A hamstring injury suffered by young Cillian Myers-Murray was the only blot on St Finbarr’s advancing to the county senior football championship semi-final.
The talented forward, who is still a minor, had to be helped off in the 50th minute of his side’s 1-12 to 0-12 quarter-final win over the 2014 champions, Ballincollig, at Páirc Uí Rinn on Friday night.
And Myers-Murray is expected to be ruled out of the ’Barr’s intriguing encounter with the holders, Carbery Rangers, at the same venue on Sunday, as part of a double-header with the other semi-final.
Roy Leahy, who replaced Myers-Murray, would be the obvious player to start the next day.
The Togher club are more confident about the fitness of wing-back Colin Lyons, who sustained a knee injury just before the interval and was replaced by Alan O’Connor.
Manager Ray Keane offered a philosophical view on the issues. “You’re going to have injury worries, because it was the same coming into the game.
“We had two or three lads who wouldn’t have played if it was a league game. We’d left them off,” he said.
A cracking Enda Dennehy goal at the end of the third quarter was the decisive score as it put the ’Barr’s eight points clear.
Ballincollig, to their credit, never gave up and scored the closing five points before the clock ran out on them.
“This is all about being alive in the championship at this time of the year,” Keane stressed.
“The players want to give it everything. Everyone wants to play, of course, whether it’s five minutes or an hour.
“They will give everything and leave it out there on the pitch. That’s all I’m looking for and I know it’s a cliché, but it’s a 30-man game these days.
“I think we’ve used 28 players so far this year so everyone has something to contribute, not matter how big or how small.
“Even if it’s only in training, when you’re pushing the next fellow, because you don’t know when that opportunity is going to come.
“We had a couple of lads who came on on Friday night and they did their job. That’s what we want. Injuries will happen,” Keane concluded.
The ’Barr’s paved the way for avenging a first-round defeat by the same opponents by dominating most of the opening half.
The outstanding Stephen Sherlock scored 0-6 overall, split evenly from frees and open play, while Myers-Murray and Denis O’Brien also chipped in with important scores to leave their side 0-9 to 0-3 in front at the break.
On the resumption Robert O’Mahony and a third from Myers-Murray cancelled Ballincollig’s bright start.