Ballincollig 0-23 Kilworth 1-20
AN injury-time free from captain Noel McNamara salvaged a deserved draw for Kilworth in this cracking Co-Op Superstores 2021 PIHC clash with Ballincollig at Carrignavar.
Kilworth were the better side in opening half and the Ballincollig defence was hanging on at times and trailed by four points at the break. But the Mid Cork side stormed into the game in the third quarter and two cracking points from team captain Cian Dorgan had edged Ballincollig in front in additional time before McNamara’s late equaliser in a truly pulsating contest.
There were some excellent performances on both sides, including Cork U20 Eoin Carey, who swept brilliantly for Kilworth, and rookie Brian Keating for Ballincollig, with no shortage of impressive scores as well.
Ballincollig’s Karl Walsh registered the opening score with a neat effort. Brian Sheehan replied immediately before Stephen Wills nosed Ballincollig in front.
A defensive error from on a puck-out gifted Kilworth’s Will Condon the only goal of the game which ensured his side led by 1-5 to 0-5 after 11 minutes before James Linehan brought off a cracking save from Michael Sheehan and Jamie Sheehan send the rebound wide with a goal at his mercy.
Ballincollig regrouped after the water break and points from Peter O’Neill, Wills (free) and the hard-working David Bowen reduced the gap to the minimum after 20 minutes. A second for Bowen and a fine effort from Gearoid O’Donoghue edged Ballincollig in front. But Kilworth finished the half strongly and a brace from Will Condon and a McNamara placed effort ensured the Kilworth side led by 1-13 to 0-12 at halftime.
Collig rallied strongly again with Sean Walsh landing three excellent points from play before Wills clipped over the equaliser. Ross O’Donovan edged the Village in front before Michael Sheehan tied it up for the Avondhu outfit just before the second water break.
Walsh landed another great score which was matched by a fine effort from Sheehan.
Ballincollig seized the initiative again with Wills nailing a beauty from play and followed it up with a placed effort.
As both teams battled ferociously down the home straight Kilworth edged in front with two frees from McNamara and a superb point from the lively Jamie Sheehan.
As the game entered overtime Ballincollig looked to have snatched it when Cian Dorgan landed two classy points from out on the sideline. But there was time for one more bit of drama and Noel McNamara bisected the posted with a 40-metre free which brought proceedings to an end.