Casey goal proves vital as Inniscarra book Premier Intermediate final date with Castlemartyr

Colm Casey’s 58th-minute goal changed the picture again and Inniscarra were brave and determined enough to see the job through despite some strong Ballinhassig resistance.
Casey goal proves vital as Inniscarra book Premier Intermediate final date with Castlemartyr

DETERMINATION: Ballinhassig's Conor Desmond being chased by Inniscarra players Liam Ryan and Jack Harrington in the Co-op Superstores Cork PIHC at Cloughduv. Pic: Denis Minihane.

CO-OP Superstores Cork Premier IHC Semi-Final 

Inniscarra 1-18 Ballinhassig 1-15 

INNISCARRA’S battling spirit was very much in evidence in this highly competitive Cork Premier IHC semi-final In Cloughduv on Saturday as a 58th minute Colm Casey goal proved the vital score just when Ballinhassig looked like making it to a mouth watering decider with Castlemartyr.

Leading 1-14 to 0-15 late in the contest Ballinhassig looked in control after the impressive Conor Desmond goaled in the 43rd minute after good work by Eddie Finn.

With Eoin Lombard now keeping a tight rein on the excellent Sean O’Donoghue, who ran riot in the opening half with five smashing points, and Donncha O’Donovan tight on Colm Casey, Ballinhassig’s game plan seemed to be working. Then some sloppy play by the Ballinhassig rearguard resulted in Owen McCarthy hitting the upright with a point chance and the alert Casey was on hand to strike what proved the winning goal.

There were11 long minutes of injury time and Conor Desmond did equalise for Ballinhassig. However, Owen McCarthy’s accurate free taking made sure Inniscarra were going to be in the final though both Ger Collins and brother Patrick did have late free chances to save the game but each were thwarted by. a steely winners’ rearguard.

Inniscarra boss Paul McCarthty was happy but relieved afterwards. “Yeah, hugely relieved. We knew we just had to get a goal and cometh the man, Colm Casey delivered. Lads it was a fabulous game of hurling, Ballinhassig really put it up to us on a tight pitch.To get to a final in my first season is tremendous. The basics were there. All I had to do was change the mindset, change the attitude of some of the players and it’s going well now.

“In the opening half we played against the strong wind and although we led by a point at the break and should have been happy, far from it. We went away from our game plan and I wasn’t happy with that. In fairness though the lads did put in 130% effort and I was certainly happy with that.

“Every player died with their boots on, we even brought on a 17 year old for an injured player. We’re in the final now and we will be up for it.” A good start to the contest, 0-2 apiece after the opening five minutes with O’Donoghue the star turn for Inniscarra with a fabulous five first-half points haul well assisted by Colm Casey. Indeed Dan O’Connell should have goaled for Inniscarra in the 10th minute but hit the side netting after good work by O’Donoghue and David O’Keeffe as they led 0-5 to 0-4 after the opening quarter.

Cork goalkeeper Patrick Collins with two huge frees and brother Ger were keeping Ballinhassig ticking over but it was O’Donoghue who was running the show for Inniscarra who led 0-8 to 0-7 at the break.

Nip and tuck in the second-half Conor Desmond levelling for Ballinhassig until some fine pointed frees from Owen McCarthy and one from play by Fergal O’Leary had Inniscarra in the driving seat 43 minutes into the contest.

Then that Ballinhassig goal from Desmond and although sub Kieran Rice levelled again another huge free from keeper Collins restored Ballinhassig’s lead.

With Desmond sublime with his free taking it looked like being Ballinhassig’s day until Casey’s 58th minute goal changed the picture again and they were brave and determined enough to see the job through despite some strong Ballinhassig resistance.

Scorers for Inniscarra: O. McCarthy 0-7 (frees), S. O’Donoghue 0-5, C. Casey 1-2, K. Rice 0-2, F. O’Leary and J. Enright 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballinhassig: C. Desmond 1-5 (0-3 frees), G. Collins and P. Collins (frees) 0-3 each, D. O’Sullivan 0-2 (0-1 free), B. Lynch (free) and E. Cullinane 0-1 each.

INNISCARRA: J. O’Keefe; C. Lombard, B. O’Mahony, J. O’Sullivan; J. Harrington, L. Ryan, S. Sheehan; J. Enright, S. O’Mahony; C. Casey, S. O’Donoghue, F. O’Leary; D. O’Keeffe, D. O’Connell, O. McCarthy.

Subs: K. Rice for O’Connell (41m), D. Keane for Sullivan (51m), S. Quinlivan for O’Mahony (64m), S. Buckley for Lombard 69m).

BALLINHASSIG: P. Collins; P. O’Leary, M. Desmond, J. Reardon; M. Collins, D. O’Donovan, S. McCarthy; E. Lombard, D. O’Sullivan; C. Grainger, C. Desmond, S. O’Neill; E. Cullinane, B. Lynch, G. Collins.

Subs: M. Sheehan for Lynch (ht), F. O’ Leary for O’Neill ((42m), E. Finn for O’Sullivan (42m), G. Kirby for Cullinane ((46m), K. Maguire for Lombard (50m).

Referee: Niall O’Neill (Midleton).

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