Firing on all cylinders, the club side, apart from the opening quarter during which the teams were level twice, were never in any danger of losing this local derby.
Ballincollig coach Michael O’Brien praised his charges for the manner of their victory. “We knew coming into this game that Muskerry would put up strong resistance and it was our game plan to take the match to them from the beginning.
“We got the perfect start and drove on from there. We have a very good team of youth and experience and any time you score 20 points in a football championship game, you have to be pleased.
“However we have nothing won yet. We are in the semi-final for the first time since 1999, when we failed to UCC, and Nemo will pose a lot of problem for us, but we’ll be ready for them.”
Muskerry settled well after the early flurry of Ballincollig scores and with Fintan Gould giving them a hold on midfield, they were level by the end of the opening quarter, Daniel Goulding and Gould scoring a brace of points each.
Playing the possession game to perfection, however, Ballincollig thundered back into the game, led superbly by county senior Noel Galvin and Steve O’Donoghue in defence and Johnny Miskella in attack and four points in a row had them 0-8 to 0-4 in front at the break, Muskerry failing to add to their tally for the last 15 minutes of the half.
Ballincollig continued where they left off on the resumption and after Daniel Goulding had a Muskerry point, the club side proceeded ripped the divisional defence to shreds, playing some delightful attacking football.
Excellent free-taking by Cian Dorgan and some great long-range points by Niall Allen had Ballincollig comfortably in front by the threequarter stage. And the margin should have been greater.
Paddy Kelly found himself one-on-one with Muskerry keeper James O’Connell but blazed wide and his brother John found himself in a similar position minutes later but was denied by the keeper.
Muskerry went almost 20 minutes without a score and their cause wasn’t helped by the loss of team captain Noel Ó Laoire for a second yellow card offence and they were reduced further when wing forward Peter Kelleher was dismissed for a similar offence.
Whether Muskerry were at full strength of not, Ballincollig were never going to lose this game. Their pace in breaking from defence, coupled with excellent finishing by Cian Dorgan saw them lead 0-17 to 0-9 with five minutes remaining.
The divisional side did manage a late goal scored by Fintan Gould but it only served to put a more respectable look on the score board.
Scorers for Ballincollig: C Dorgan (0-6, 0-4 frees); J Kelly (0-4, 0-2 frees); N Allen, J Miskella (0-3 each); P Kelly, C Kiely, G Durrant, I. Coughlan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Muskerry: F Gould (1-2, 0-1 free); D Goulding (0-4, 0-1 free); D Ambrose, L Shorten, D Twomey (0-1 each).
BALLINCOLLIG: D Lordan; L Prendergast, L Hennings, N Galvin; JP Murphy, S O’Donoghue, C Kiely; S. Kiely, C O’Sullivan; G. Durrant, P Kelly, N Allen; J. Kelly, C Dorgan, J Miskella.
Subs: I. Coughlan for J Kelly (45 mins); D Tobin for P Kelleher (48); A O’Donovan for C Dorgan (58).
MUSKERRY: J O’Connell (Macroom); S Ó Mathúna (Naomh Abán), K Barrett (Kilmurry), G Ó Mocháin (Cill na Martra); J Carey (Dripsey), N Ó Laoire (Cill na Martra), R Buckley (Macroom); F Gould (Macroom), S Ó Ceilleachair (Cill na Martra); D Ambrose (Aghinagh), M Ó Laoire (Naomh Abán), P Kelleher (Kilmichael); M Ó Coinchúir (Cill na Martra), D Gouldiung (Eire Og), L Shorten (Beal Atha an Ghaorthaidh).
Subs: J Mullins (Eire Óg) for G Ó Mocháin (25 mins); D Twomey (Kilmichael) for D Ambrose (45).
Referee: B Coniry (Crosshaven).