Ballinhassig Capitalise on Carrigaline Capitulation
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Ballinhassig are through to the semi-finals of the Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship (PIHC), following their dismantling of Carrigaline this evening in Minane Bridge.
Goals from Conor Desmond, Fintan O'Leary and Cillian Tyres all arrived in a devastating spell during the final 10 minutes of the game, as Carrigaline threw away a five-point lead, which they held until the 45th minute. The result means that 'The Blues' will face Castlelyons in the semi-finals, while nearby neighbours Courcey Rovers and Valley Rovers will meet in the other half of the draw.
Carrigaline will be thoroughly disappointed with the result given how they controlled the game until the final quarter. It took them just five seconds to register their first point of the game and go into an early lead, after Éanna Desmond pointed immediately from the throw-in. Both teams traded points in the opening stages, with Conor Desmond and Denis McBarron both grabbing fine scores for Ballinhassig and Carrigaline respectively.
With 25 minutes gone, Carrigaline kicked into a two-point ascendancy, with McBarron and Desmond combining well to give the former his second score of the day. This was followed by the first goal of the contest, which was provided by Dave McCarthy, who managed to scramble the ball home and past Cork senior goalkeeper, Patrick Collins, following some chaos inside the square.
A point from Ballinhassig's Michael Sheehan came either side of a Brian Kelleher free, and another fine point from McBarron, leaving the half-time scores at 1-7 to 0-7.
'The Blues' made a couple of changes at the break and while it didn't appear to pay off immediately, both subs would have a very positive impact on the game for their team. The impressive Evan Cullinane scored his third point of the game just after half-time, but a couple of Kelleher frees put Carrigaline five points ahead with about 40 minutes played.
Following the second-half water break, the flow of the game completely changed and Ballinhassig blew away a shell-shocked Carrigaline, who appeared to fold under the pressure. Half-time sub Cillian Tyres began the fightback with a goal in the 51st minute and this was almost immediately followed up by another point from Cullinane, levelling the teams at 1-9 apiece.
Desmond put Ballinhassig ahead with a free, before Fintan O'Leary found the back of the net after 'the Blues' cut through the Carrigaline defense like a knife through butter. Carrigaline were rattled but Rob O'Shea somewhat steadied the ship and stopped the bleed with a point from halfway. However, that was the final time his side would register a score, as Ballinhassig simply bulldozed their way to the finishline.
A goal from Conor Desmond with five minutes to go put Ballinhassig six points up, and by that stage Carrigaline were all but finished. A flurry of scores for 'the Blues' followed, as they put a real gloss on the scoreline. In fact, during the final quarter of the game, Ballinhassig outscored Carrigaline by 3-6 to just 0-1 and ultimately that was the winning and losing of the game.
Ballinhassig now march on with the prospect of a county final almost within their grasp, while Carrigaline will have to pick up the pieces as the inquest begins to find out where it all went wrong.
Scorers for Ballinhassig: C Desmond (1-4, 2 frees); E Cullinane (0-5, 1 sideline cut); F O’Leary (1-1); C Tyres 1-1; M Sheehan, D Donovan and B Lynch (0-1 each)
Scorers for Carrigaline: B Kelleher (0-5 frees); D McCarthy (1-0); D McBarron (0-3); E Desmond and R O’Shea (0-1 each).
BALLINHASSIG: P Collins; P O’Leary, K Maguire, M Desmond; D Donovan, M Collins, S McCarthy; M Sheehan, E Finn; G Collins, D O’Sullivan, C Grainger; E Cullinane, C Desmond, F O’Leary.
Subs: C Tyers for D O’Sullivan (ht), B Lynch for M Sheehan (ht), S O’Neill for E Finn (42), C Reynolds for F O’Leary (54), J O’Callaghan for S McCarthy (61).
CARRIGALINE: M O’Mahony; C Vaughan, S Williamson, D Stack; Kieran Kavanagh, Kevin Kavanagh, R McCarthy; P McBarron, E Desmond; B Kelleher, R O’Shea, S O’Brien; D McCarthy, D Drake, D McBarron.
Subs: F O’Connell for P McBarron (40), W O’Brien for S O’Brien (51), R Kelleher for B Kelleher (53), K Dwane for E Desmond (55), D King for Kev Kavanagh (57).
Carrigdhoun MOTM: Evan Cullinane