In the process, they served notice that they will take some beating in the championship.
Playing a fine brand of fast, attacking football they were never in any danger and had their place in Sunday’s semi-final against O’Donovan Rossa secured long before the final whistle.
If there is a weakness in this well oiled Ballingeary side it’s their reluctance to shoot from far out. They were obsessed with trying to walk the ball into the net and, against a more determined side, that could be fatal.
To be fair to Na Piarsaigh the defeat must be put in context. They have waited over nine weeks to play this game and in that time lost over half of their city winning team to their seniors, while Ballingeary played just four days ago in the Mid Cork final.
Ballingeary wasted little time in stamping their authority on the game. Looking extremely sharp they stormed the Piarsaigh goal from the throw in, but a succession of wides cost them easy scores. So dominant were the Muskerry champions that Piarsaigh couldn’t get out of their own half for the first 10 minutes and they were grateful for an excellent save by goalkeeper Seamus Miller from Con Lehane before Ballingeary finally began to find the target.
With Peadar Concannon orchestrating matters at midfield, they were dominant, but continued to be wasteful in front of goal and for all their possession they could only manage a 0-2 to 0-0 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
Piarsaigh, who were playing their first championship game since winning the city title back in August, had no answer to the pace and slick passing of their opponents and the incessant pressure finally began to tell. By the 20th minute Ballingeary had stretched their lead to five points with no hint of a Piarsaigh score, but it was a poor return for the amount of possession they enjoyed.
Piarsaigh were simply no match for the highly impressive Ballingeary side who went on to lead 0-9 to 0-0 at the break. Piarsaigh did have one slim chance of a goal just before the half time whistle when the Ballingeary ‘keeper Sean Concannon failed to hold William Daly’s long delivery but there was no one there to apply the finish. It summed up Piarsaigh’s night.
Piarsaigh improved somewhat in the second-half but they were never going to pull back a nine point deficit except with a couple of goals which never looked like coming as the Ballingeary defence, in which Leonard O’Connor and Nina Twomey were very impressive, gave nothing away.
It took the city side until the 36th minute to register their first score, but Ballingeary, with Peadar Concannon continuing to lord it at midfield and Andrew Concannon and Liam Shorten continuing to kick the points, eventually ran out comfortable winners, and the Skibbereen mentors went away with plenty food for thought ahead of Sunday’s semi-final.
: Ballingeary: L. Shorten 0-5 (0-1 free); A. Concannon 0-4 (0-02 frees); P. Concannon 0-3 (0-1 free); P. Buckley, C. Lynch, L. O’Connor, M. Twomey 0-1 each. Na Piarsaigh: M. Twohig 0-2; D. McDonald 0-1.
: S. Concannon; C. Lynch, L. O’Connor, F. Lynch; N. Twomey, A. Lynch, D. McCarthy; P. Concannon, L. Concannon; A. Concannon, S. Twomey, P. Buckley; L. Shorten, C. Lehane, J. O’Driscoll. Subs:. B. Concannon for Shorten; Cathal Twomey for Buckley; Colman Twomey for P. Concannon; G. McCarthy for S. Twomey; Ml Twomey for a. Concannon.
: S. Miller; S. O’Sullivan, B. McMahon, J. Hourigan; M. Twohig, B. Kidney, K. Condon; S. Hegarty, W. Daly; S. Wall, K. O’Sullivan, P. O’Sullivan; C. Hourigan, T. Flynn, D. McDonald.
: J. Murray for Hegarty; S. O’Sullivan for P. O’Sullivan; D. Hickey for Flynn; K. Cunningham for S. O’Sullivan.
: N. Barrett (Carrigtwohill).