The Green were on top across the pitch from the very outset but they really dominated the middle where Tomás O’Connor (dual Kerry minor All-Ireland medal winner last year) gave a man-of-the-match display, ably assisted by Joe O’Connor. They were pitted against a formid-able Ballincollig pairing of Cork minor Colm O’Callaghan and Kevin Crowley who battled to the end.
Tralee CBS had the added bonus of another Kerry minor, Kieran Dwyer, at centre back and he was a colossus throughout in a defence that allowed Ballincollig very little time on the ball. In fact Ballincollig only managed 0-3 in the first half, with a solitary point from play coming from the boot of James O’Sullivan of Eire Óg.
The expected second-half fightback never happened for Ballincollig, who only managed to add a single point from a Sean Warren free — he was their only threat upfront.
Tralee CBS, with Tommy Lynch commanding at full-back, flanked by the tenacious Brandon Patterson and Jack Myers, simply shut up shop while wing back John Walsh surged forward and kicked the super points.
Tralee CBS got off to a dream start with points from Gearoid Fitzgerald and Tom Hoare and then disaster for Ballincollig in the fifth minute when Mikey Kelliher’s shot was blocked — when the defender collected it, he was dispossessed and Kelliher followed up to slip the ball into the net.
John Walsh then surged up-field and kicked a mighty point as Tralee led 1-3 to 0-0 after only six minutes. In truth Ballincollig never raised a gallop after this, despite the efforts of Sean Warren, as Tralee were simply too strong down their spine.
Tralee CBS led 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time and coasted through the second half, Tomás O’Connor getting the best point as Ballincollig’s physical game failed to ruffle Tralee.
Tralee CBS top their group ahead of Rochestown and if they can be more clinical up front, they are a side that will be tough to beat.
M Kelliher (1-2, 2 frees), T Hoare (0-2, 1 free), J Walsh (0-2), G Fitzgerald, D Fitzmaurice, E Greaney (f), and T O’Connor (0-1 each).
S Warren (0-3 frees), J O’Sullivan (0-1).
S Foley; B Patterson, T Lynch, J Myers; J Walsh, K Dwyer, A Clifford; J O’Connor, T O’Connor; S Donnellan, T Hoare, D Fitzmaurice; Eoin Greaney, G Fitzgerald, M Kelliher.
J Mortimer for E Greaney (36), M Hoare for D Fitzmaurice (55).
E Curzon; W Ronan, F Warren, S Walsh; F Denny, L Fahy, S Quilley; C O’Callaghan, K Crowley; J Murphy, J O’Sullivan, C Bennett; E O’Leary, D Cronin, S Warren.
F O Donovan for D Cronin (44), R O’Donovan for E O’Leary (44), O Twomey for S Warren (48).
M Hickey (Milltown/Castlemaine).