Fr O’Neill’s 6-19 Ballymartle 2-11
DESPITE a Jekyll and Hyde display from Fr O’Neill’s overall, a stunning second-half display ensured they're into the Bon Secours Senior A Hurling Championship semi-finals.
Ballymartle certainly took the game to Fr O’Neill’s at Cobh in the first half but the dismissal of Darragh McCarthy in the 20th minute for an off the ball incident weakened their resistance.
It wasn’t a good day for Ballymartle as goalkeeper Declan McCarthy was also shown a red card in the 57th minute for getting involved in a minor melee that gave referee Teddy O’Donovan no option but to punish him.
The game started in a welter of excitement with Fr O’Neill’s opening up with consecutive points from Declan Dalton and Billy Dunne.
Suddenly Ballymartle responded to the wake- up call and a Darren McCarthy point in the sixth injected energy into the side.
A minute later poor defending allowed Brian Corry plenty of space as he blasted the ball to the back of the net.
On the next possession, the Ballymacoda/Ladysbride outfit responded when Rob Cullinane played in Declan Dalton who showed no mercy to the Ballymartle keeper with a thunderous shot.
This game was like watching a tense tennis game as Ballymartle responded again when Corry showed a nice touch to drill an unstoppable shot past the bewildered keeper.
When O’Neill's needed inspiration Billy Dunne scored the first of his three goals in the 18th minute but despite playing with 14 men a late Corry point ensured the teams were level at the break.
On the resumption, Fr O’Neills ran riot scoring three goals in the opening 13 minutes Dunne, Liam O’Driscoll and Dalton.
Indeed in the opening quarter, Fr O’Neill's outscored their opponents 3-6 to 0-3.
It was a case of going through the motions for the favourites and with Dunne adding a third goal in the closing minutes the sound of the final whistle was met with relief by the Ballymartle camp.
Scorers for Fr O’Neills: D Dalton 2-8 (0-3 f, 0-2 sl) B Dunne 3-4, L O’Driscoll 1-2, K O’Sullivan 0-2, J Hankard, D Conway, P McMahon 0-1 each.
Ballymartle: B Corry 2-2, D McCarthy 0-7 (0-4 f), S O’Mahony 0-2.
Fr O'NEILL'S: C Sloane; M Millerick, P Butler, E Motherway; J Barry, M O’Keeffe, T Millerick; J Millerick, K O’Sullivan; R Cullinane, P McMahon, J Hankard; L O’Driscoll, D Dalton, B Dunne.
Subs: S O’Connor for P Butler (h-t), John Millerick for Joe Millerick (47), O Conway for J Hankard (53).
BALLYMARTLE: D McCarthy; C Coleman, E Healy, L Corry; G Webb, E O’Leary, S Corry; D McCarthy, C Allen; S O’Mahony, B Corry, P Geary; D McCarthy, K McCarthy, J McCarthy.
Subs: D Edmonds for C Coleman (25), S Cummins for P Geary (25).
Referee: Teddy O’Donovan (Douglas).