As well as the Junior A football and hurling finals coming soon, the top three scorers for the Premier Intermediate favourites all lined out and led the way for this U21 success.
Indeed Richard Lombard, who scored 2-3 against Carrigaline when the sides met at Premier Intermediate level, returned to haunt the town. His goal, four minutes from time, separated the sides moments after Cian O’Donovan’s major had tied the game for an eighth time.
“We’re preaching that all year: goals or points, don’t drop the head, we get the next score,” echoed Walsh.
“When we got that goal back, that was a turning point. We were on a high then and we finished it out, just about. We were willing to put our bodies on the line; willing to put our foot in, our hurleys in, our hands in, our heads in … We kept coming out with the ball from the half-back line, particularly James O’Callaghan.”
Carrigaline were resolute in their pursuit, despite relying on placed balls for 1-10 of their total. Yet late goal chances for Kieran Dwane and Colin Maguire were smothered as the Blues held on for victory.
Carrig’ had to line out without Killian McIntyre and David Griffin – both major losses – but still rattled Ballinhassig at the start as David O’Donovan won a fifth-minute penalty which Jamie DePuis converted. However, as with Lombard’s goal at the death, Ballinhassig found an immediate reply, with Patrick Collins, who stood between the sticks for DePuis’ penalty, returning to the opposite end for a superb goal.
Collins did the most of the damage in the opening ten minutes, before Carrig’ began to close down the space inside. Yet it was the outstanding net-minding of Robert Foster which prevented more goals, making a variety of saves from Collins (three times), Colin Reynolds and Lombard. One of the most important came before half-time, his block from Collins keeping the scores level at 1-7 apiece at the break.
P Collins (1-7, 6 frees); R Lombard (1-1); G Sheehan (1 free), P Bohane, C Tyres (0-2 each); Colin Reynolds, M O’Mahony (0-1 each).
C Maguire (0-9, 7 frees, 2 65s); J DePuis (1-1, 1-0 pen); C O’Donovan (1-0); R Foster (free), D O’Reilly (0-1 each).
S Kearney; G O’Leary, Chris Reynolds, Kevin Maguire; Killian Maguire, J O’Callaghan, C O’Mahony; P Bohane, M O’Mahony; Colin Reynolds, R Lombard, C McCarthy; G Sheehan, P Collins, C Tyres
E Buckley for McCarthy (40), A O’Leary for Bohane (48).
R Foster; K Kavanagh, S Griffin, L Condon; S Williamson, K O’Connell, B Lynch; C Maguire, K Dwane; S Maguire, B Coakley, D O’Reilly; J DePuis, D O’Donovan, C O’Connell.
D Stack for Condon, J Maher for O’Donovan, C O’Donovan for C O’Connell (all ht), N Coleman for Coakley (47).
A Cummins (Ballymartle).