Ballincollig junior hurlers' blend of youth and experience outclasses Blarney

Ballincollig junior hurlers' blend of youth and experience outclasses Blarney
Experienced Ballincollig defender Noel Galvin helped the club's junior hurlers to a victory over Blarney. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Ballincollig 0-22 Blarney 1-10

BALLINCOLLIG outclassed Blarney in this MJK Oils JAHC quarter-final at Ballymaw. 

The victors played with a strong wind in the opening half and led by 0-15 to 0-2 at the break. Blarney briefly threatened to launch a comeback, but the Ballincollig defence held firm with Conor Kinsella, Noel Galvin and Brian Cotter in outstanding form.

Ironically, these two clubs will also meet in the PIHC quarter-final in a couple of weeks, but this clash at junior level was very comfortable for Ballincollig. 

They rattled off early scores through Stephen Wills, Shane Murphy and the impressive Evan Cooke who finished the game with 0-6. Blarney's Mark Cremen is a free-taker of the highest calibre and he registered his side's opening score.

But Ballincollig were rampant with James O’Leary, Conor Sexton (2) and the aforementioned Cooke landing excellent scores from play. Blarney were struggling all over the field with Cremen adding a second placed effort as they trailed by thirteen points at the break.

On resumption, Ballincollig landed points from Adam Wills, Stephen Wills (free) and Shane Murphy to finish the game as a contest. Blarney got a goal after Cian Dunlea reacted quickest from a Mark Cremen 20-metre free. 

Further points followed for the Blarney men from Conor Forde, Cremen (free) and Gavin Mullane as they tried hard to manufacture some goal chances. 

But Ballincollig’s Noel Galvin is vastly experienced, and he marshalled his defence superbly when the pressure was greatest.

Blarney kept the scoreboard ticking over in the final quarter, but Ballincollig’s Stephen Wills landed the final score of the game with his 3rd free and his sixth point overall. 

Elsewhere in the competition Kilmichael edged out Donoughmore on a score line of 1-19 to 2-15 after a thrilling encounter. Peter Kelleher got a 1-8 in a man of the match performance.

Scorers for Ballincollig: E Cooke, S Wills (0-3 f) 0-6 each, S Murphy 0-3, J O’Leary, A Wills, C Sexton 0-2 each, D Collins 0-1.

Blarney: M Cremen 0-5 f, C Dunlea 1-0, C Forde, M Cummins, G Mullane, R O’Donovan, C Hegarty 0-1 each.

BALLINCOLLIG: R Cambridge; C Twomey, N Galvin, B Cotter; Jordan Murray, C Kinsella, S O’Neill; S Wills, C Moore; J O’Leary, E Cooke, A Wills; S Murphy, C Sexton, D Collins. 

Sub: Jason Murray for D Collins (45). 

BLARNEY: C Murphy; G Mullane, P O'Connor, J Barrett; W Crowley, S McSweeney, C O'Mahony; V O'Mahony, B Phelan; C Forde, M Cremen, M Cumins; C Dunlea, C Ahern, C Hegarty. 

Subs: B Walsh for V O'Mahony (h-t), R O’Donovan for C Ahern (h-t), J Goode for C Dunlea (45). 

Referee: J Horgan (Gleann Na Laoi)

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