SYDDAN had to be content with a preliminary quarter final spot after Damien Carroll converted a free deep in added time to give Ballinabrackey a share of the spoils in the IFC at Athboy.
It was cruel luck on Syddan who were never headed after Daire Rowe converted a sixth minute penalty award for a foul on Ian Curran by keeper Alan Dalton. Syddan went seven points clear at one stage in the second half before being eventually reeled in by their fast-finishing opponents.
The action was fast and furious throughout a thrilling encounter with both teams enjoyiong periods of dominance.
That Rowe goal came in response to early points from Carroll (free), and Andrew Munnelly.
Carroll notched five points for his side in that opening half, including four from frees, but at the break it was Syddan who enjoyed a 2-6 to 0-6 cushion.
The sides were level on two separate occasions before three successive points from Rowe left Syddan leading 1-5 to 0-5. The north Meath side got a further boost before the end of the half when midfielder Sean Clare burst through and blasted to the net from close range.
Ian Curran's third point of the game increased the lead on the restart but Syddan only scored two further points after that and failed to register in the final 15 minutes.
An Andrew Munnelly goal cut the deficit, 2-7 to 1-7, by the 38th minute and boosted by that score Ballinabrackey took a stranglehold despite conceding the next two points.
They hit five unanswered points in the final quarter, with Carroll's equaliser taking his personal tally to eight.
SYDDAN - Ciaran Farrelly; Kevin Garland, Cormac Rowe, Ronan Mooney; Kevin Traynor, Sean Malone, Mark Fedigan; Sean Clare 1-0, Stephen Dillon; Graham Garland, Daire Rowe 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Andrew Garland; L Halpenny, Paddy Farrelly 0-1, Ian Curran 0-4 (3f). Subs - Gary Farrelly for Mooney, Peter Sheehy for Malone, Michael Fedigan for G Garland, Robbie Farrelly for Dillon.
BALLINABRACKEY - Alan Dalton; Stephen Donoghue, Michael Kearney, Kevin Darby; Nicky Judge, Ray Kearney 0-1, Aidan Flynn; Chris O'Connor, Pat Loftus; Seamus Curry, Danny Quinn 0-1, Trevor Bannon; Andrew Munnelly 1-2, Damien Carroll 0-8 (7f), Vinny Mooney. Sub - Aaron Kennedy for Mooney.
REF - Donal Smyth (O'Mahonys)