It featured an impressive return of 11 points from two of last year’s minors, Patrick Horgan and Eoghan Cronin, and ultimately their contribution was decisive.
Critical to the Glen success was a solid first-half display in which Horgan made the most significant contribution, both scoring and in general play. Ballinhassig claimed the first point in the fifth minute, with a long-range free from goalkeeper Martin Coleman, but they were to struggle for scores for a while after that.
Glen gained an advantage at midfield through the determined play of Graham Callinan, but he spoiled some good work by poor delivery. Further forward, Kieran O’Callaghan was doing very well at left-half forward, late replacement David Cunningham was prominent on the other side and Patrick Horgan always threatened inside.
Starting at full-forward but finishing the half in the left corner, he put over two close-range frees and showed good skill in taking three points from play, hitting them all on the run.
Ballinhassig were being well served by Declan Healy at the heart of their defence and rest of their backs generally covered well. However, while they found it hard to penetrate up front, despite the best efforts of Fintan O’Leary at full-forward. Indeed, their second score, from Paul O’Sullivan in the 17th minute, came after an error by the Glen centre-back Paul O’Brien. Similarly, O’Leary scored again five minutes later after corner-back Niall Horgan lost possession in half-time saw the Glen four points clear, 0-8 to 0-4.
The second half proved livelier, with Ballinhassig showing a lot of promise in the third quarter, inspired by the excellence of Danny O’Callaghan following a move from the corner to left half-forward. With Fintan O’Leary again effective and Darren Dineen working hard in the centre, they produced five points during this period to give supporters hope of a continuing recovery.
However, while Horgan was to see very little of the ball, he converted a 39th-minute ‘65 and Cronin put over two good scores from play.
These scores interrupted Ballinhassig’s comeback which was to see them level in the 48th minute. However, they were unable to maintain a strong challenge and four scores in the next nine minutes, with only one in reply, confirmed the Glen’s stronger claim for victory.
Scorers for Glen Rovers: P. Horgan 0-6 (0-2 frees, 0-1 ‘65); E. Cronin 0-5; G. Callinan 0-2; K. O’Callaghan, S. Cunningham and C. Dorris 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballinhassig: D. O’Callaghan 0-5 (0-2 frees); F. O’Leary 0-3; M. Coleman (free), P. O’Sullivan, D. Dineen (‘65) and P. Coomey 0-1 each.
GLEN ROVERS: D. Ellis; N. Horgan, R. Considine, G. Moylan; B. Moylan, P. O’Brien, J. Anderson; S. McDonald, G. Callinan; D. Cunningham, D. Busteed, K. O’Callaghan; S. McGrath (c), P. Horgan, E. Cronin.
Subs: C. Dorris for McGrath and S. Kennefick for Busteed (51st minute).
BALLINHASSIG: M. Coleman; Stephen McCarthy (c), D. Healy, B. Coleman; J. Ahern, B. Lombard, B. O’Sullivan; S. Dineen, D. Brennan; D. O’Sullivan, D. Dineen, D. Duggan; P. O’Sullivan, F. O’Leary, D. O’Callaghan.
Subs: Shane McCarthy for Stephen McCarthy (inj, 28th minute); P. Coomey for Duggan (54th); J. Mullaney for Dineen (55th).
Referee: C. McAllister (Aghada).