Ballincollig 2-18 Aghada 1-9
BALLINCOLLIG are out of the Co-Op Superstores PIHC despite an impressive 2-18 to 1-9 victory against Aghada at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Superb performances from Brian Keating and Cian Dorgan saw them get the big win they needed to give them a chance of qualifying but Kilworth’s victory over Ballinhassig sent them through with Hassig to the quarter-finals from Group C.
Aghada head into the relegation play-off, after a difficult campaign.
Ballincollig were looking for their first victory of this competition having drawn with Kilworth in the first round before being defeated by seven points by a talented Ballinhassig side. And on a mild evening down the Páirc, they raced out of the traps and found themselves leading by four points in the eighth minute with the pick of the scores coming from right-half forward Karl Walsh.
Aghada, on the other hand, were looking to end their campaign on a high having suffered an early exit following a heavy loss to Hassig on the opening day before also losing to Kilworth last time out back in the middle of September.
And after Mark McCarthy had hit a couple of wides from frees, they finally got on the board with the number six making amends by splitting the uprights from a difficult angle.
It was a five-point gap by the water break but they used it to their advantage as they grabbed the first goal with Darragh Ryan kicking the ball past the keeper from close range.
But led by the excellent half-forward pairing of Brian Keating and Luke Fahy, Collig rallied with three unanswered scores to cancel out that goal at the other end by the 19th minute, 0-9 to 1-1.
The Village hit eight wides during that first half, 13 in total, so they ought to have taken a bigger lead into the half time but Aghada remained in the hunt as they only trailed 0-11 to 1-5 at the interval.
The men from East Cork added two more pointby the second water break but unfortunately for them, Ballincollig notched three points and a superbly-taken goal by Cian Dorgan to assume full control: 1-14 to 1-7.
They finished the game strongly and Aghada needed goalkeeper Ciaran O’Shea to make a couple of brilliant saves to keep the score down.
He made another fantastic stop to deny substitute Paul Cooney but the number one was unfortunate to see Cian Dorgan following up to fire the rebound into the back of the net.
Ballincollig did everything they could but to progress but in the end, even an impressive 12-point win wasn’t enough.