They were the dominant force for the first half hour, leading by an amazing 15 points, but will be concerned with the display thereafter as Carrigaline showed tremendous character to eat into the deficit.
Ballyhea could do nothing wrong in the opening 30 minutes. Kevin Hanley was impressive at centre back; Maurice O’Sullivan stood out at midfield shooting four glorious points; Neil Ronan, Eamon Morrissey and Jonathan O’Sullivan found the net while Pa O’Callaghan was in the thick of it as they scored at will.
They were 3-10 to 0-4 ahead — albeit having played with the wind at the change of ends.
Carrigaline clawed a goal back on the restart thanks to target man Peter Mullane at the edge of the square, however, Ballyhea quickly pulled further clear with a Ronan goal and a Maurice O’Sullivan point firing them 4-15 to 1-7 to the good with the final quarter to play.
Then came a remarkable Carrig finish with Rob O’Shea switched from midfield to corner forward hitting four stunning goals. Incredibly, he had another effort from a placed ball cleared off the line with time almost up. Three of O’Shea’s goals were from play. The first was a super individual effort, the second he combined with Mullane, and the third when he reacted to a fine save by Mikey Browne from David Drake. His fourth green flag came a minute from time from a close-in free.
Carrig now face Kilworth or Watergrasshill. Ballyhea will be hard to stop in the next round.
Scorers for Ballyhea: N Ronan 2-4 (0-3 frees), J O’Sullivan 1-3, M O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-1 free), E Morrissey 1-0, P O’Callaghan 0-3, T Shanahan and D Copps 0-1 each.
Scorers for Carrigaline: R O’Shea 4-2 (1-1 frees), P Mullane 1-0, D Drake 0-4 (0-1 sl), N Coakley 0-2, S Corcoran and M O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
BALLYHEA: M Browne; O O’Sullivan, J Hennessy, S Dennehy; M Morrissey, K Hanley, T Shanahan; M O’Sullivan, A O’Connor, P O’Callaghan, J O’Sullivan, D Copps; J Morrissey, E Morrissey, N Ronan.
CARRIGALINE: B O’Driscoll; J Cowhig, A Noonan, T O’Connor; C McSweeney, P Murphy, C Hurley; R O’Shea, K Kavanagh; R Keohane, N Coakley, D Drake; S Corcoran, P Mullane, M O’Sullivan.
Subs: C Barry for C McSweeney (28), S Griffin for P Murphy (42 inj).
Referee: D Carroll (Kanturk).