An exhibition of football from Ballincollig at Cloughduv yesterday as they knocked out last year’s defeated semi-finalists, Carbery, in round four of the Cork SFC. A particularly good outing too for county player Patrick Kelly, the centre-forward finishing with 2-2 in a highly entertaining game.
Carbery struggled to match the tenacity of their opponents, although they did stage a strong fightback early in the second half, when behind by eight points. They reduced the gap to a point but significantly Ballincollig responded by outscoring them 1-7 to 0-1 in the final 20 minutes.
This was a wonderful display from the mid-Cork side, perhaps their best?
Said manager Michael O’Brien: “We had to fight hard as well against the Barrs when we were under a different kind of pressure (one point victory in the first round).
“Each player to a man stood up today. We have a lot of leaders — Patrick Kelly, John Miskella, Noel Galvin, Liam Jennings and Stephen O’Donoghue. All these guys manned up and in the second half, we saw what Sean Kiely can do.
“We have a nice balance. A lot of guys who were disappointed in the U21 championship (losing the county final) have lifted themselves. We have a very strong panel. Any of the 26 could have come on today. There is a lot of work put in over the last eight months.”
Ballincollig got off to a flying start, 1-3 to 0-2 ahead after the first quarter. Three points on the spin from John Miskella, Patrick Kelly and Ciaran O’Sullivan before Kelly latched on to a superb long ball from O’Sullivan for the first goal.
Declan Barron, Mark Sugrue, Colm O’Driscoll were among the scorers as wind-assisted Carbery got back into the game.
Cian Dorgan and Cian Kiely curled over points to push Ballincollig further ahead. Finding plenty of open space, they scored their second goal, a fabulous four-man move expertly finished again by Kelly, three minutes from the interval. Ballincollig were rampant. To Carbery’s relief, Stephen Coughlan notched a point on the stroke of half-time, but they still trailed 0-6 to 2-8.
Carbery made a few switches, introducing Shane O’Neill and Richard O’Sullivan for the second half. They were straight into the action. A surging run from Sugrue resulted in a fine goal, finished by Barron. Points from Barron, Peter Daly, Sugrue and O’Neill arrived and all of a sudden they were just a point behind, 1-10 to 2-8, with just 11 minutes of the second half played out.
Ballincollig then showed their resolve. Not alone did they respond on the scoreboard but their hugely effective back-line confined Carbery to one point, scored from a free.
Sean Kiely and Ciaran O’Sullivan were immense at midfield — O’Sullivan tallying four points while Kiely blasted a super goal. Their point-taking was really impressive too, with Ian Coughlan having the last say.
As the contest petered out, Brian O’Driscoll was black carded for Carbery, while in a separate incident, Ballincollig’s Ciaran O’Sullivan received a second yellow card. It mattered little, as Ballincollig confirmed their place in the last eight.
“We will drive it on now for the quarter-final against Muskerry or St Nicks,” said O’Brien. “If it is Muskerry, it would be interesting, a local derby. Both sides would enjoy that,” smiled O’Brien.
Scorers for Ballincollig: P Kelly (2-2), S Kiely (1-0), C O’Sullivan (0-4), C Dorgan (0-3, one free), C Kiely and J Miskella (0-2 each), G Durrant and I Coughlan (free) (0-1 each).
Scorers for Carbery: D Barron (1-2), M Sugrue (0-5, two frees), C O’Driscoll, P Daly, S O’Neill, S Coughlan (0-1 each).
BALLINCOLLIG: D Lordan; N Galvin, L Jennings, C Moore; J P Murphy, S O’Donoghue, C Kiely; S Kiely, C O’Sullivan; N Allen, P Kelly, G Durrant; J Kelly, C Dorgan, J Miskella.
Subs: L Prendergast for J P Murphy (36), I Coughlan for N Allen (45), D Tobin for J Kelly (52).
CARBERY: P Prendergast (Bandon); B O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), E Sexton (Kilbrittain), K Harrington (Bantry Blues); P Murphy (Bandon), J O’Donovan (Bandon), P Daly (St Mary’s); A O’Connor (St Colums), G Canty (Bantry Blues); C O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), R O’Sullivan (Argideen Rangers), M Sugrue (Bandon); D Barron (Bantry Blues), S Coughlan (Bantry Blues), K O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh).
Subs: S O’Neill (Bantry Blues) for P Murphy, R O’Sullivan (Kilmacabea) for S Coughlan (both half-time), J Downey (Bantry Blues) for R O’Sullivan (Argideen Rangers)(53), C Sugrue (Bandon) for D Barron (56), C O’Mahony (Bandon) for B O’Driscoll (bc 59).
Referee: Kevin Murphy (Nemo Rangers).