Ballinhassig 3-24 Aghada 0-17
A COMPREHENSIVE win for Ballinhassig as they eased past Aghada in scintillating style in the Co-Op Superstores PIHC at Shanbally.
The pace and physical power of Ballinhassig were evident from the early stages and in the end, they won pulling up.
With the exception of Will Leahy (and his 15 points), Aghada had only two other scores on the board and that was down to their lack of possession over the hour.
Intensity and passion were clear to see from Ballinhassig and four minutes into the game they had raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead.
Indeed, if Ballinhassig weren’t giving away soft frees Aghada would have been totally out of the game but they led by six points up to the first water break.
On the restart, Ballinhassig got a deserved breakthrough when Conor Desmond was allowed the required space to drill an unstoppable shot to the corner of the net.
Leahy did manage the last score of the half for Aghada but they trailed 1-12 to 0-7 with only two points coming from play.
It got worse for the east Cork side on the restart as Fintan O’Leary struck a wonderful goal that brought memories back of Ballinhassig’s 2005 final win over the same opposition.
O’Leary was substituted in the 42nd minute with the Ballinhassig management thinking about next week’s game against Ballincollig with this game in the bag.
The one plus for Ballinhassig is their strength in depth and Simon O’Neill who was introduced in the 49th minute was on hand to strike a classy goal seven minutes later as he finished with a tally of 1-3.
Although Aghada tried hard over the hour they looked well off the pace and they will have to improve big time for their do-or-die clash against Kilworth next weekend.
In the end, it was a case of going through the motions for Ballinhassig whose credentials will be tested against Ballincollig.