Major upset as Ballincollig hurlers battle past 13-man Courceys

Major upset as Ballincollig hurlers battle past 13-man Courceys
Ballincollig's Sean Walsh is tackled by Courcey Rovers' Billy Mulcahy, during their Cork PIHC clash at Brinny. Picture: David Keane.

Ballincollig 0-16 Courcey Rovers 1-11

BALLINCOLLIG enjoyed a famous victory over last year’s beaten finalists, Courcey Rovers, in the second round of the PIHC in Brinny on Saturday.

They only secured their win in the dying moments of the game when points from the game’s outstanding player, Seán Walsh, along with Conor O’Leary and Robbie Bourke saw them take the lead for the first time since the second minute and finally see off the brave challenge of their 13-man rivals from the south-east.

The result sees Courceys eliminated from the championship while last year’s IHC winners now face Valley Rovers next weekend.

The first-half suffered from hearts ruling heads as both teams found themselves involved in unnecessary skirmishes with Courceys punished through two red cards which made their task extremely difficult.

Before the ball was thrown in, referee Ian McCarthy was forced to speak to Ballincollig’s Conor Sexton and Courceys’ Sean Twomey and that ill-feeling was present throughout the half. Courceys’ Dan Lordan saw red from the throw-in following a moment of madness and there was a niggle to the play that didn’t lift until well into the second half.

As is often the case, it was Courceys who responded more impressively having been reduced to 14 and they led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the end of the opening quarter. Four of those points came from ace free-taker Tadgh O’Sullivan while Cork U20 star Twomey supplied the other with Fenton Denny and Luke Fahy on target for Ballincollig.

Bit by bit, Ballincollig came to terms with their numerical advantage. Walsh slotted over three points, Ciarán O’Sullivan had another while Tadgh O’Sullivan responded for Courceys to level matters at 0-6 apiece at half-time. It was to be O’Sullivan’s last action, however, as he was red-carded for an incident after the whistle.

Ballincollig's Ciaran O'Sullivan battling with Courcey Rovers' Tadhg O'Sullivan. Picture: David Keane.
Ballincollig's Ciaran O'Sullivan battling with Courcey Rovers' Tadhg O'Sullivan. Picture: David Keane.

Courceys were up against it after that, but a Stephen Nyhan goal from a long range free gave them a cushion after the re-start. Ballincollig were soon level through two Walsh points and another from JP Murphy. However, every time they got close, Courceys managed to sneak ahead again through the excellent free taking of Richard Sweetnam.

Sweetnam landed four points for Courceys — Walsh, Fahy, and Dave Bowen had four for Ballincollig and the sides were deadlocked at 1-10 to 0-13 with three minutes to play and anything seemed possible.

Eventually, Ballincollig made their advantage count to ensure a round three clash against Valley Rovers.

Scorers Ballincollig: S Walsh 0-8 (0-5 f), L Fahy 0-2, F Denny (f), C O’Leary, D Bowen, C O’Sullivan, JP Murphy, R Bourke 0-1 each.

Courcey Rovers: T O’Sullivan 0-5 f, R Sweetnam (0-4 f, 0-1 65), S Nyhan 1-0 f, S Twomey 0-1.

BALLINCOLLIG: R Cambridge, R O’Donovan, G O’Donoghue, C Sexton, C O’Sullivan, L Jennings, JP Murphy, C Moore, F Denny, P O’Neill, C O’Leary, D Bowen, S Walsh, K Walsh, L Fahy.

Sub: R Bourke for Denny (58).

COURCEY ROVERS: S Nyhan, B Mulcahy, B Collins, K Collins, D Lordan, D Duggan, M Collins, R Sweetnam, K Moloney, S Twomey, M O’Donovan, J O’Neill, T O’Sullivan, O Crowley, R Nyhan.

Subs: F Lordan for R Nyhan (h-t), C Daly for O’Donovan (42), D Collins for K Collins (54).

Referee: Ian McCarthy (Bandon).

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