Ballincollig 1-23 Kilworth 3-12
BALLINCOLLIG held their composure to register their first win of the campaign over Kilworth in this highly-entertaining PIHC contest at Fermoy.
The victors led by eight points at one stage in the opening quarter but a couple of late goals from Kilworth made for an exciting conclusion. Both sets of supporters were anxiously checking social media and left the venue happy after avoiding the dreaded relegation play-off.
Ballincollig shredded the form book and stormed into an early six-point lead, helped by the availability of ex-Cork minor captain James Dwyer and Cian Dorgan, who were both heavily involved early, with Cian O’Driscoll and Cork U20 Keating also scoring as the Mid Cork side dominated.
A shell-shocked Kilworth registered their opening score with a free from Noel McNamara. But Ballincollig were unrelenting and further points from James Dwyer, Tadhg O’Connell and team captain Robbie Burke gave them a 0-9 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes.
But Kilworth replied with a badly needed goal by their talisman Noel McNamara who slotted home after Ballincollig goalkeeper Ronan Cambridge had initially saved brilliantly from Luke Carey. It gave Kilworth a huge lift and McNamara added four frees to keep his side in touch. The impressive Cian Dorgan got his third of the day to give his side a 0-14 to 1-7 lead.
On the resumption, Ballincollig kept up the momentum with points from Dwyer, Keating, and Paul Cooney although Cian Dorgan’s penalty was stopped by Kieran Walsh. Moments later the game looked over after Cooney made the most of a defensive error for a goal, 1-19 to 1-8 after 50 minutes.
In a helter-skelter closing period, both sides were reduced to 14 after Brian Sheehan and Conor Sexton received their marching orders after a melee involving a number of players. As the game entered overtime Kilworth kept battling on and goals from Michael Sheehan and Jamie Sheehan made for a nerve-wracking conclusion for both sets of supporters.
B Keating 0-9 (0-6 f, 0-1 65), P Cooney 1-2, J Dwyer 0-4, C Dorgan 0-3, C O’Driscoll, T O’Connell, R Bourke, C Sexton, C O’Leary 0-1 each.
N McNamara 1-9 (0-8 f), J Sheehan 1-1, M Sheehan 1-0, J Saich, E Carey (f) 0-1 each.
K Walsh; M McNamara, K Lane, A O’Hara; J Sheehan, E McGrath, D Twomey; M Gowen; E Carey, J Saich, L Carey; L Whelan, N McNamara, B Sheehan.
M Sheehan for D Twomey (46), M O’Callaghan for M McNamara (50).
R Cambridge; R O’Donovan, J Murray, C Sexton; C O’Sullivan, B Coleman, F Denny; R Burke, K Burke; C O’Driscoll, J Dwyer, C Dorgan; T O’Connell, B Keating, P Cooney.
C O’Leary for C O’Driscoll (45), S Walsh for K Walsh (60).
N O’Neill (Midleton).