Battling Ballincollig back in the hunt for honours

Ballincollig are back in the hunt for the Premier IHC after falling short to Kilbrittain in their opening round game.

They eventually got the better of a formidable Watergrasshill in Riverstown on Saturday evening. Ballincollig were a more balanced outfit – particularly in attack– although they will need to improve in their shooting as they had the same number of wides as they had scores.

For now though, they are safely through to the fourth round. However, Watergrasshill, who had previously lost out to Youghal, are minus a few of their better known names this year and were unable to start Paudie Cahill due to injury.

They advance to round three but their football arm, Glenville, also have to prepare for a back door game in Premier IFC next weekend.

This was a dogged encounter. Ballincollig played a great support game and this was typified by an array of scorers. Brian Glavin, Alan Donovan, Colm Harris all slotting over points from play in the first quarter while the ’Hill were over reliant on free-taker Paddy O’Regan. Ballincollig went ahead 0-4 to 0-3.

John O’Brien and Ciaran O’Sullivan tacked on a pair of points approaching the interval, whilst Watergrasshill who were strong in defence, added just one more point – again from O’Regan — to trail 0-6 to 0-4 at the changeover.

However, Ballincollig could have been further in front as they also had a penalty struck by goalkeeper Finbarr Kelly stopped on the line.

Again after the break, another goal effort was averted as sub Frank Hickey’s shot was warded off. Still, they were creating more chances than Watergrasshill and slowly the gap widened. O’Sullivan converted three frees which opened up a four point lead, 0-10 to 0-6, with the final quarter remaining.

Watergrasshill pushed full-back Sean O’Callaghan forward and later on introduced Cahill but they were getting nothing easy from Ballincollig who increased their advantage to double scores, 0-12 to 0-6 with five minutes left to play. Watergrasshill, meanwhile, could only manage one flag and that came from the stick of wing forward Kevin O’Neill.

Scorers for Ballincollig: C O’Sullivan 0-5 (4fs), A Donovan, B Glavin, C Harris, J O’Brien, K Hickey, F Kelly (f), F Hickey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Watergrasshill: P O’Regan 0-4fs, A Cronin, W Connolly, K O’Neill 0-1 each.

BALLINCOLLIG: F Kelly; M Prendergast, N Galvin, JP Murphy; L Jennings, S O’Donoghue, B Cotter; C Harris, C O’Sullivan; D Bowen, K Hickey, J O’Brien; A Donovan, C O’Connor, B Glavin.

Subs: F Hickey for B Glavin (ht), C Sexton for A Donovan (37 mins), I Coughlan for J O’Brien (48).

WATERGRASSHILL: A Foley; P Cronin, S O’Callaghan, W O’Leary; M Kennedy, N O’Riordan, D McCarthy; P O’Regan, W Connolly; K O’Neill, E Barry, E O’Reilly; J McCarthy, A Cronin, J Foley.

Subs: S O’Regan for J McCarthy (44), G Hogan for M Kennedy (52), P Cahill for A Cronin (57).

Referee: K Murphy (Nemo Rangers).

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