Castlelyons squeeze past Ballinhassig into PIHC final

Good first half set the favourites on the road to victory in the Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier IHC semi-final
Castlelyons squeeze past Ballinhassig into PIHC final

Eoin Maye fires over a point for Castlelyons in the Co-Op Superstores Cork County Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship semi-final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Larry Cummins

Castlelyons 1-17 Ballinhassig 1-16 

DEFEATED 2020 finalists Castlelyons survived a stern Ballinhassig test to book their place in the Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier IHC final at Páirc Uí Rinn today.

A Jack Barry penalty, which was earned by captain Anthony Spillane in the seventh minute, gave them a cushion. But a productive third quarter from Ballinhassig cut the deficit to a point. Castlelyons, who received a bye to this semi-final, pulled away again to lead by four.

A stoppage time goal from Chris Reynolds made it a one-point game but Ciarán McGann’s side held on to set up a final date with Courcey Rovers next weekend.

Conor Desmond opened the scoring in the first-half, but 1-1 without reply had Castlelyons on the front foot. Goalkeeper Barry fired home the goal from the penalty spot, while midfielder Eoin Maye supplied the point.

Ballinhassig, who shot eight wides in that opening half, cut the deficit to three at the water-break, 1-4 to 0-4 - all their points from free-taker Desmond.

Niall O'Leary twice, and a long-range free from Alan Fenton pushed them ahead by double scores with five minutes to go to the break.

Ballinhassig went on to account for the final two scores of the half through Ger Collins and Eddie Finn to leave the half-time score, 1-7 to 0-7.

Full-back Colm Barry set up Fenton for the first score of the second half and when Jack Barry riled over a free, the lead extended to five. The advantage was four when Ballinhassig struck the next three points, 1-11 to 0-13 at the water break.

Castlelyons responded admirably as the gap hovered between three and four points. Two Fenton frees put them 1-17 to 0-16 clear as the clock ticked into the red.

A quick free fell to substitute Reynolds and when he found the net, one point was the difference.

That was the way it remained.

 Niall O'Leary, Castlelyons in action against Donncha Donovan, Ballinhassig. Picture: Larry Cummins
Niall O'Leary, Castlelyons in action against Donncha Donovan, Ballinhassig. Picture: Larry Cummins

Scorers for Castlelyons: A Fenton 0-7 (0-6 f), J Barry 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2 f), A Spillane, N O’Leary 0-3 each, D Morrison, E Maye 0-1 each.

Scorers for Ballinhassig: C Desmond 0-6 f, C Reynolds 1-1, G Collins 0-3, E Finn, S O’Neill, E Cullinane 0-2 each.

CASTLELYONS: J Barry; J O'Leary, C Barry, T Carroll; S Moroney, L Sexton, L Doocey; E Maye, C Spillane; A Fenton, N O'Leary, R Fenton; D Morrison, A Spillane (c), K O'Leary.

Subs: M Spillane for K O’Leary (43), C McCarthy for R Fenton (52).

BALLINHASSIG: P Collins; P O'Leary, K Maguire, M Desmond; D Donovan, M Collins (c), S McCarthy; M Sheehan, E Finn; G Collins, C Grainger, C Tyers; E Cullinane, C Desmond, F O'Leary.

Subs: Chris Reynolds for M Sheehan (half-time), S O'Neill for F O'Leary (44), B Lynch for C Tyers (48), D O’Sullivan for E Cullinane (53).

Referee: Ian McCarthy (Bandon).

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