CASTLEMARTYR and Ballinhassig are both through to the Co-Op Superstores Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-finals after a pulsating game at Cobh on Sunday.
The result could have gone either way entering the final quarter as Ballinhassig were pressing to preserve their unbeaten record. In added time a stray pass by Ballinhassig’s Donncha O’Donovan was intercepted by subs Billy McGann who gave goalkeeper Patrick Collins no chance as he drilled the ball into the net to open up a four-point lead.
With the news at full time that Kilworth lost to Ballincollig, both sides were happy to be out again in two weeks in the quarter-finals with Castlemartyr facing Castlelyons and Ballinhassig playing Bandon,
Despite facing a strong wind Ballinhassig raced into a three-point to one lead after five minutes with points from Michael Sheehan, Evan Cullinane and Darragh O’Sullivan to one by Jack McGann.
However, Castlemartyr settled into the game and were 0-7 to 0-4 ahead at the end of the first quarter.
Ballinhassig were to rue many scoreable chances in the second quarter.
Approaching half time Castlemartyr were seven points in front with Mike Kelly hitting eight points, six from placed balls before a goal and a point by Conor Desmond saw Ballinhassig trail 0-17 to 1-9 at the interval.
Ballinhassig raised their game shooting several points from distance with goalkeeper Patrick Collins getting on the scoresheet from a puck-out. Sensing the game slipping away from them Castlemartyr tightened up in defence where Cathal Martin, Darragh Moran, and Barra Ó Tuama were excellent.
Several times in the closing ten minutes the sides traded points as the Imokilly side kept ahead with two frees from Mike Kelly and one by James Lawton to two points from play by Evan Cullinane and one by Fintan O’Leary.
Then came the dramatic Castlemartyr goal to settle it.
M Kelly 0-13 (0-11 f), J O’Callaghan 1-0, Barry Lawton 0-3, Joe Stack, J Lawton 0-2 each, Jamie Stack, Jack McGann, A Kelly 0-1 each.
E Cullinane 0-7, C Desmond 1-2 (0-1 f), M Sheehan 0-2, G Collins 0-2, D O’Sullivan, B Lynch, F O’Leary, M Collins, S O’Neill, P Collins, C Granger 0-1 each.
D Joyce; C Martin, D Moran, B Ó Tuama; J Lawton, C Joyce, M Cosgrave; Jamie Stack, Brian Lawton; J McGann, M Kelly, Barry Lawton; A Kelly, Joe Stack, E Martin.
: B McGann for Martin (50), C Rice for J McGann (59).
P Collins; P O’Leary, G Collins, J Reardon; S McCarthy, D O’Donovan, E Finn; M Collins, E Lombard; E Cullinane, B Lynch, C Grainger; M Sheehan, C Desmond, D O’Sullivan.
F O’Leary for Lombard (h-t), S O’Neill for Lynch (42).
Michael O’Mahony (Courcey Rovers).