Glen Rovers 4-20 Ballymartle 1-9: Glen Rovers safely navigated their way into the third round of the Cork SHC at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.
They were impressive winners, but it proved to be all too easy against a Ballymartle side who will rue a series of events in the lead up to half-time.
The dismissal of corner-forward John McCarthy was a turning point; and in the next passage of play Patrick Horgan – who was once again in excellent form (1-10) – broke from his marker and pounced for the Glen’s opening goal.
This left 14-man Ballymartle chasing the game, and it got progressively worse for them. The county champions of 2015 and 2016 turned over eight points better than them, and the second-half was one-way traffic. Glen Rovers manager Richie Kelleher pointed to the sending off as a crucial stage in the game.
“The sending off, and Patrick getting a goal straight away, had a big bearing on the match. It was game over. These things happen. We had a fella sent off last year against Sar - you just have to accept it.
“For ourselves, last year was a bit of a downer. We really pushed the lads this year, we really have worked them hard. Coming up we were expecting a really tough game from Ballymartle. We have history, it is 50-50. We are thrilled with the result.”
The south east team, although trailing 0-10 to 0-6 before the dismissal having conceded unanswered flags from Horgan, Simon Kennefick and Eoghan Cronin, had worked hard to find their way back and were a mere point behind after 20 minutes.
However, they were forced to play second best after McCarthy’s straight red for an alleged altercation with Glen goalkeeper Cathal Hickey (Hickey, who had just pulled off double saves, received a yellow).
They were 1-11 to 0-6 in arrears at the change of ends - Jamie Dwyer’s goal coming on 60 minutes. Their disappointment was palpable, they now must face either Sarsfields on Ballyhea in round 2.
For the Glen, things couldn’t have gone much better. They were never led. In his first senior start, Simon Kennefick – grandson of the late Christy Ring - slotted in seamlessly. One of two Leaving Cert students (Rob Downey too), he pointed within a minute.
They were leading 0-6 to 0-2 after 10 minutes, but Ballymartle settled and notched the next three points without reply from Barry Dwyer, Jamie Dwyer and Brian Corry.
Glen Rovers pressed on the pedal once more to go four clear, and following the red card, Horgan raced through for a quickfire goal two minutes from the short whistle. There was also a white flag from midfielder Dave Noonan.
Glen Rovers captain and centre-back Brian Moylan was the spare defender, and the numerical advantage began to tell. They returned to the action posting two Horgan points and one from Dean Brosnan. When Simon Kennefick struck for their second goal, it was pretty much game over, 2-14 to 0-6, and the fourth quarter to play.
Glen Kennefick popped over a point, and an utterly dominant Glen added a third goal when Brosnan’s fine individual effort gave Paul Allen no chance. All the while, Ballymartle were scoreless. Tenacious defending, including David Dooling’s clearance off the goal line, didn’t allow Ballymartle register until 19 minutes into the second-half – a point from midfield player Sean O’Mahony.
Horgan landed a brace and the scoreboard took on a very one-sided look after the Glen got in for their fourth goal. Noonan played a long ball into the heart of the Ballymartle defence, it wasn’t dealt with, and eventually it appeared to be deflected off a defender into the net.
Cronin chipped in with a pair of points, 4-19 to 0-7. There was, however, a late consolation green flag for Ballymartle – and what a cracking solo goal it was from Jamie Dwyer. Standing almost on the end line, midway between the goalposts and the corner flag, he somehow managed to squeeze a bullet of a shot past Hickey in the final minute of play.
Scorers for Glen Rovers:
P Horgan (1-10, 0-4 frees), S Kennefick (1-3), D Noonan and D Brosnan (1-1 each), E Cronin (0-3), A O’Donovan and G Kennefick (0-1 each).
Scorers for Ballymartle:
J Dwyer (1-2), B Corry (0-3), S O’Mahony (0-1 free) and B Dwyer (frees) (0-2 each).
C Hickey; A Lynch, S McDonnell, D Dooling; R Downey, B Moylan (Capt), G Callanan; A O’Donovan, D Noonan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, G Kennefick; S Kennefick, M Dooley, E Cronin.
P Allen; G Webb, M Tobin, L Corry; D Edmonds, R Cahalane, E O’Leary; D McCarthy (Capt), S O’Mahony; P Dwyer, B Corry, B Dwyer; P Geary, J Dwyer, J McCarthy.
E Healy for P Geary (38).
Joe Larkin (Ballinora).
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