Naomh Mearnog in action in last week’s match against Ballinteer St John’s

A SECOND-half Ballinteer St John’s blitz saw the Marlay Park hosts boost their promotion hopes, meaning Naomh Mearnog’s winless season continues in AHL Division 2.

Seven consecutive points early from the 36th to 52nd minute saw Ballinteer blow apart a strong Mearnog’s first half effort despite the best efforts of free-taker Aidan Kenny.

He ended with 0-9 but once his opportunities were limited by Keith Nolan’s superb performance at centre-back and Frank O’Donoghue in the full-back line and the players further up the field began to make hay.

It transformed a tight tie that was locked at 1-9 a piece prior to that rush of points which at times threatened to boil over.

But Ballinteer kept their cool and ran up some delightful scores from the likes of Gilligan brothers James and Jack and the Clabby boys Aodan and Fionan.

They had made a decent start with Fearghal Duffy and Sean Lane clipping over nice scores. But the visitors replied with a fortunate goal as Gary Deloughrey’s long range effort was missed by two sticks in front of Louis O’Flaherty and, unsighted, he fumbled the dropping ball over the line.

Cillian O’Driscoll should have added a second goal when he was put clean through but O’Flaherty atoned with a brilliant full length save. He did likewise from Kenny’s one-handed effort as Naomh Mearnog created a number of goal opportunities going down the hill.

They also forced a number of frees with Kenny adding five before the interval but Ballinteer went back in front when Duffy fired home an excellent goal, wriggling away from his marker and firing home from a narrow angle.

In conjunction with a trio of James Gilligan points, it edged them 1-7 to 1-6 in front before Aodan Clabby and Kenny traded scores to leave just one in it at half-time.

But the second period was no contest as Ballinteer tightened up on the frees and had the luxury of hitting nine second half wides as they ran riot.