Rockies leave it late to edge out brave Ballymartle

Blackrock 0-18 Ballymartle 2-11

When Seán O’Mahony caught the Blackrock defence napping as he goaled from a 45th-minute free, it put Ballymartle into a 2-9 to 0-12 lead, and though Blackrock managed to draw level, Killian McCarthy again pushed the south-east champions ahead with five minutes remaining.

David O’Farrell tied matters again, however, and after both sides missed chances, sub Callum Crowe got the important score in the final minute of normal time.

Though he didn’t get either of the critical late points, Kevin O’Keeffe was the central figure in the win for Blackrock, scoring two-thirds of their output, with Patrick Deasy the only other Rockies player to score more than once.

The reliance on O’Keeffe hampered the city side in the first half as Ballymartle picked up momentum following a slow start. O’Mahony was impressive from frees while Keith Fitzpatrick got some excellent points before O’Keeffe’s injury-time free left it 0-7 each at half-time. Blackrock pulled ahead early in the second half, but when Andy Daly found the net for Ballymartle in the 40th minute it put them 1-9 to 0-10 in front.

Two O’Keeffe frees levelled, but again Ballymartle took the initiative through O’Mahony’s goal. Ultimately they could not seal the deal, however, and Blackrock now face Blarney.

Scorers for Blackrock: K O’Keeffe 0-12 (0-8f, 0-1 65), P Deasy 0-2, E O’Farrell, D O’Farrell, E O’Mara, C Crowe 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballymartle: S O’Mahony 1-3 (1-2f), A Daly 1-1, K Fitzpatrick 0-3, K McCarthy 0-2, N Crowley, D O’Leary 0-1 each.

BLACKROCK: P Delaney; S Murphy, A Hayes, R Laide; E Cantwell, A Murphy, C Cormack; E O’Farrell, D O’Farrell; E O’Mara, S O’Keeffe, R Dineen; D Cremin, P Deasy, K O’Keeffe.

Subs: C Crowe for Cremin (43), M Ryan for Deasy (47), M Ahern for Dineen (54).

BALLYMARTLE: P Allen; J Butler, TJ Murphy, JD O’Callaghan; L Allen, C Coleman, L Corry; D O’Leary, S O’Mahony; K McCarthy, K Fitzpatrick, R Cahalane; A Daly, N Crowley, J Dwyer.

Sub: G Murphy for Dwyer (51).

Referee: C McAllister (Aghada).

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