St Michael’s appeared set for victory as they coasted into a 0-7 to 0-2 lead in a the first quarter and to add to their woes Ballingeary had midfielder Eoin Choill limping with a knee injury after just a minute. They were already without their other regular midfielder, Liam Ó Coinceannin, who is nursing a hand injury.
Choill did not immediately depart the scene, instead he went into the full-forward line but a few minutes later he was forced to abandon the fray.
Enter Cian Ó Duinnin who linked up with corner-forward Ben Searten and mobile centre-forward, Liam Searten, to have a dramatic affect on the remainder of the game.
Two points from frees by Liam Searten kept Ballingeary in touch as St Michael’s piled on the pressure from the middle of the field where William Kennedy was particularly impressive.
However, Ballingeary, with points from Tadhg Ó Laoire, Colman Ó Tuama and Liam Seartan (two) were, suddenly, just a point behind before a point from a free by Andy O’Connell appeared to steady the ship for St Michael’s who led 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time.
Ballingeary came storming out for the second-half with Cian Duinnin and the two Seartens, Ben and Liam, causing havoc with a plentiful supply from a half-back line that was well on top.
A succession of points had them 0-9 to 0-8 in front 10 minutes into the second half before Eric Hegarty levelled the game from a free . However, inexplicably, St Michael’s began to panic Their shooting was dire and the shots which were directed at goal dropped short and were capably dealt with by Gearoid Ó Muirthile in the Ballingeary goal.
Ballingeary were a point in front again with a superb movement that was started by Cian Ó Duinnin. He kicked ahead to Ben Searten on the wing and then ran in to the middle for the return pass before placing the ball out of the reach of Alan Deasy in the St Michael’s goal.
That sealed the outcome as Ballingeary pushed ahead and the St Michael’s challenge disintegrated.
“We always knew this type of performance was in them,” Ballingeary selector, Sean Ó Coinceannain said.
“The problem was to get them to produce it on the day. Today they brought it out into the open and showed everyone just what they can do.
“We still have a bit to go. Eoin Choill’s injury could have been crucial but Cian came in and did the business. Eoin had a cruciate injury two years ago and we are just hoping it’s nothing to do with that. We have four players, including my own two nephews, out injured at the moment and we hope we can get them back for the Nemo game.”
Scorers for Ballingeary: L. Searten 0-6 (2fs), C Ó Duinnin 1-0, T Ó Laoire, B Searten, A Coinceannin (f) 0-2 each, S D Duinnin, C Ó Tuama, P Ó Buachalla, I Coinceannin 0-1 each.
Scorers for St Michael’s: E Buckley 0-3, A O’Connell (fs) and E. Hegarty (f) 0- 2 each, J Linehan, W Kennedy, M Mulconry 0-1 each.
BALLINGEARY: G Ó Muirthile; F Ó Loingsigh, L Ó Conchúir, A Ó Loingsigh; N Ó Duinnin, S Ó Donnachu, S Ó Duinnin; C Ó Tuama, E Choill; T Ó Laoire, L Searten, P Ó Buachalla; B Searten, I Conceannin, A Ó Coinceannin.
Subs: C Ó Duinnin for E Choill (5), G Mac Carthaigh for I Coinceannain (57).
ST MICHAEL’S: A Deasy; D Remmington, R Dineen, D Crowley; C O’Brien, C Murphy, J Linehan; R Downey, W Kennedy; D Gosnell, A O’Connell, M Mulconry; E Buckley, D Cremin, E Hegarty.
Subs: M Drummond for C Murphy, L. Conway for D. Gosnell (ht).