Erin’s Own 3-7 Ballymartle 2-8
ERIN’S OWN and Ballymartle drew the short straw in having to play a preliminary round of the Cork County SHC and it was the Caherlag outfit that went through to meet Charleville in the first round.
On a wretched Saturday night at Páirc Uí Rinn they just about deserved their victory over the men from Riverstick in a contest that never reached any great heights.
Erin’s Own were on the board inside four seconds of the start, a point from Maurice O’Carroll which was cancelled out at the other end by Jack Ryan.
The opening goal arrived a few minutes later when Paul Geary set up Jack Dwyer and he crashed home for Ballymartle past new Erin’s Own netminder Kieran ‘Hero’ Murphy.
However, the Caherlag team who were without Cork player Robbie O’Flynn, matched that score in the 12th minute when O’Carroll turned provider for Eoghan Murphy who belted the ball to the Ballymartle net.
And we had another goal shortly afterwards with Ballymartle raising the green flag again from Paul Geary following a delivery from Sean O’Mahony.
The fourth goal of the game arrived in the 26th minute when Eoghan Murphy was involved again, this time proving the ammunition for Stephen Horgan to hammer home past Paul Allen.
With just a few minutes remaining in the opening half, the sides were deadlocked at 2-3 apiece before we got the fifth goal of the half, And it was Erin’s Own who struck again, James O’Flynn setting up Mark Collins who made no mistake.
Sean O’Mahony got a point back for Ballymartle just before the interval to leave the Caherlag team ahead by a brace of points going to the dressing room.
Unfortunately, the goals dried up in the second half and in that closing 30 minutes and with conditions worsening only eight more points were added to the teams' tallies.
Collins embellished the East Cork team’s advantage at the start of the second half with a fine point which was cancelled out at the other end by Sean O’Mahony.
Stephen Horgan for Erin’s Own and Jack Ryan for Ballymartle subsequently exchanged points but scores were difficult to come by in that second period.
O’Mahony pointed a 65 for Ballymartle to leave just the bare minimum separating the sides but Erin’s Own always had the capacity to keep their noses in front.
Eoghan Murphy added another point for Erin’s Own with O’Mahony responding for Ballymartle and the point difference was still between the sides entering the game’s closing minutes.
And it was Erin’s Own who secured the final score of the night, a pointed free from Eoghan Murphy and in the time remaining they held on to nail the win.
Scorers for Erin’s Own: E Murphy (1-2, 0-2 frees), M Collins and S Horgan (1-1 each), M O’Carroll, S Kelly and A Power (0-1 each).
Ballymartle: S O’Mahony (0-4 frees), P Geary and J Dwyer (1-0 each), D O’Leary (frees) and J Ryan (0-2 each).
ERIN’S OWN: K Murphy; P Fitzgerald, C Dooley, J Sheehan; C O’Mahony, S Murphy, S Cronin; S Horgan, J O’Carroll; M Collins, M O’Carroll, S Kelly; A Power, J O’Flynn, E Murphy.
Sub: C O’Connor for A Power (62).
BALLYMARTLE: P Allen; E O’Leary, C Coleman, D Dwyer; S O’Mahony, S Corry, D McCarthy; C Allen, R Cahalane; J Ryan, B Corry, S Cummins; P Geary, J Dwyer, D O’Leary.
Subs: J Butler for S Cummins (38), E Healy for D Dwyer (40), L Corry for E O’Leary (47), D Edmonds for D McCarthy.
Referee: Joe Larkin (Ballinora).