Ballyboughal have to do it again after thrilling tie
Emo 2-17 B'boughal 3-14
Ballyboughal's Leinster odyssey saw them involved in a terrific five-goal thriller with Laois champions Emo, with only a late Paul Lawlor free denying the north County Dublin outfit their first-ever win in the province.
Lawlor struck deep into the second period of extra time with a free out of the hands to take this first-round tie to a second game, with confirmation yesterday (Monday) that it will go ahead this coming Saturday at 2pm in Ballyboughal.
And while Lawlor's injury time strike will prolong Ballyboughal's season by another few weeks - they still have to play Naomh Barrog in their Division 3 Final - there is no doubt that they can't get enough games at the moment.
Ballyboughal went into this game without their big inside forward Martens Provitaz, while a late red card for Ben Callinan, who is having a fine season in the green and white deprived them of more quality up front.
Certainly, they will have been thankful to get out of the Laois venue with a draw, given that they also had influential centre forward John Rogers black-carded just before the break. To get a result out of the game, having finished without three of their normal starting six forwards, was certainly a big achievement for Ballyboughal who will go into this week's replay with some degree of confidence.
Emo made the early running, with a Lawlor penalty seeing them into a 1-2 to 0-1 lead.
Ballyboughal at this stage had been pulled up on three separate occasions for over-carrying, and while this halted their momentum somewhat they nonetheless persisted, with Ciaran Wynne finally opening their account off a free.
And the decision to move Ritchie Downey would reap handsome dividends for the visitors, with the former Dublin Under-21 finding the back of the net mid-way through the first half.
The action continued to gather pace, with Finbar Crowley responding at the other end for Emo with a well-taken goal, but Downey rattled the back of the net for a second time on 25 minutes to leave the visitors 2-6 to 2-5 up at the interval.
Emo got the second half off to a roaring start with four points, which included a brace from their top scorer Darren Strong. However, Ballyboughal would then draw level when an attempted point by Callinan dropped into the net.
And with Gerry Seaver starting to come into the game more, Ballyboughal then moved three clear, only for the home side to go on another scoring spree to move in front with eight minutes go.
However, with Niall McElligott doing a fine man-marking job on Lawlor, Emo were held scoreless for the rest of normal time, with a Seaver free forcing extra time - 2-13 to 3-10 at that stage.
Both teams then traded two points apiece to leave the sides all square heading into the final period.
Strong registered his eighth point of the game, only for Seaver to hit two on the trot for the visitors.
Callinan picked up a straight red late on in the second period and Ballyboughal were then penalised for over-carrying - although they felt they should have had a free out before that - which allowed Lawlor to send over the equalising score.
Emo: David Whelan; Paddy Dunne, James O'Rourke, Brian Gorman; Padraig Kirwan, Shane Murphy, Liam Crowley; Niall Wheeler 0-1, Darren Strong 0-8 (0-1f, 0-1 45); Cian Langford, Finbar Crowley 1-0, Nigel Murphy 0-1; David Gorman 0-1, Paul Lawlor 1-4(1-0 pen, 0-3f) , Evan Costello 0-2(0-2f). Subs: Mark Carney for Kirwan (31min), Dylan Lalor for Langford (44), Brian Galvin for B Gorman (54), Ian Fennelly for Wheeler (76).
Ballyboughal: David Downey; Ciaran McGinley, Niall McGelligot, Keith Lynch; Tony Rooney 0-1, Cormac Flynn 0-1, Jonathan Rooney 0-1; Richie Downey 2-0, Cathal Flynn; Ciaran Wynne 0-3(0-2f), John Rogers, Greg Rooney; Jack Ryan, Gerry Seaver 0-8(0-4f), Ben Callinan 1-0. Subs: Jamie Flynn for Rogers (30min, BC), Matthew Farrell for Ryan (52).
Referee: Chris Dwyer (Offaly)