Fast start sets Bride Rovers up for comfortable victory against Ballymartle

Fast start sets Bride Rovers up for comfortable victory against Ballymartle
Bride Rovers' Brian Roche wins the ball from Cloughduv's Eoghan Clifford last season. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Bride Rovers 1-17 Ballymartle 0-12

BRIDE ROVERS laid the foundations in the first half as they got their Co-op SuperStores Cork SAHC Group C campaign off to a winning start at Ballincollig on Saturday evening.

Having had the wind in the first half, the Rathcormac/Bartlemy side were ahead by 1-12 to 0-4 at half-time, William Finnegan with eight points and Brian Roche’s goal in injury time giving them a real cushion.

When captain Daniel Dooley and Finnegan helped to push them further clear on the resumption, it seemed as if the outcome was clear-cut, but Ballymartle began to improve and slowly ate into the lead. However, seven points was the narrowest margin between the sides and Bride pushed on well towards the end to join Fr O’Neills at the top of the table ahead of their East Cork derby on Friday night.

The opening quarter belonged to Bride as they assembled a 0-6 to 0-1 lead, with Dooley impressive at midfield and veteran Brian Murphy co-ordinating a stout defensive effort. In contrast, Ballymartle struggled, with frees sent wide by four different players.

A free from Darren McCarthy cut the margin slightly after the water break but Bride weren’t knocked out of their stride, even when losing attacker Conleith Ryan to injury. Finnegan continued to send over frees and it was 0-9 to 0-2 before McCarthy got his second point.

Finnegan had three more points in the time added on due to Ryan’s injury and, after goalkeeper Cian Hogan did well to deny Ballymartle’s Killian McCarthy, Bride had a goal when Kieran Kearney’s good work set Roche up for a super finish.

A brilliant individual point from Dooley made it 1-13 to 0-5 within 15 seconds of the restart, and though McCarthy replied, Finnegan’s ninth point suggested a similar pattern to the first half.

However, Bride weren’t making as much headway and McCarthy and Seán O’Mahony cut the lead, point by point. The East Cork side were having to live on their wits at times, with Dooley doing well to cut out a McCarthy pass that would have given Shane Cummins a goal opportunity while Hogan saved brilliantly from McCarthy and O’Mahony.

Having been on the back foot for so long, Bride were relieved when Finnegan landed a big free to make it 1-15 to 0-10 and a Paddy O’Flynn sideline cut pushed them further clear before sub Michael Collins’ lovely pass set Finnegan up for his 11th of the game.

Scorers for Bride Rovers: W Finnegan 0-11 (0-7f), D Dooley 0-3, B Roche 1-0, P O’Flynn 0-2 (0-1 sl), S Walsh 0-1.

Ballymartle: Darren MCarthy 0-8 (0-5f), S O’Mahony (0-1 f, 0-1 65), B Corry 0-2 each.

BRIDE ROVERS: C Hogan; F Collins, B Murphy, T O’Sullivan; S O’Connor, E Roche, S Walsh; D Dooley, K Kearney; W Finnegan, R Prendergast, P O’Flynn; C Ryan, C O’Connor, B Roche.

Subs: J Mannix for Ryan (23, injured), M Collins for O’Connor (53), J Pratt for Prendergast (59).

BALLYMARTLE: P Allen; C Coleman, M Tobin, L Corry; S Dorney, E O’Leary, S Corry; S O’Mahony, C Allen; J Dwyer, B Corry, S Cummins; Darren McCarthy, K McCarthy, J McCarthy.

Subs: P Geary for Dwyer (30, injured), G Webb for Dorney (half-time), Darragh McCarthy for K McCarthy (44).

Referee: B Sweeney (Erin’s Own).

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