Inniscarra 3-12 Ballinhassig 0-12
A TOUR de force performance from Colm Casey — the full-forward struck 3-3 from play over the hour — steered Inniscarra into the third round of the Cork PIHC.
With both sides having lost their opening round fixtures, it was a case of last chance saloon at Ovens on Saturday evening. In the end, it was Ballinhassig who exited stage left and they can have very few complaints given their failure to score from play beyond the 14th minute.
The vanquished rearguard simply had no answer to the brilliance and determination of Casey, the Scarra full-forward enjoying the better of the three different Ballinhassig defenders who were at different times instructed to shadow him.
The first of Casey’s hat-trick arrived six minutes in, the opening major of this second round contest stemming from a stray Ballinhassig pass to Inniscarra half-forward Michael Coleman who did well early on in his deep-lying role as a third midfielder.
A point subsequently from Colin Reynolds nudged the winners into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead, but there followed four-in-a-row from Ballinhassig’s Sean Coleman (0-2, 0-1 free, 0-1 65), Ger Collins, and Cillian Tyers to return them in front.
Inniscarra were incredibly wasteful in that opening half, racking up a tally of nine wides and they certainly would have been left to rue those missed opportunities if it wasn’t for Casey, who cracked home their second goal seven minutes before the break directly after Ballinhassig had spurned a green flag opportunity up the other end.
Ballinhassig managed only one score — a long-range free from goalkeeper Patrick Collins — in the closing 16 minutes of the first-half, but with a slight wind behind them upon the change of ends, they would have expected to eat somewhat into their opponents’ 2-6 to 0-8 interval advantage.
As it transpired, their second-half effort never left the runway. They did not raise a flag of any description until the three-quarter hour mark and of the four second-half points they tallied, all were placed ball efforts.
Ballinhassig changed their full-back at the break, but no difference did it make as Casey continued to wreak havoc. He won the free which allowed Michael Coleman open their second-half account and rattled in his third goal to put nine between them on 37 minutes. Inniscarra’s reward for keeping alive their season is a third-round tie against Mallow this Saturday.
“Absolutely delighted with the performance,” began Inniscarra manager Ger Murphy.
“I was delighted with our lads’ work-rate, it was phenomenal all through.
“Colm (Casey) is always very good, in fairness. For a full-forward to be good, it is all about the supply of ball he gets. Colm got some super goals, no question about that, but it is a 15-man performance.”
Scorers for Inniscarra: C Casey (3-3); M Coleman (0-3, 0-3 frees); O McCarthy (0-2); S O’Donoghue (0-1 free).
Ballinhassig: S Coleman (0-5, 0-4 frees, 0-1 ’65); G Collins (0-1 free), C Tyers (0-2 each); P Collins (0-1 free), C Reynolds, F O’Leary (0-1 each).
INNISCARRA: J O’Keeffe; J O’Callaghan, B O’Mahony, J O’Sullivan; C Lombard, C O’Leary, A McCarthy; L Ryan, S O’Donoghue; O McCarthy, D O’Keeffe, M Coleman; E O’Connor, C Casey, M O’Connell.
Subs: S O’Mahony for D O’Keeffe (39); C Bennett for O’Connor (53).
BALLINHASSIG: P Collins; E Lombard, P O’Leary, B Coleman; S O’Neill, M Ahern, J Rearden; C Desmond, S McCarthy; C Reynolds, S Coleman, F O’Leary; C Tyers, S Dineen, G Collins.
Subs: J O’Callaghan for P O’Leary (h-t); K McCarthy for Reynolds (37); P Coomey for Dineen (47).
Referee: D Farrell.