Ballincollig 3-12 Douglas 1-13
BALLINCOLLIG got their Rebel Óg P1 Minor Football Championship campaign off to a winning start.
Two second-half goals were the crucial scores in a tight game as they were deserving winners, with impressive displays from the likes of Darragh O'Shea, Rory O'Flynn, Cork minor hurler Tadhg O'Connell and Peter Kelly.
It took some time for both teams to settle, probably down to the fact sides haven't had competitive games in some time, but once they did it was end-to-end stuff.
Douglas took the lead five minutes in when Eoin O'Sullivan pointed and was it not for a great save from Ballincollig keeper, David Hurley, he could have goaled a minute later. Two from Jack Cunningham put them three to the good, and with 11 minutes gone they raised the green flag.
Ballincollig opened their account a minute later when O'Connell split the posts, with Cunningham replying at the other end. O'Shea got the Village's second before they raised the green flag.
A good run from David Fahy saw him burst past the Douglas defence and his pass found Kelly who slotted home.
Evan Collins responded for the visitors before Kelly was unlucky when his goal chance went just wide for Ballincollig,
White flags from Brian Dore and Kelly had the Village well in contention, 1-6 to 1-4 down despite the slow start.
Two from Cunningham put Douglas four clear, but again credit to Ballincollig they responded in style with scores from Sean O'Neill and Kelly again putting one between the sides.
Cunningham pointed from a free late on for Douglas to see them lead 1-9 to 1-7 at half-time after a close opening 30 minutes.
Ballincollig, whose management team includes former county-winning seniors Stephen O'Donoghue and John Miskella, started the second half much the better of the two sides, with Kelly on target.
O'Shea and Ciaran Buckley added points, with Cunningham replying to see the sides level, 1-10 apiece, with 40 minutes gone. Three minutes later and the hosts got their second goal, courtesy of O'Shea after a superb run from just inside the Douglas half.
Cunningham put two between them just before the water break, but at this stage, Ballincollig were dominating.
Cunningham was on target twice, before Kelly pointed to make it 2-11 to 1-12 to Ballincollig.
With 53 minutes gone Rory O'Flynn fisted the ball down to Kelly and he took off, beating several Douglas players and blasted to the back of the net and with it went any chance of a Douglas win.
They weren't helped when Adrien Thibaut was red-carded for an off-the-ball incident, but by then the game was over as a contest.
O'Connell struck late with Neville O'Leary getting the last score of the game for Douglas as the Village ran out deserving winners.
All teams will have three group games before then moving onto a semi-final in either the cup or shield competitions, but there is a break now for a number of weeks as the Cork minor sides are in action.
There are hurling ties next Wednesday and following Sunday, but no more football minor championship games until after Cork play.