In the end the free taking of Dan O'Connell he scored 11 point in all and their ability to bounce back after a poor start proved instrumental in Kilbrittain's victory. And selector
Denis Hayes was pleased.
Said Hayes: "It's puzzling. All season long we seem to fall behind and have to battle really hard. It hasn't always worked out for us and today, when six points down after 20 minutes, I thought 'not again' But we showed a bit of character. This win has made our season and with the Ó Murchú Cup final still to come it might even get better."
They looked in serious trouble early on as a couple of points from Brian Corry and one apiece from Barry and Ruairi O'Dwyer saw them trailing 0-4 to 0-1 after the opening quarter. And it got worse in the 19th minute when Colm Sheehan put Ger Cummins in for a fine goal as Ballymartle deservedly led 1-5 to 0-2.
But enter great clubman O'Connell. His accuracy from frees whittled down the deficit and with Ross Cashman also adding a point, it was Kilbrittain who led at the break 0-9 to 1-5, a few astute switches and general tightening up keeping Ballymartle at bay.
The third quarter belonged to Ballymartle though as three fine points from Barry O'Dwyer put them 1-9 to 0-10 clear entering the final quarter, with excellent Ballymartle keeper Declan McCarthy making one of many fine saves to deny Alan Hayes in the 37th minute.
Some superb scoring in the final quarter, Owen Sexton with couple of points and Sheehy with two great 65's put Kilbrittain back in the driving seat. But they could not beat keeper McCarthy and, at the death, Cummins got the equaliser Ballymartle deserved to bring the game to extra-time at 1-12 to 0-15.
Daniel Hickey was excellent for Kilbrittain now and his two quick points and one from Hayes looked like working the oracle for Kilbrittain. However, Ballymartle responded again with Cummins and Barry O'Dwyer replying and after the first period it was 0-18 to 1-14 in the winners' favour and still all to play for.
But then Kilbrittain showed their strength in the second period and although Cummins almost saved it at the death with a low hard free, the Carbery men deserved their victory.
Scorers for Kilbrittain: D. O'Connell 0-11 (0-9 frees), D. Hickey 0-3, O. Sexton, E. Sheehy (both 65's), A. Hayes 0-2 each, R. Cashman 0-1.
Ballymartle: B. O'Dwyer 0-6 (0-4 frees), G. Cummins 1-2, B. Corry 0-3, R. O'Dwyer 0-2, C. Sheehan, S. Coleman 0-1 each.
KILBRITTAIN: O. Harrington; P. Ryan, J. Murphy, D. Desmond; J. O'Brien, P. Sexton, D. Quinlan; E. Sheehy, V. O'Brien; R. Cashman, A. Hayes, F. Hickey; O. Sexton, D. Hickey, D. O'Connell. Subs: C. O'Leary for F. Hickey, D. Ferriter for Sheehy.
BALLYMARTLE: D. McCarthy; S. O'Connell, D. Lordan, D. Coleman; D. O'Dwyer, K. Coleman, N. Sheehan; J. Kennedy, R. O'Dwyer; B. Corry, C. Sheehan, B. O'Dwyer; P. Coughlan, A. McCarthy, G. Cummins. Subs: G. Webb for Coleman, M. O'Mahony for Sheehan, K. Lordan for Coughlan, Sheehan for Kennedy, S. Coleman for McCarthy.
Referee: C. McAllister (Midleton).