Ballingeary batten down the hatches

THE six point advantage gained by Ballingeary in a wind-assisted first half proved crucial in deservedly earning them a place in the semi-final the Cork Premier IHC in Kilmurry yesterday.

Their last score in the 52nd minute stretched their lead to 11 points and while a strengthening Nemo Rangers came much more into contention, it was a case of settling too late, with their goal coming in the last minute of ordinary time.

In contrast, Ballingeary had got their goal – from roving full-forward Paul Buckley– 12 minutes after the resumption. And, as events transpired that, too, was heavily influential in deciding the outcome.

By that stage, Nemo were without team manager Billy Morgan, who had been involved in a minor sideline altercation with an unidentified Ballingeary individual, thought to be a squad member, in the 24th minute. He was attended to by first-aid personnel before making his own way across the field at half-time. Subsequently, on medical advice he stayed in the dressing room for the rest of the game and was in good form when leaving it about 15 minutes after it had concluded.

After conceding an opening score to Nemo centre-forward Liam Sullivan in the 8th minute, the Mid-Cork side made steady progress, withdrawing players from the attack when under pressure and using possession much more effectively. Buckley was one of their stars on the day while half-forwards Liam Shorten and Cian Dineen underlined their potential by sharing eight points from play, with Ben Shorten also starring.

Nemo were forced to play a running game against the wind, with Paul Brophy prominent at centre-back and Stephen Twomey doing good work at midfield. At stages, they were able to penetrate on both flanks, but despite the good work of William Morgan, David Nation and Conor Allen, weren’t getting through for scores.

Waiting more than 25 minutes for their second score – from the experienced Morgan – they went in at half time 0-9 to 0-3 behind.

There was little change on the resumption, with the more confident Ballingeary getting two quick scores and conceding just one before Buckley put the ball in the net in the 42nd minute. After that, a superb team effort and blanket defending enabled them to control the game while Nemo, missing scores through poor finishing, still had not properly settled.

Eventually they did, helped by two points from Morgan and two more from substitutes Eric Dilloughery and Alan O’Donovan. Further pressure yielded a goal for Allen.

Ballingeary advance to the last four and a meeting with either Macroom or Mallow / Clyda Rovers.

Scorers for Ballingeary: L. Shorten and C. Dineen 0-4 each; P. Buckley 1-0; B. Shorten 0-2; A. Concannon (free) and C. Twomey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Nemo Rangers: W. Morgan 0-4 (0-1 free); C. Allen 1-0; L. Sullivan 0-2 (0-1 free);

E. Dilloughery and A. O’Donovan 0-1 each.

BALLINGEARY: G. Ó Muirthile; F. Ó Loingsigh, L. Ó Conchuir, A. Ó Loingsigh; N. Ó Duinnin, S. Ó Donnachu, S. Ó Duinnin; C. Ó Tuama. I. Ó Coinceannin; T. Ó Laoire, L. Seartan, C. Ó Duinnin; B. Seartan, P. Ó Buachalla, A. Ó Coinceannin.

Subs: M. Ó Tuama for Ó Laoire (48).

NEMO RANGERS: D. Farry; K. Stone, R. Murphy, N. O’Sullivan; S. Martin, P. Brophy, E. Weldon; S. Twomey, M. Dorgan; W. Morgan, L. Sullivan, D. Nation; S. Horgan, M. Kearney, C. Allen.

Subs: E. Dilloughery for Sullivan (48); K. Weldon for Horgan (52); A. O’Donovan for Martin (55).

Referee: Conor Lane (Lyre).

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