In the worst conditions imaginable, the Gaeltacht club created history by winning their first ever adult county title and while no one would have quibbled had the game gone to extra time, Ballingeary just about deserved the win.
Their defence played a huge part in the victory. Holding out against driving wind and rain in the opening half, they kept Castletownbere to level scores, 0-2 each, before soaking up enormous pressure in the six minutes of added time for a thrilling victory.
Amhlaoibh Lynch, Donal McCarthy and Barry Concannon were majestic in the heart of the Ballingeary defence, while captain Peadar Concannon gave his side a slight advantage at midfield and his levelling point in the 50th minute was worthy of winning any match.
Castletownbere must be wondering what they have to do to win the intermediate title: they lost the finals of 1997 and 1999 and were one of the fancied teams to take this grade, but could never adapt to the conditions.
They played far better in the second half as Donagh Wiseman, Andrew O’Sullivan and Alan O’Regan won plenty of possession, but you don’t win county titles with one forward scoring and all but one of their points came from midfielder Andrew O’Sullivan.
Twice they looked to be in for the all important goal but on each occasion Ballingeary ‘keeper Sean Concannon managed to avert the danger with plucky saves.
Ballingeary: A Concannon 0-2 (0-1 free); E Quill, C Twomey, P Concannon 0-1 each. Castletownbere: A O’Sullivan 0-3; S O’Regan 0-1.
S Concannon; C Lynch, A Lynch, F Lynch; N Twomey, D McCarthy, B Concannon; P Concannon, L Concannon; C Twomey, S Twomey, E Quill; L Shorten, A Concannon, C Lehane.
G McCarthy for S Twomey; J O’Driscoll for Quill.
JP Sheehan; D Kelly, E Wiseman, T Collins; D O’Sullivan, D Wiseman, C Murphy; A O’Sullivan, B O’Regan; D Nolan, P Harrington, S O’Regan; R Minihane, A O’Regan, L Harrington.
A Harrington for Minihane.
N Barrett (Carrigtwohill).