Sharpshooter Shorten Ballingeary ace

County senior panellist Liam Shorten was the hero of Ballingeary’s two point victory over Mayfield in the opening round of this Cork Premier IFC tie at Kilmurry on Saturday night.

Shorten who won an All-Ireland junior medal with Cork last year landed 13 points and is likely to have a big influence in the destination of this year’s title.

Ballingeary made the better start against the wind with Shorten hugely influential at full-forward. They had two points after 10 minutes, and it might have been more but for a magnificent save by Mayfield ‘keeper Richard Quaine who denied Micéal Ó Tuama a certain goal a minute earlier.

But Mayfield stormed back superbly when Nicky Kelly, easily their best attacker, picked out his brother Shane with a long delivery, and he beat two defenders before drilling to the net. Bizarrely Mayfield didn’t continue with that route-one strategy and their short-passing game was easily repelled by a Ballingeary defence in which corner back Barra Ó Coinceannáin was superb.

Shorten stretched Ballingeary’s lead with three points in-a-row but again Mayfield bounced back and took the game to their opponents through the excellent play of Nicky Kelly. A hat-trick of points from the city side had them one behind (0-7 to 1-3) at the interval.

Shorten continued to torment the Mayfield defence on the restart, landing his sixth point 40 seconds into the second half. But Mayfield quickly had another goal — Roy Scannell netting after good work by Nicky Kelly. Points from Barry Hegarty and Shane Fitzgerald had Mayfield 2-5 to 0-10 clear and the momentum seemed to have swung in their favour.

However, a Cian Ó Duinnin point, which could so easily have been a goal, tied the game for the fifth time and 20 minutes of extra time was called.

There were a lot of tired limbs on the pitch as they opening period ended with Ballingeary in front 0-16 to 2-7, thanks to Shorten who kicked three points in a row. The Mid Cork side held sway throughout the second period adding three further points before Mayfield sub John O’Sullivan got his fist to Colm Bond’s long delivery but the goal came too late to impact on the outcome.

Scorers for Ballingeary: L. Shorten 0-13 (0-4 frees); L. Ó Conchuir 0-3; C. Ó Duinnín, C. Ó Tuama, N. Ó Laoire 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayfield: R. Scannell 1-1; S. Kelly, J. O’Sullivan 1-0 each; T. Lotty 0-3 (0-1 free); A. Lynskey, C. Bond, B. Hegarty, S. Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

BALLINGEARY: G. Ó Muirthile; B. Ó Coinceannáin, A. Ó Loingsigh, N. Ó Duinnín; S. Ó Duinnín, D. MacCarthaigh, S. Ó Donnachú; L. Ó Conchuir, C. Ó Tuama; P. Ó Buachalla, L. Shorten, T. Ó Laoire; M. Ó Tuama, C. Ó Duinnín, B. Shorten.

Subs: E. Ó Duinnín for M. Ó Tuama (45); N. Ó Laoire for T. Ó Laoire (50).

MAYFIELD: R. Quane; P. Fitzgerald, S. Hackett, P. Scannell; S. O’Sullivan, C., Brosnan, S. O’Donovan; C. Bond, S. Fitzgerald; T. Lotty, R. Scannell, N. Kelly; S. Kelly, B. Hegarty, A. Lynskey.

Subs: B. O’Leary for S. Kelly (38); T. Daly for Lynskey (50); E. Barry for S. Fitzgerald (70); S. Kelly for T. Lotty (75); C. O’Sullivan for D. O’Donovan (75).

Referee: D. White (St Mary’s).

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