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Ballinhassig lay down a Marker with Win over Castlemartyr

Writes Ciaran Dineen


Ballinhassig 1-20

Castlemartyr 1-17


A sharp performance from Ballinhassig was enough to defeat Castlemartyr in their opening match of the Co-Op Superstores Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship in Ballygarvan on Sunday.


The ‘Blues’ were fully deserving of the victory and have laid down a marker for the rest of the division, against a side in Castlemartyr who are beaten finalists from last year’s campaign.


The game got off to a frantic start and the skills of hurling were on full display. With six minutes on the clock there had already been six scores, with Ballinhassig going into an early advantage, leading 0-4 to 0-2. Castlemartyr, who were beaten by Inniscarra in last year’s final, who themselves defeated Ballinhassig in the Semi-Final, had a strong breeze behind them in the opening half, and they found themselves leading 0-7 to 0-6 after 15 minutes.


The Blues, who will be looking once again to make it into the latter stages of the competition, went back into the lead as the clock struck 20, with scores from Adam O’Sullivan and veteran forward Fintan O’Leary putting them a couple of points ahead.



The contest was truly in full flow at this stage and the tables turned quickly in the favour of Castlemartyr when Joe Stack was given the ball with just Patrick Collins to beat in the Blues goal, and he could do nothing to prevent the green flag from being waved, 0-10 to 1-8.


Ballinhassig responded and Fintan O’Leary did incredibly well to make his own goal-scoring chance but Charlie Grainger couldn’t quite finish off a move. O’Leary did however manage to grab a fine point from play minutes later, bringing his side within a point as the half time whistle went.


When the players returned to the field for the second period, one man who didn’t appear was Ciarán Joyce of Castlemartyr, with the Cork star seemingly picking up a hamstring injury. The second half started as a more cagey affair but a couple of frees from Brian Lynch and an excellent point from play by Ger Collins, gave the Blues the advantage, leading 0-16 to 1-12 with 42 minutes gone.



The big moment of the game came with just 10 minutes to go. Pa Collins launched a massive free into the square and after a bit of pin-ball, the sliotar found its way in the path of Fintan O’Leary who kicked the ball into the net, Ballinhassig now leading by four.


Castlemartyr brought it back to two points but the East-Cork side could not find any further breakthrough. Michael Collins scored a monster of a point from just outside is own 45 metre line, while Adam O’Sullivan added to his own tally to give Ballinhassig a big victory over their promotion rivals. Final score 1-20 to 1-17.


Ballinhassig Scorers:

F O’Leary (1-3), B Lynch (0-6, 0-4 frees), D O’Donovan (0-3, all frees), C Desmond, G Collins, and A O’Sullivan (0-2 each), M Collins and C Tyers (0-1 each).

Ballinhassig Team:

P Collins; D O’Sullivan, K Maguire, E Lombard; D O’Donovan, M Collins, S McCarthy, M Sheehan, C Desmond; R Lombard, C Grainger, A O’Sullivan; G Collins, F O’Leary, B Lynch.

Subs:

C Tyers for Sheehan (39), S Lombard for G Collins (53), D O’Sullivan for R Lombard (60).

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