.
Earlier in the day Longwood took the scenic route defeating Trim 4-17 to 2-15 after extra-time at Summerhill.
Trim were left wondering how they lost this one as they led for long stages of normal time and looked to be home and hosed only to be caught with a late Ryan Moore goal.
With the help of two goals from the highly talented Aaron Lynch Trim looked odds on to win then it all started to go wrong for them starting with Lynch's dismissal on 47 minutes following an off-the-ball incident.. Lynch was brilliant for Trim up to then. Aaron Ennis also found the target for Longwood in normal time but it took that well-executed goal from Moore as the game slipped into injurty time to save the 'Wood. It finished 1-12 apiece at the end of normal time.
In extra time Longwood dominated and two quick-fire goals from Evan Coyle and Karl Ennis put them well in the front where they comfortably stayed to notch up a rare victory over Trim in the championship.
Read further unfolding drama from the two IFC games and quotes in the next issue of the Meath Chronicle.