Inspired by corner-forward Colin Weste, the Mid-Cork side played ducks and drakes with a weakened Haven side, without six regulars due to injury. But there was never any doubt about the outcome of this game.
Even allowing for the weakness of the opposition, Ballincollig played magnificent football. Teak tough in defence, where Stephen O’Donoghue was a commanding figure at full-back, they regularly carved open the Castlehaven defence and got some wonderful scores.
Weste was in devastating form, finishing the game with 2-5, while at the same time creating numerous chances for others. Not far behind him was Michael Greene, who also proved a handful for a completely overworked Haven defence, while Alan Donovan, John Kelly and Brian Cotter also left their mark. The victory set up a quarter-final meeting against Ilen Rovers next month.
In the circumstances, Castlehaven put up a creditable display, with Paudie Hurley, Stephen Connolly, Ian Cahalane and Colin Crowley playing their hearts out.
Castlehaven made the better start into the wind and Colin Crowley was only inches away form a goal when he pulled first time on Paudie Hurley’s long delivery. It probably put Ballincollig on guard and they didn’t take Castlehaven for granted. After Brian Cotter tied the game with a point in the ninth minute, the sides were still level at 0-2 apiece by the end of the first quarter before Ballincollig finally began to display the kind of form which beat Nemo.
O’Donoghue thundered into the game at centre-back and with Liam O’Toole and Patrick Kelly dominant around midfield, the scores began to flow. Weste kicked three points, Greene added another, and had they showed a bit more accuracy in front of goal — they kicked eight wides in the opening moiety — they would have finished the half with a far bigger tally than 0-9 to 0-2.
Despite having midfielder Liam O’Toole sent off for a hand trip, 14-man Ballincollig continued to dictate matters on the changeover and after Greene and John Kelly stretched their lead with a point apiece, they effectively closed the door on the Haven with a goal of superb quality.
Mounting another of those excellent passing movements from midfield, the ball came to John Kelly who knocked it into the path of the in-running Weste and his powerful kick rocketed into the roof of the net.
Paudie Hurley raised hopes of a Castlehaven revival with four points on the trot, but it only postponed the inevitable, and Alan Donovan’s goal in the 50th minute served to confirm Ballincollig’s total dominance. Weste capped a tremendous night for Ballincollig and himself with their third goal.
: Ballincollig: C. Weste 2-5 (0-3 frees); A. Donovan 1-2; M. Greene 0-3 (0-2 frees); B. Cotter, J. O’Brien 0-2 each; J. Kelly, F. Keohane 0-1 each. Castlehaven: P. Hurley 0-6 (0-4 frees, (0-1 45); S. Cahalane, I. Cahalane, C. Crowley 0-1 each.
: D. Lordan; N. Barry, E. Hegarty, C. Cronin; J. O’Brien, S. O’Donoghue, JP O’Leary; L. O’Toole, P. Kelly; P. Corcoran, B. Cotter, M. Greene; C. Weste, J. Kelly, A. Donovan.
: P. O’Mahony for J. Kelly; F. Keohane for P. Kelly.
: L. Mills; R. Collins, L. Collins, T. O’Leary; D. Cahalane, D. Shanahan, C. Hayes; P. Hurley, I. Cahalane; Shane Hurley, S. Connolly, Stephen Hurley; D. Hurley, C. Crowley, S. Cahalane.
: D. O’Neill for R. Collins; F. Cahalane for Hegarty; K. Hegarty for F. Cahalane.
: G. Harrington (Carrigaline).