Ballymartle back in business with clean sweep now the target

BALLYMARTLE may soon be celebrating a clean sweep of Cork hurling titles.

They are in the divisional U-21 decider, strong contenders for Co Premier IHC honours and in Belgooly on Saturday they won their first South East J‘A’HC since 1986 when beating Ballinhassig 2-13 to 0-9.

The winning margin suggests a comprehensive victory. However, despite always chasing the game, Ballinhassig were involved in a tit-for-tat affair until Ballymartle nailed 1-5 in the closing stages.

Ballymartle hit their stride early. The opening score was a goal from man-of-the-match and top-scorer John Coleman in the fourth minute. He signed off with 1-8. Ballymartle full forward Brian Dwyer (now in the corner) made the final decisive statement when in a four-minute spell late on he bagged 1-2.

Another North Cork J’A’HC title for Charleville, their fourth since 2001, but they made very hard work of a match they should have won much more comfortably, only beating Fermoy 1-17 to 1-12. Even on the changeover, facing into the stiff breeze, and despite being down to 14 men following the straight red dismissal of wing-forward Thomas Fitzgibbon, Charleville dominated the third quarter, extended their lead to nine points, 0-15 to 0-6. How then did they enter added time clinging desperately to a three-point lead?

Charleville had reason to be grateful to late, late substitute Paul Gammell, who, in the third minute of injury time, scored the decisive goal.

Dripsey are the new Muskerry J‘A’HC kingpins following a convincing 4-15 to 2-10 win over Donoughmore at Coachford last night, their first title since they formed four years ago.

This was the first meeting between these two teams in a championship final and while Donoughmore would be more renowned for their footballing ability, they never shirked the challenge, and most encouraging for them was the display of some of their up and coming talent.

However, Dripsey pressed all the right buttons, and when it came to leadership there was none better than captain Diarmuid O’Riordan who finished with a very healthy 2-5 return.

Tullylease ended a 47 year famine with an inspired display against Banteer in the Duhallow J‘A’HC final in Kanturk, winning 2-22 to 3-10.

A divisional decider hoodoo had plagued Tullylease, having lost their previous 10 final appearances. And it was little wonder that the tears flowed on Tullylease grabbing hold of the prize on offer for the first time since 1961. All through, the new champions hurled with a fluency of a side very much on a mission. And when Banteer offered a commendable response either side of the interval, Tullylease were in no mood to be overawed.

Bandon retained their South West J‘A’FC title with an impressive attacking performance at Dunmanway, beating Tadhg MacCárthaigh 1-13 to 0-11. A late Richard Milner goal sealed victory over a Caheragh side that hit 11 wides but were always in contention. With the sides level at the break, Bandon, superbly led by man of the match Darren Crowley, tacked on two more unanswered points immediately after the break. But Caheragh were just two-points in arrears before Milner rose highest to punch a John O’Connell delivery to the net, with three minutes remaining.

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