Turning over to face into a near gale-force win with a two point lead, it wasn’t looking good for the Duhallow club, but they conjured up that all important goal to go five points clear and then held their nerve in the face of a last Glanmire rally which yielded two late points.
Glanmire won the toss, opted to play against the elements and in an attempt to counter the threat of county senior Donncha O’Connor, they played with seven defenders for the opening half, a ploy that didn’t work.
Despite playing against the wind, Glanmire had lots of possession, mainly due to the aerial dominance of Mark Hopkins, but they struggled for scores due to the tenacity of the Ballydesmond defence where Jerry Healy and Donal Kelly excelled.
Duhallow needed to take a sizeable lead in to the break, but they couldn’t make use of the wind and when James Murphy pointed two frees in succession and Kieran Kenneally tied the game at 0-4 apiece coming up to half-time, the game looked up for the Duhallow side.
However they took advantage of the five minutes of added time to tack on two points to lead 0-6 to 0-4 at half time.
Despite being closed marked by two defenders, Donncha O’Connor was hugely influential for Ballydesmond on the changeover and after Bertie O’Callaghan missed a sitter of a goal, they grabbed the all important major when the impressive Niall Fleming set up Shane Kelly, and Glanmire had it all to do.
To their credit they made the necessary switches by moving Michael Cussen to full-forward and pumped long highball into him, but the Duhallow defence gave nothing away.
The pressure on the Ballydesmond defence was relentless and it took a magnificent save by their ‘keeper Fergal O’Sullivan to deny Kieran Kenneally a goal.
Ballydesmond then coped admirably with whatever Glanmire threw at them.
Scorers for Ballydesmond: D. O’Connor 0-3 (0-1 free); S. Kelly 1-0; N. Fleming 0-2; B. O’Callaghan, S. Murphy, N. Breen, J. Healy 0-1 each.
Glanmire: J. Murphy 0-6 (0-5 frees); K. Kenneally, J. O’Callaghan, T. Leahy (free) 0-1 each.
BALLYDESMOND: F. O’Sullivan; T. Howard, J. Healy, N. O’Connor; J. Dunlea, D. Kelly, L. Murphy; S. Kelleher, B. O’Callaghan; N. O’Leary, D. O’Connor, S. Murphy; P. Breen, S. Kelly, N. Fleming.
Subs: R. Flynn for O’Leary (50); D. Kelleher for O’Callaghan (55); D. Kelly for Dunlea (60).
GLANMIRE: B. O’Connell; D. O’Connell, K. Sheehan, D. O’Regan; B. Murphy, P. Goggin, B. O’Sullivan; T. Leahy, M. Cussen; K. Kenneally, J. O’Callaghan, M. Connolly; J. Murphy, M. Hopkins, D. O’Brien.
Subs: K. Murphy for O’Brien (50); B. Linehan for Kenneally (55); A. Barry for Connolly (55).
Referee: M. Sheehan (Liscarroll).