Ballincollig 0-13 Ballinhassig 0-13
A SENSATIONAL long-range point from Cian Dorgan sent Ballincollig through to the knockout stages of the PIHC.
Dorgan turned over the sliotar at midfield and launched a booming effort to level for the Village against a Ballinhassig team in the ascendancy. The draw sends Danny Dwyer's charges in a Muskerry derby quarter-final against Blarney, a repeat of the 2008 encounter at the same stage that Blarney won on the road to a county title.
Hassig needed to win to grab the runners-up spot behind Watergrasshill in the group and a pair of Fintan O’Leary frees, a lovely effort from Cillian Tyers and a smart finish by Michael Collins saw them come from 0-12 to 0-9 down to lead entering the closing stages of a very dour clash.
There was little between the sides throughout, both failing to make full use of the wind, though Seán Walsh’s haul of 0-4 from play was noteworthy given the scrappy fare in general and the quality of them.
Fintan O’Leary and Tyers were Hassig’s go-to forwards but the south-east side were guilty of a few costly missed frees, whereas Dorgan was seven from eight for the Collig. Donnacha O’Donovan and Richard Lombard were immense for Hassig, while subs Simon O’Neill and Charlie Grainger added real energy.
Wing-back Michael Sheehan was introduced in the first half and also hurled well, in a cagey affair where scores were at a premium, in part down to some tenacious defending by the likes of Shane Murphy, Ciarán O'Sullivan, James Reardon and Conor Desmond.
Ballincollig’s Barry Coleman, Mark Prendergast, David Bowen, Liam Jennings and sub Rory O’Doherty, who was fouled for a converted free and clipped over a fine point having shone for the club since the late '90s, showed leadership when the game was on the line.
Huge credit must to go to keeper James Linehan as well, the youngster’s handling under the dropping ball was exceptional when Ballinhassig went long with the wind in the first half.
The Blues had much the better of the first half in terms of possession in the danger zone but only led 0-6 to 0-5 at the break.
The second half was a tough, hard-hitting affair, with the sides level 0-9 each at the water-break. Ballinhassig did scramble home a goal but a free out was awarded for an infringement on Linehan.
Then Ballincollig made a burst for the finishing line, O’Doherty and Walsh giving them that three-point advantage before Dorgan saved the day after Ballinhassig’s four-point burst.
Scorers for Ballincollig: C Dorgan 0-8 (0-6 f, 0-1 65), S Walsh 0-4, R O’Doherty 0-1.
Ballinhassig: F O’Leary 0-7 (0-5 f), C Tyers 0-2, M Collins, C Reynolds, C Grainger, R Lombard 0-1 each.
BALLINCOLLIG: J Linehan; R O’Donovan, L Jennings, S Murphy; C O’Sullivan, B Coleman, M Prendergast; R Bourke, JP Murphy; G O’Donoghue, D Bowen, C O’Leary; F Denny, C Dorgan, S Walsh.
Subs: P O’Neill for O’Leary (h-t), K Walsh for JP Murphy (40), R O’Doherty for O’Donoghue (42), JP Murphy for Bourke (51).
BALLINHASSIG: P Collins; J Reardon, K Maguire, P O’Leary; C Desmond, D O’Donovan, B Lombard; R Lombard, S McCarthy; C Reynolds, M Collins, S Coleman; C Tyers, F O’Leary, G Collins.
Subs: M Sheehan for B Lombard (25 inj), E Cullinane for G Collins (41), C Grainger for Coleman (41), S O’Neill for McCarthy (47).
Referee: Patrick O’Driscoll (Bride Rovers).