Rebel Óg Minor Football: Pete Kelly kicks a late winner for Ballincollig

Na Piarsaigh battled back from four points down in a hard-hitting second half
Rebel Óg Minor Football: Pete Kelly kicks a late winner for Ballincollig

Ballincollig's Conor Dalton gets away from Na Piarsaigh's Scott Kelleher, during their Rebel Óg Premier 1 Minor Football Championship clash at the Na Piarsaigh grounds. Picture: David Keane.

Ballincollig 0-8 Na Piarsaigh 0-7 

A BEAUTIFUL late point from Pete Kelly ensured Ballincollig edged out Na Piarsaigh in miserable conditions for football at Na Piarsaigh tonight. 

The result puts them through to the Rebel Óg P1 Minor semi-finals along with Nemo, who defeated Douglas, with the sides meeting on Saturday to decide who tops the group.

The winners dominated the opening half and held a four-point lead after a fairly pedestrian opening period played in driving rain. But slowly but surely Na Piarsaigh got back in the game and some excellent placed efforts from the impressive Jack Scanlon ensured a nail-biting finish.

Ballincollig dominated the opening exchanges and registered the opening score with an excellent 45 from Ciaran Buckley. The miserable weather made it difficult for both sides who were missing a number of key players. 

Na Piarsaigh struggled to make any meaningful attacks as the Ballincollig defence dominated in the opening quarter. However, their forwards were wasteful with possession before Ciarán Buckley landed a placed effort. Ballincollig continued to dominate and a fisted effort from Rory O’Flynn and another well-executed 45 from Buckley gave the Mid Cork outfit a 0-4 to 0-0 lead at halftime.

Na Piarsaigh registered their opening score from Michael Sheehan in the opening exchanges of the second period. An excellent reply from Ballincollig’s Brian Moore was matched by a fine effort from Salim Daly. Na Piarsaigh were pressing hard now and another free from the trusted boot of Scanlon reduced the gap to two points. 

Crucially for the victors Kelly landed an excellent point from play which gave his side a three-point cushion at the second water break.

Kelly landed another before Michael Sheehan replied for the city side. Na Piarsaigh were dominant now and three frees without reply from Scanlon, who caused problems with his direct running, levelled the game as injury time approached. 

Following an excellent team move, Ballincollig moved the ball to their sharpshooter and Pete Kelly bisected the posts with a brilliant point. Na Piarsaigh desperately tried to manufacture an equaliser but the Ballincollig defence held firm for the narrowest of victories.

 Ballincollig's Diarmuid Ward is tackled by Na Piarsaigh's Peter Lehane. Picture: David Keane.
Ballincollig's Diarmuid Ward is tackled by Na Piarsaigh's Peter Lehane. Picture: David Keane.

Scorers for Ballincollig: C Buckley 0-3 (0-1 f, 45 0-2) P Kelly 0-3, R O’Flynn, B Moore 0-1 each.

Na Piarsaigh: J Scanlon 0-4 f, M Sheehan 0-2 (0-1 f), S Daly 0-1.

BALLINCOLLIG: D Hurley; P Omoshule, R O’Neill, O Buckley; R O’Flynn, L Harris, D Ward; C Dalton, B Moore; R Power, B O’Sullivan, P Kelly; C Buckley, D Fahy, S O’Neill. 

Subs: E Dwyer for S O’Neill (50), J Wills for C Buckley (50).

NA PIARSAIGH: C Higgins; D McNally, A Burke, P Hosford; P Lehane, J Scanlon, S Daly; L Sheehan, L O’Driscoll; S Kelleher, C Bowen, M Sheehan; E Fitzgerald, C Higgins, Sean Paul Cooke. 

Sub: B Harrington for P O’Donovan (45).

Referee: P Finnegan ( Douglas)

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