Peader Byrne's stoppage time free saw 14-man Ballinlough overcome Oldcastle in the first Meade Potato Company IFC semi-final at Pairc Tailteann on Saturday evening.
Ballinlough ............ 1-10
Oldcastle .............. 1-9
The former county senior finished with half-a-dozen points to his name, but his match-winner topped the lot, coming from a free out on the right wing on the stand side of the pitch.
It was not an easy kick for a right-footed kicker, but Byrne nailed it. Ballinlough saw out the remaining two minutes to deservedly advance.
Four points off the pace after 52 minutes, the 'Lough closed out with five unanswered points.
It was a second successive IFC semi-final defeat for Oldcastle. The manner in which it occurred must compound the disappointment.
The way Brian Donohoe's men responded to the 34th red-carding of Ronan McGuinness is to their credit. Ballinlough led by 1-5 to 0-5 when the dismissal occured.
Boosted by numerical superiority Oldcastle outscored their neighbours by 1-4 to 0-0 over the next 16 minutes and looked set for seal a final spot.
However, with Byrne leading the way in terms of scores and example, Ballinlough chippped away at the deficit and prevailed.
Oldcastle will rue six second-half wides while a series of last quarter efforts were gathered by Ballinlough 'keeper Dereck Muldoon.
On an overcast evening with a slight breeze, both teams struggled early on to raise their game. However, the closeness of the final quarter had the partisan crowd engrossed
Johnny Reilly's 12th minute goal gave Ballinlough an early lead. In the 26th minute Jason Scully made 0-4 to 1-0 to Oldcastle.
The scores were tied once in that first-half. Points from Tommy McCullen and Sean Geraghty left the team in red-and-while 1-4 to 0-5 ahead at the break.
After the break Ballinlough responded to being numerically reduced with a pointed Byrne free. Oldcastle levelled matters in the 38th minute with a fine Jason Scully goal.
What followed proved to be a false dawn for Oldcastle as their neigbours in red showed the character required to prevail
Ballinlough - Derek Muldoon; Robbie Farrell, Podge Muldoon, Matty Farrell; Emmet Smith, Michael Geraghty (c), Johnny Reilly (1-0); Lorcan Maguire, Tommy McCullen (0-1); Sean Geraghty (0-1), Ronan McGuinness (0-1), Mark McCullen; Benji Smith, Simon Deevy, Peader Byrne (0-6, 4fs). Subs - James Baugh for Farrell (10), Gary Reilly (0-1) for Baugh (53).
Oldcastle - Conor McHugh; Keith Connell (0-2), Cian McPartland, Oran O'Reilly; Darren Hawdon, Gerard Reidy, Jason Scully (1-1); Ross Cadden, Rory McHugh; Robert Smith, Patrick Rahill, Steven Lawless (0-1); Paddy Gilsenan, Peter Monaghan, Robert Farrelly (0-3 fs). Subs - Eoin Gilsenan for McHugh (45), Stephen Tierney (0-2) for Monaghan (45), Patrick Kevin for Hawdon (50).
Referee - Martin Griffin (Simonstown)