Leading by 1-5 to 1-3 at half-time, Ballincollig’s lead was reduced to the minimum as John Dineen got the first score of the second-half for Éire Óg, but the victors posted 1-7 without reply to kill off the game.
A superb point from impressive midfielder Seán Kiely was followed by three in a row from Ryan Hogan and one each by George Durrant and Brian O’Connor before Stephen Coughlan had his side’s second goal, moments after Ballincollig goalkeeper Jack Gibbons had saved from Fionn O’Rourke.
The Ovens side were well in contention prior to Ballincollig’s blitz after the restart, even if they struggled in an attack, far too reliant on Dineen, while Kevin Hallissey was marked tightly at full-forward.
Though not sparkling, Ballincollig were better going forward once they recovered from going 0-3 to 0-2 down after getting the game’s first two scores. They took the lead in the 20th minute as former Kerry minor Durrant scored a fine goal and further points from Kiely and Colin Moore gave them a four-point cushion. Éire Óg came back into it when Hallissey sent Gibbons the wrong way from the penalty spot after Dineen had been fouled, but in the second half there was only one team in it.
Scorers for Ballincollig: S Kiely 0-4 (0-3f), G Durrant, S Coughlan 1-1 each, R Hogan 0-3, B O’Connor 0-2, C Moore, D Browne 0-1 each.
Scorers for Éire Óg: K Hallissey 1-1 (1-0 penalty, 0-1f), J Dineen 0-5 (0-1f).
BALLINCOLLIG: J Gibbons; J Cooper, T O’Leary, C Collins; D Murphy, F Downs, C Moore; C McCarthy, S Kiely; R Noonan, G Durrant, K Coleman; R Hogan, S Coughlan, B O’Connor.
Subs: D Browne for McCarthy (45), C Dorgan for Hogan (52), J Murphy for Coughlan (56), T Sexton for O’Connor, M O’Sullivan for Moore (both 60).
ÉIRE ÓG: J McCarthy; D Sheehan, D O’Keeffe, C Murphy; S O’Connor, F Landers, R Dennehy; C Hutchinson, F O’Rourke; F Brennan, K Hallissey, D O’Connor; M O’Shea, V Coffey, J Dineen.
Subs: K Murphy for C Murphy (22), D O’Shea for Brennan (half-time), C Murphy for Coffey (42), C McKenna for O’Connor (58).
Referee: J Ryan (Macroom).