Ballinhassig hurlers moving in right direction as Inniscarra showdown looms

Hassig dug deep to take out Bandon in a thrilling Co-Op Superstores Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-final 
Ballinhassig hurlers moving in right direction as Inniscarra showdown looms

Conor Desmond, Ballinhassig, takes on Ben Donegan, Bandon, in the PIHC quarter-final at Brinny. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

THE scenes at the end of the Ballinhassig and Bandon Co-Op Superstores Premier Intermediate Hurling Championship quarter-final showed just what it meant to both clubs, after Hassig's thrilling 2-18 to 1-19 win.

Ballinhassig players and management were simply over the moon and after coach Brian O’Sullivan had shown his appreciation to his players he reflected on the massive effort it took to see off their near neighbours.

O Sullivan said: “That was a mighty game of hurling and it was touch and go for a long time against a Bandon side who really put it up to us."

The Ballinhassig chief believes his side had to dig very deep when defeat stared them in the face and their reward is a place in the last four along with Inniscarra, Castlelyons and newly-promoted Castlemartyr.

“Without making any excuses or take anything from Bandon we didn’t play to our potential for long periods today but on the positive side I think this game will help the lads big time going forward.” 

Some harsh words needed to be given to the squad at half time.

“We simply didn’t compete with Bandon in the physicality stakes during the first half as they won the majority of dirty ball and we told the lads at the break what was needed to get back in the game.

“When you win a game of this magnitude in the manner we done it we will be confident it will help us for our semi-final against Inniscarra that will be another huge test for us.” 

The Bandon display didn’t surprise O’Sullivan.

“Look they are a quality side and with so much at stake, they were bound to come us hard and in the end we just saw them off as when the opportunities came our way we took them.” 

 Patrick O'Leary, Ballinhassig, battling Aidan O'Mahony, Bandon. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Patrick O'Leary, Ballinhassig, battling Aidan O'Mahony, Bandon. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

The performance of the Ballinhassig half-back line when the game was in the melting pot certainly helped them.

“Once we began winning dirty ball and the forwards got the right supply the scores started to come and that was crucial when the game was on a knife edge.” 

In a game of high stakes getting a good contribution from your subs is crucial and that came to fruition for the winners.

“All the lads that were introduced made a huge contribution and I think in the modern game of hurling it’s no longer a 15-man game.

To win any championship you got to have a good squad and I don’t think we have any worries in that department.” 

On a day when the Ballinhassig club buried a great stalwart in Ger O’Halloran this result was crucial to all concerned.

“It’s tough to have lost a man like Ger who was a great member of our club and was actually captain of my team back in 2002.

“Ger was very level-headed and a rock to our club and I would like to take this opportunity of sending our condolences to Ber and all the family on the passing of a true gentleman.

“Our team wanted to win for him today and I am so pleased that was achieved.”

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