They were slow out of the blocks, and had to soak up constant pressure in the concluding minutes – where Kinsale were limited to just a single point despite their territorial dominance – but the manner in which they ground out the win will taste sweet for manager Liam O’Reilly.
Michael Murphy landed 1-4 but key to their win was a burst at the beginning of the second-half, where they struck five unanswered points in the space of 10 minutes to turn a one point deficit into a three point lead.
And although Kinsale’s Conor O’Brien scored a goal to end that run, making it 1-9 apiece, the pendulum had certainly swung in Ballinora’s favour after a first half in which they struggled at times, albeit against a strong wind.
Ballinora’s only point in the first 24 minutes had come from the boot of Murphy, and although they ended the half with a flurry, including a well-taken goal three minutes before the break, they still trailed 0-9 to 1-4 at half-time.
With the wind behind them though, they were rampant after the restart. The half-forward line, and in particular Darragh O’Neill, grew in stature and inside three minutes they were level.
Patrick Fitton was also influential, finishing up with three points from play, and he put them 1-9 to 0-9 clear in the 40th minute.
O’Brien responded well with the goal, but heading into the final stages a point apiece from Fitton and Murphy put Ballinora clear again.
Scorers for Ballinora: M Murphy 1-4 (0-2f), P Fitton 0-3, D O’Neill 0-2, A O’Neill, E Lucey 0-1 each.
Kinsale: G Finn 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 45), C O’Brien 1-1, L Kiely, C Quigley 0-1 each.
BALLINORA: E Walsh; D O’Neill, T Crotty, E Lucey; D Crotty, T McGrath, B Crowley; M Hodge, G O’Halloran; A O’Neill, D O’Neill, I Wycherley; M Murphy, C Murphy, P Fitton.
Sub: J O’Regan for Lucey (38).
KINSALE: G O’Callaghan; N McCarthy, M O’Sullivan, M Scully; D Ward, J Keohane, R O’Sullivan; C Quigley, D Coughlan; D Murphy, L Kiely, M Coughlan; C O’Brien, M Cronin, G Finn.
Subs: A Gould for Coughlan (40), C McCarthy for Quigley (48), B Grey for Murphy (59).
Referee: D White (St Mary’s).