Ballincollig 1-8 Carbery Rangers 1-4
BALLINCOLLIG will face Douglas in the Cork Minor Premier 1 Football Championship final, after this victory over Carbery Rangers in Cloughduv.
The Mid-Cork outfit, managed by former Cork senior Podsie O’Mahony, showed grit and desire to successfully overturn the lead Ross held for large spells in the game, having lost to the same side in an earlier round.
With the finishing line in sight, Ballincollig ended strongly and motored onto victory. It was a great lift for the club as their minor hurlers were narrowly beaten in the semi-final against Midleton two weeks ago.
Ballincollig’s desire and workrate was hugely impressive, and some of these players will now contest two finals in the coming weeks, as the U16s are also in a Rebel Óg P1 decider, against Carrigaline.
Evan Browne got the first score for Rangers with two minutes on the clock. That was to be followed by a fine point on the turn by Paul Hodnett.
Ballincollig responded courtesy of a pair of frees by Steve Wills. They could have had a goal when Pauric O’Keeffe had a good chance saved by Aaron O’Brien in the opposition goal.
The net rattled moments later at the other end, when Hodnett converted with a crisp finish from the penalty spot.
Ballincollig pointed again through Conor O’Leary before the break, as they trailed 0-3 to the 1-2 of Carbery Rangers at half time.
It was a tight and competitive half, with everything still to play for, when both sets of players returned from the interval.
Wills scored a wonderful curling effort for Ballincollig to reduce the gap down to one early in the second half. Ross hit back with a well-taken effort by Caolan Hayes.
Ballincollig’s character could not be questioned, and they found the net midway through the second half. Following a scramble near the goal, the ball was bundled home through Pauric O’Keeffe. That spurred the momentum in their favour, with Ballincollig getting further points through O’Leary, Darragh O’Mahony and Ryan Forde.
Ross reduced the gap down to three points heading into second-half stoppage time to ensure a grandstand finish. But Ballincollig capped off a great night with a late free through Dorgan.
They pulled this out of the fire when they needed to and will go into the final full of belief.
Awaiting in the decider will be Douglas, who overcame near neighbours Nemo Rangers.
Scorers for Ballincollig: P O’Keeffe 1-0, S Wills (0-2 f) 0-3, C O’Leary 0-2, D Dorgan (f), D O’Mahony, R Forde 0-1 each.
Carbery Rangers: P Hodnett (1-0 pen) 1-2, C Hayes, E Browne 0-1 each.
BALLINCOLLIG: C Walshe; M Bourke, J O’Connor, C Twomey; L O’Connell, C O’Leary, S O’Donoghue; S Dore, E Cooke; J Ambrose, S Wills, P O’Keeffe; J Cotter, D Dorgan, D O’Mahony.
Subs: B Keating for Cotter (45), R Forde for O’Mahony (47), R O’Connor for J O’Connor (60), H Aherne for Twomey (63).
CARBERY RANGERS: A O’Brien: C Hayes, J Kevane, S O’Mahony: E Hayes, K Scannell, K O’Regan; B Kerr, C Calnan: P O’Rourke, P Hodnett, E Browne: C Santry, J O’Regan, C Keane.
Subs: C Twomey for Keane (38), S Linehan for O’Regan (45), D O’Dwyer for O’Mahony (52).