MALLOW enjoyed the perfect return to the top tier of Cork football after they defeated Ballincollig by 0-10 to 0-6 in Mourneabbey on Saturday in Group B of the Bons Secours Cork PSFC and their manager, Keith Moynihan, understood the significance of the win.
“Yes, it’s a big win for the group. Any team going up in their first year in a new grade it’s important that you get the win on the first day out. Ballincollig are, obviously, a very strong club at this level and have been for a long time.
"They’re a traditional side, have had a lot of success in the past so we knew that the task that was in front of us. I know that they’re missing players and that we’re missing players too, I think a lot of clubs are in that position.
“But we probably got the breaks at the right time, and we got the lead to hang on to in the second half. Scores were then harder to come by with the rain, though the pitch was in unbelievable condition, but the rain meant that the ball was vert skiddy as the ground was very hard.
"When you look back to our last time up in 2018 and 2019, we were a little bit aggrieved that we were relegated in ’19 as we didn’t have the three years to accumulate the points, and nothing was counted for Premier Intermediate.
On a day that scores were hard to come by, Mallow’s ability to shoot from distance proved crucial as they kicked six points from distance with the aid of the wind..
“Absolutely, I suppose it’s something that you target on days like today when scores are going to be at a premium. The wind was there, and Darragh Moynihan, Ryan Harkin and John Browne kicked great scores. The more the game went on, to be fair to Ballincollig, there was pressure on them as the gap was opened to three or four points so they’re probing for a goal first and then when that’s locked down.
"They were being pushed back out and kicking under a bit of pressure. Our lads then dug in as they knew with 10 minutes to go that if they could shut a goal out that we weren’t going to be beaten.
“In Mallow we’re transitioning a lot over the past couple of years even though we’ve had success at the Senior A grade. We’ve lost a lot of very good players like Cian O’Riordan, James Loughrey and Andrew Cashman and Kevin Sheehan is away at the moment too. That means then that other guys have to step up, and that’s what the lads are doing.”