Collig boss Dorgan says new league system can keep his side ticking over into the summer

Collig boss Dorgan says new league system can keep his side ticking over into the summer

Ilen Rovers’ Stephen Leonard and Ballincollig’s Shane Murphy tussle for the ball during the Cork SFC at Macroom. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

BALLINCOLLIG manager Tom Dorgan was quite satisfied overall that the 2018 Cork Senior Football Championship campaign got off to a winning start.

The 2014 champions overcame the challenge of a brave Ilen Rovers side in their opening round clash which was played in Macroom on Sunday afternoon.

The conditions were tough to play any sort of attractive football. 

Speaking to the assembled media after the game, Dorgan described how the start his side made to the match turned out to prove crucial in the overall outcome.

“Yeah we are delighted to win our first round game in the championship. The conditions were very tough out there. We started well and that gave us something to hold onto. 

"We got some good scores and were unlucky not to get a goal, when Cian hit the crossbar. It gave us the platform that we could hold onto it then. 

"To be fair to Ilen, in the second half they came at us and they took the game to us. They had a 10-15 minute spell where they dominated.” 

Ilen Rovers did indeed make a right fist of things as the game entered the latter stages.

But Ballincollig showed their desire and determination to push on late on and to see this game out to a successful conclusion.

Dorgan added: “They are a good group of players. 

"They showed good composure when they needed it, when Ilen brought it back to within two points.

“Our team could have panicked.  But we just kept to the game plan, kept working the ball well and we got those couple of scores that helped us to maintain that grip.” 

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

For teams such as Dorgan's Ballincollig, they are competing in a Cork Senior Football Championship which is different structurally to the past.

“I think it is great. I think that the system is good this year on both sides. 

"From a league perspective, we will have competitive Kelleher Shield matches over the summer.

“The next game in the Championship for us is not until the end of July, but the league will now keep us active, especially for the lads not involved with Cork.

“You have to give it time. If we can get the Kelleher Shield done by the end of July, that means we will have competitive games over the summer.

“Whereas before it would stop and you would be going looking for challenge matches. 

"Now there is a proper league structure there and I think it is a great system if everyone sticks to it.” 

There are still quite a few Ballincollig players around from the side that won the 2014 county title. 

They would dearly love to taste that sort of success this time around again.

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