Barrs’ late burst secures semi-final berth

ST FINBARR’S proved too good for Ballincollig in last night’s Cork SFC quarter-final at Páirc Ui Rinn, winning 1-13 to 2-4, a run of late points working the oracle.

But the south city club will be well aware this was far from a vintage performance and they will need to improve if they want to overcome the winners of the Douglas-Carbery Rangers clash in the semi-final.

Ballincollig had a bright start when veteran Podsy O’Mahony goaled. Colin O’Sullivan’s point in reply was all the crowd had to warm themselves for over 10 minutes, until Roy Leahy hit a free to make the score 0-2 to 1-0. In a lacklustre first half, Barrs’ keeper Kevin McTiernan also saved a penalty from Paddy Kelly.

Cathal McCarthy poked the ball over the line for a Barrs goal in the second half and suddenly it was 1-6 to 1-3, with the Blues in the driving seat.

John Kelly restarted the Ballincollig challenge on 54 minutes: the substitute gathered a ball 14 metres out and shot low to the corner: 2-3 to 1-8 and by the 59th minute, Miskella had cut the deficit to one with another point, and Ballincollig were hunting an equaliser.

The Barrs weren’t finished, however. Roy Leahy hit an inspirational point to restore the Barrs two-point lead deep in injury time and sub Robert O’Mahony’s last-gasp point was the icing on the cake.

In the Cork Premier IFC replay at Ballinhassig, a Tadhg Twomey goal eight minutes from time proved decisive as they beat Carrigaline, 1-7 to 0-9.

It was a killer blow for Carrigaline who were a point ahead and looked the dominant team throughout. However their poor shooting – 16 wides to Newcestown’s eight – means the losers can have few complaints about the outcome.

Mallow escaped from Macroom with their PIFC title aspirations intact after Cian O’Riordan pointed a free in the third minute of injury time to salvage a 1-12 to 0-15 draw with Bantry.

All-Ireland winning captain Graham Canty looked to have snatched it for the West Cork men when he rattled over a brilliant point in the first minute of stoppage time but O’Riordan showed a cool head to level the match with the last kick of the game from 20 metres out.

Stalemate in Donoughmore (0-9 apiece) as Clyda Rovers and Grenagh lived to fight another day in the Premier IFC quarter-final. And full credit to Diarmuid Dorgan, who emerged the hero for Grenagh, holding his nerve to kick the equalising point from a placed ball deep into stoppage time.

Rain before throw-in made for slippy conditions, but it couldn’t be deemed responsible for only one point from play in the opening 30 minutes. That fell to Clyda’s Conor Flanagan, but the 60-plus minutes proved to be a battle of placed kickers, James Murphy and Grenagh’s Diarmuid Dorgan.

In the Cork IFC, Kildorrery edged out Éire Óg 2-10 to 2-9 at Páirc Uí Rinn. A strong midfield performance proved the key as they reached a third county final in four years.

Having lost to Canovee in the 2007 JAFC decider, the north Cork side were promoted to intermediate level the next year due to restructuring and almost went on to claim the title, only losing to Valley Rovers at the last stage. They have a chance to atone for that loss against Macroom now, however. Shane Fitzgerald and Andrew O’Brien in midfield led by example, scoring 1-5 between them and getting through a huge amount of work. Daniel Goulding scored 1-6 for Éire Óg, five frees.

In the Cork JAFC, Mitchelstown edged out Tracton 0-14 to 2-7 at Glenville. Playing with a strong breeze in the opening period, the north Cork side went in at half-time leading 0-10 to 0-3, and though Tracton fought back with two goals, Mitchelstown managed to hold out.

Shane Beston and Anthony O’Brien impressed for the winners while midfielders Darren Nugent and Laurence O’Flynn were excellent in the first half, ensuring an almost constant flow of attack for their side.

Cloyne captured the Jim Ryan Memorial Cup for a third consecutive season, beating Erin’s Own 0-9 to 1-4 at Carrigtwohill, but this East Cork JFC final might well have slipped from their grasp as it took a terrific save by goalkeeper Mike Oosthuizen late in the contest to deny Alan Bowen a second goal, a score that would surely have edged Erin’s Own home when trailing by two points.

Cloyne now face a county championship clash with Duhallow winners Lyre or Kanturk who play next week.

Holders Kanturk set up a glamour showdown with Lyre in the Kanturk Credit Union Duhallow JAFC after beating Dromtariffe 3-6 to 1-8 in a gripping semi-final in Banteer.

Four points adrift at the break, Kanturk looked vulnerable but driven on by Aidan Walsh at midfield, the champions proceeded to take control. Apart from Walsh, Kanturk had reason to be thankful to keeper John Kenneally who pulled off a pair of brilliant saves late in the closing exchanges.

Ballydesmond retained their Cork IFC status by beating Courcey Rovers 0-14 to 1-6 at Donoughmore, Courceys making the drop to the junior ranks for 2011. Donncha O’Connor scored four point for Ballydesmond.

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