Midleton 2-11 Ballincollig 1-9
MIDLETON are through to the Rebel Óg Premier 1 MHC final after a deserved but hard-fought win over Ballincollig at the Mardyke last night.
The East Cork side got off to a perfect start with a goal and a point in the first few minutes as they were in control early on.
But once the Village started to settle it was a much more even affair and from here to the finish there was little between the sides.
Midleton had a number of impressive performances with Tadhg O’Leary Hayes rock solid at centre-back and the likes of Dave Scanlon, James McSweeney and Alex Moloney also in top form.
Ballincollig will be disappointed with their overall showing with Pete Kelly, David O'Leary and Theo Morgan the pick of their side.
Just 30 seconds in and Midleton took the lead when Fionn Kelly raised the first white flag of the contest and their lead increased to four just two minutes later.
A long ball in from O’Leary Hayes was flicked on by Dara Scanlon to give the keeper no chance of saving as he made it 1-1 to no score.
Ballincollig started to settle and Midleton had keeper Zach Smith to thank as he saved superbly from Conor Dalton.
The Village got off the mark in the eighth minute when Eoin Dwyer pointed from a free and Dalton got their second as they started to up their game.
Theo Morgan got their third and a second free from Dwyer had the sides level after 16 minutes, 0-4 to 1-1.
A free from James Motherway put the Magpies back in front before points from Sean O’Neill and Dalton made it 0-6 to 1-2 in Ballincollig’s favour.
Credit to Midleton, they finished the half strongly with McSweeney seeing the sides level as it went into injury-time. Eoghan Fraser got the last score of the half to see the East Cork a point to the good at half-time as Midleton led 1-4 to 0-6.
Points from Scanlon, Egan and McSweeney stretched their lead at the start of the second half before George Howard replied for Ballincollig. A 65 from McSweeney made it 1-8 to 0-7 before Daniel Garde struck for the crucial goal for Midleton, with 42 minutes gone.
This was a blow Ballincollig never really recovered from despite their best efforts. They did pull a goal back through Sean O’Neill but a late point from Egan rounded off the scoring in a deserved win for Midleton.
They will now play Douglas in the final on September 19 with Páirc Uí Rinn the most likely venue for the decider.
D Scanlon 1-1, D Garde 1-0, J McSweeney 0-4 (0-3 f), D Egan 0-2, F Kelly, E Fraser, C Cronin, T O’Leary Hayes 0-1 each.
S O’Neill 1-3, C Dalton, E Dwyer (f) 0-2 each, T Morgan, G Howard 0-1 each.
Z Smith; D Egan, D Scanlon, D Higgins; N Lang, T O’Leary-Hayes, C Cronin; C Lambe, T Dunlea; E Fraser, A Moloney, F Kelly; D Garde, E McGrath, J McSweeney.
L Brodkorb for Kelly (h-t), E Higgins for Garde (55).
B Keane; L Harris; B Dore, S Delaney; D Lee, P Kelly, D O’Leary; B O’Connell, T Morgan; C Buckley, C Dalton, B O’Sullivan; E Dwyer, G Howard, S O’Neill.
E Carew for Buckley (43), T Murphy for O'Neill (55), A Dodd for Morgan (59).
Shane Scanlon (Newcestown).