Hayes strikes early

A pair of early John Hayes goals provided the platform for Carbery Rangers to advance to the Cork County SFC quarter-finals by overcoming Ballincollig at Bandon last night.

Hayes strikes early

Green flags in the 10th and 16th minutes, the latter a penalty, had given the Rosscarbery side a 2-1 to 0-0 lead, Hayes profiting both times from Micheál O’Sullivan deliveries from frees.

First, he evaded two defenders before side-stepping goalkeeper David Lordan and finishing. Then he won another high ball and drew a foul from Cathal Fleming, giving Lordan no chance from the spot kick.

A big win looked to be in prospect at that stage as they had the wind behind them too, but they would score just once more in the half as Ballincollig’s reconfiguration helped them to gain a foothold. But, in the second-half, Ross’s clever running game, retaining possession until a chance opened up, reaped dividends as their opponents counted the cost of some very poor shooting.

Rangers’ hard work was exemplified by the performances of MacMahon and Cork panellist James Fitzpatrick, who never stopped running, while veteran O’Sullivan was his usual self in the air.

He did not have it all his own way, though, as Seán Kiely put in a fine shift for Ballincollig, who improved as the first-half wore on. The placement of the returning John Miskella as a sweeper and the relocation of Patrick Kelly, who started at full-forward, to a deeper role allowed Ballincollig to enjoy more of the play.

While Brian Glavin was their only scorer of the opening half, he got four and Ross went 11 minutes without a score, making it 2-2 to 0-4 at half-time.

Within three minutes of the restart, Ballincollig had added three unanswered points, from Kiely, Glavin and a wonderful John Kelly effort, but that momentum could not be sustained. Poor wides continued to punish them and Ross found their composure again with mature holding of possession, centre-back John O’Rourke doing much to provide impetus with driving runs.

Points by Fitzpatrick and John Hayes stemmed Ballincollig’s flow and while Patrick Kelly and Glavin responded, a goal looked essential if they were to overhaul the lead.

They tried to create chances with high balls into the goalmouth, but corner-back Enda Favier made a super block from sub Ian Coughlan and then a combination of goalkeeper Maurice Moloney and Fitzpatrick denied John Kelly. All the while, Ross were making the most of what possession they won to keep adding points, O’Rourke with a late one before Declan Hayes wrapped things up in injury time.

Rangers, who beat Clonakilty in the first round on May 6, now have another wait before meeting Clon again or Bishopstown in the last eight.

Scorers for Carbery Rangers: J Hayes 2-3 (1-0 penalty, 0-2f), J O’Rourke 0-2, J Fitzpatrick, D Hayes, K McMahon, D Hayes, S O’Neill 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballincollig: B Glavin 0-6 (0-4f), S Kiely 0-2 (0-1 45), J Kelly, P Kelly 0-1 each.

CARBERY RANGERS: M Moloney; M Kelly, S Hayes, E Favier; S Murray, J O’Rourke, T O’Rourke; M O’Sullivan, J Fitzpatrick; J Murphy, B Shanahan, K MacMahon; D Hayes, S Hayes, J Hayes.

Subs: M Mennis for S Hayes (15, injured), S O’Neill for J Murphy (43), G O’Brien for Murray (53).

BALLINCOLLIG: D Lordan; C Fleming, L Jennings, S O’Donoghue; B Kelly, N Galvin, J O’Brien; C O’Sullivan, B Cotter; J Miskella, J Kelly, S Kiely; B Glavin, P Kelly, K Hickey.

Subs: D Murphy for Fleming (20), I Coughlan for Hickey (47), N O’Toole for O’Brien (51), R Noonan for O’Sullivan (59), JP Murphy for B Kelly (60, injured).

Referee: J Dorgan (Nemo Rangers).

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