Ballinhassig hurlers relish underdogs tag ahead of Castlelyons showdown

Hassig delivered in the fourth quarter of their win over Carrigaline but an even tougher test lies ahead against the 'red hot favourites' for the PIHC
Ballinhassig hurlers relish underdogs tag ahead of Castlelyons showdown

Ballinhassig's Charlie Grainger is held back by Carrigaline's Eanna Desmond during the PIHC clash at Minane Bridge. Picture: Howard Crowdy

BALLINHASSIG  manager Brian O’Sullivan has praised the effort of his entire panel after they secured their place in the semi-finals of the Co-Op Superstores PIHC with an impressive 3-14 to 1-10 win over Carrigaline at Minane Bridge.

Carrigaline led by four points heading into the final quarter but two goals from Ger Collins and Fintan O’Leary, on either side of two further points and all in the space of three minutes, ultimately swung this quarter-final clash in Ballinhassig's favour.

The win now sets up a meeting with Castlelyons for a place in the final and while O’Sullivan believes their opponents will be the ‘red hot favourites’ he insisted his side will give everything to secure another victory.

“It was a hard-fought victory but especially in the last quarter,” he said.

“Up until that last water break we were four points down and that was the same score as the half-time break, we were four points down then as well.

“But it just shows the importance of goals, goals win games and ours came at the right time, just when we needed them.

“I think we got two in the space of three minutes which really helped us get some breathing space over a good Carrigaline side, a tough team.

It was a pure local derby game and we knew it was going to be. 

A lot of the lads there are going to be sore after this but it is a great victory for us to get because it puts us into a semi-final and that’s a nice spot for us to be in at the moment like.

“But our team has huge character. They have grown and grown after every game and it’s coming through at the moment that there is a good belief in this team, there’s a good panel.

“We had 31 players togged out and this panel is going well, this club is going well because the footballers are in the county section next weekend.

“The one thing we drill into them is discipline and work-rate. They know there are 16 substitutes on the bench and we can only use five so there are 11 lads knowing they’re not going to get a game.

“It’s a panel game, player one is important but player 31 is every bit as important. But winning helps so we just need to keep winning and build that confidence.

“Our next game now is Castlelyons and that will be a mammoth task for us because they are read hot favourites for this competition, in everyone’s eyes.

“And rightly so because they have a lot of quality players right through the whole squad so we will go down as massive underdogs for this game but that doesn’t mean we can’t give everything and see what happens.”

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