CLOYNE and Ballinhassig served up a classic third-round tie in the Cork SHC.
Despite wasted chances at vital stages both sides served up an entertaining joust for close on 85 minutes in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.
The 1-18 to 1-18 contest went to extra-time after a creditable Cloyne recovery. In hindsight the draw was the only thing predictable with the scores level nine times by the midway point in the second period of extra-time.
Both management teams were positive about the outcome, with Cloyne’s Tomás O’Brien acknowledging the importance of skipper Eoin O’Sullivan’s inspirational 61st minute equaliser at the end of normal time.
"You can’t complain when you see hurling like that and nothing between the teams,’’ he said.
Ballinhassig selector Kevin Cullinane felt that while they "probably" missed more scores overall, both sides were happy with the draw.
"It’s a tough situation to be in when you are facing relegation,’’ he said.
Cloyne made the better start, with Conor Cusack’s goal putting them 1-3 to 0-2 ahead but Ballinhassig produced the better team performance. They posed the greater threat up front — with Daniel O’Callaghan’s free-taking crucial — in spite of excellent work from Diarmuid O’Sullivan at centre-back and Killian Cronin.
But neither side dominated and, followed by the first of four points from placed balls by Diarmuid O’Sullivan, two late Ballinhassig scores had the teams level for the third time at the break, 1-5 to 0-8.
The scores were tied three more times in the next nine minutes before the impressive Declan O’Sullivan went through for a Ballinhassig goal in the 51st minute.
Effectively, this put them into a winning position until Cloyne clawed their way back. Sub Colm O’Sullivan put over two vital scores, Paudie O’Sullivan was more involved and Eoin O’Sullivan forced extra time with a magical score to make it 1-15 each.
Ballinhassig regained the lead in extra-time but a 70-yard free from Diarmuid O’Sullivan and a superb line cut from Paudie saw the teams finish the first period level at 1-17 each.
Diarmuid O’Sullivan’s early free had Cloyne ahead before Brendan Holland responded with a well-worked score after four minutes and in the remaining time neither side could get a winner.
Aidan O’Mahony struck in stoppage time to give Inniscarra a 1-12 to 2-8 win over Argideen Rangers in a thrilling do-or-die Premier IHC third round clash.
His side were behind by three points with as many minutes remaining. But, cool heads saw them gain parity and then O’Mahony capped a solid display with the winner from outfield.
It was so hard on Argideen who were out without injured centre-back Bill Harte and midfielder Craig O’Brien.
In the IHC Milford accounted for Cobh 2-13 to 1-6 at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
Operating at wing forward, Seanie O’Connell was the inspiration for victors, striking 1-7 but Milford coach John Quaid believed the score failed to reflect how close the contest had been.
"Cobh battled all day," he said. "Once we got on top we took the game to them. We made a few changes in the second half which strengthened the team. Seanie came into midfield in the second half and hit some long-range points which set us up."
Blackrock dispelled any fears of relegation this season as they squeezed past the challenge of Dromina at a sun-drenched Mallow 1-17 to 3-9. The city side rebounded well from the shock of conceding three goals in the opening period to put their challengers to the sword in the second half as they booked their place in round four at the third attempt.