Ballincollig 5-15 Nemo Rangers 2-7
AFTER 12 minutes of this Rebel Óg Premier 1 football clash, hosts Nemo Rangers looked in a very strong position.
They led 1-2 to 0-1, and while Darragh Egan's goal had a slice of luck about it, they were moving the ball with purpose into an attack where Ross Corkery and Robert Dillon looked the part.
Ballincollig settled with points from Brian Keating and powerhouse Dylan Ebili and after the water-break snatched the lead when Mark Oldham and Darragh O'Mahony combined to send Tadhg O'Connell racing clear. The wing-back still had work to do but drilled it past Luke Towler with venom.
From there Conor Cronin's charges took a firm grip from midfield up, with Seán Dore and Liam O'Connell a dynamic duo offering strength and pace. Ebili put a goal on a plate for David O'Sullivan, before O'Mahony and Keating linked for a sweet point: 2-7 to 1-2.
Nemo needed to stop the bleeding somehow and though Jack Scally and Charlie Coughlan were battling stoutly, the third goal arrived via a run from Liam O'Connell that allowed captain Oldham to squeeze the ball home.
Another green flag was raised on the kick-out, O'Sullivan intercepting and Darragh O'Mahony, the son of former Cork senior Podsie, finishing with aplomb.
Ross Corkery, the son of another ex-Rebel attacker Colin, responded but 4-7 to 1-3 in arrears, Nemo were in real trouble. They weren't helped by the absence of Patrick Campbell, an All-Ireland winning Cork minor in 2019, but to their credit refused to wilt.
Though Keating nailed a lovely point early in the second half, Nemo's perseverance paid off when marauding centre-forward Robert Dillon was fouled for a penalty duly converted by Corkery. Dylan Twomey and the impressive Egan also pointed and when Dillon Horgan picked up a black card, Nemo had a lifeline and an extra man.
Still, down 4-10 to 2-7 they had to force matters and Ballincollig settled, with Shane Buckley and Harry Aherne teak-tough at the back and the quick and skillful O'Mahony now on a roving commission.
They kicked over a sequence of fine scores from a variety of angles, with Keating, Ebili and Dore dominating, while in the last play sub Alan Cronin pounced for a fifth goal.
Glanmire beat Douglas in the other game in this group.
Scorers for Ballincollig: D O'Mahony 1-4 (0-3 f), B Keating 0-5 (0-1 f), M Oldham 1-2 (0-1 f), T O'Connell 1-1, D O'Sullivan, A Cronin 1-0 each, D Ebili 0-2, H Aherne 0-1.
Nemo: R Corkery 1-4 (0-1 f), D Egan 1-2, D Twomey 0-1.
NEMO RANGERS: L Towler (c); F Twohig, M Harrington, J Billingshurst; S Burke, J Scally, D O'Sullivan; C Coughlan, D Egan; R Timon, D Twomey, C Cusack; C Casey, R Dillon, R Corkery.
Subs: D Ruddock for Harrington (h-t), R Keeley and M O'Sullivan for Twohig and Casey (38), R Hogan for Twomey (51), A McAuliffe for Cusack (56), S Barrett for Timon (61).
BALLINCOLLIG: C Walsh; D Horgan, S O'Donoghue, S Buckley; T O'Connell, R O'Connor, H Aherne; S Dore, L O'Connell; D Ebili, M Oldham (c), C O'Driscoll, D O'Mahony, D O'Sullivan, B Keating.
Subs: P O'Keeffe for O'Driscoll (41), D Horgan (bc 50-60), S O'Flynn for O'Connor (55), S Kelly for O'Sullivan (60), C Lyons for Ebili (61), A Cronin for Oldham (63).
Referee: J O'Regan (Lough Rovers).