Passage 1-15 Ballinascarthy 0-16
JUST two points in it at the end and this was largely due to a goal, the only major in the game, inside the opening minute of this Co-Op Superstores JAHC County JAHC quarter-final in Brinny on Saturday.
Tom O’Neill was the Passage player who delivered the fatal blow against their Carbery rivals while Cian McCarthy was the winners' top-scorer in a contest where Bal’s late revival fell just short.
Having collected a delivery from midfielder Graham Carroll, O’Neill swivelled and struck in the one motion to score in the first attack and after just seven minutes they were 1-2 to 0-1 to the good.
Two splendid saves by Bal net-minder Darragh Hennessy from Conor Coughlan prevented the City champions from bolting the door at a stage where midfielders Graham and Ryan Carroll along with wing-back Seán Harrington were driving them on.
Niall McCarthy together with Tom O’Neill threatened regularly in the Passage attack but slowly the Carbery title holders got their bearings. Cian Ryan just skimmed the Passage crossbar, but the winners continued to show the way and with a 1-12 to 0-8 lead appeared to be set for a place in the penultimate round with time ticking away.
With Bal doubling their outlay in the last quarter they chipped away at the Passage lead, helped by the accuracy of free-taker Jeremy Ryan and Cillian Cullinane in particular.
Substitute Ricky O’Flynn added a brace of points while also to the fore were a number of other Bal replacements as the lead was whittled down in a pulsating finish. Here Cian McCarthy’s accuracy gave his side breathing space only for a late Jeremy Ryan free to leave just the two points between the teams before time ran out for Bal.