The goal came following an excellent move from their own defence and when Conor O’Sullivan’s effort came back off the crossbar, O’Brien was well positioned to dispatch the rebound to the net. The Mourneabbey side kept that margin for the next 50 minutes to secure their place in the final against Newmarket.
Clyda also adapted better to the difficult conditions, handled the greasy ball superbly and might have won the game by more but for a magnificent goal line save by Donal McCarthy late in the game which denied O’Brien a second major.
Ballingeary opted to play the short passing game which wasn’t ideal and regularly lost possession through poor handling, but when they went the more direct route, (which saw them kick three excellent long range points) one felt they should have stuck with that tactic.
They played into Clyda’s hands persisting with the short passing game but Ray Carey, Chris Kenny and Niall O’Mullane were outstanding for the winners.
With team captain Padraic O’Mullane inspirational at centre forward, Clyda found it far easier to prise open their opponent’s defence and they were full value for their 1-4 to 0-5 half-time lead. Two evenly matched sides continued to trade points in the second-half, Liam and Ben Shorten with a point each for Ballingeary, but at the three-quarter stage the goal still separated the sides.
Ballingeary threw everything at Clyda in search of that elusive goal but couldn’t breach a rock solid defence and had to be content with a Barra Concannon point, which left two between the sides.
It was all hands to the pump for Clyda as the mid-Cork men came forward in waves, but in a breakaway attack Conor Flanagan landed the insurance point to put his side into their third final in-a-row.
Scorers for Clyda Rovers: D O’Brien 1-1, F O’Shea, J Murphy (1f, 1 45) 0-2 each, M O’Brien, P Kissane, P O’Mullane, C Flanagan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Ballingeary: L Shorten, B Shorten, A Concannon (1 45) 0-2 each, C Twomey, C Dineen, B Concannon 0-1 each.
CLYDA ROVERS: C Conway; K Fitzgerald, R Carey, C Kenny; M O’Brien, N O’Mullane, Conor O’Sullivan; P Kissane, F O’Shea; C Flanagan, P O’Mullane, G Carey; Cian O’Sullivan, D O’Brien, J Murphy.
Subs: C Lane for Cian O’Sullivan (20), Cian O’Sullivan for D O’Brien (55), J O’Sullivan for M O’Brien (60).
BALLINGEARY: G Ó Muirthile; F O Loingsigh, L Ó Conchúir, N Ó Duinnín; S Ó Duinnín, A Ó Loingsigh, S Ó Donnachú; C Ó Tuama, I Ó Coinceannain; T Ó Laoire, L Seartan, C Ó Duinnín; B Seartan, P Ó Buachalla, A Ó Coinceannain.
Subs: M Ó Tuama for Ó Buachalla (18), B Ó Coinceannain for Ó Laoire (40), S Ó Donnachú for I Coinceannain (40), L Ó Coinceannain for M Ó Tuama (50).
Referee: E Sheehy (Newcestown).