Grangemockler-Ballyneale (Tipperary) 0-11
Second-half goals from Cathail O’Mahony and Darragh Flynn were the difference as Cork premier junior hurling champions Ballygiblin were victorious in their AIB Munster Club JHC quarter-final on Saturday.
Having won the provincial title last year, Ballygiblin benefited from Cork County Board’s decision to rename the Lower IHC as the Premier JHC, allowing them to advance for the second straight year.
Trailing by two points at half-time in FBD Semple Stadium to Grangemockler-Ballyneale – who lost the Tipperary junior final but progressed as there champions were the second team of Upperchurch-Drombane – Ballygiblin’s greater goalscoring power was ultimately crucial.
They had given signs of that potential with a couple of first-half chances that resulted in points and four minutes into the second half they were back in front as O’Mahony picked up a loose ball on the edge of the D and showed good footwork and speed to give himself an opening before a smart finish.
While Grangemockler-Ballyneale scored three of the next four points – all from the stick of midfielder Darragh Shelley, who had nine of their 11 – the final quarter belonged to an improving Ballygiblin.
A superb pointed sideline cut from O’Mahony levelled at 1-7 to 0-10 and the second goal put them firmly in control as Dillon Sheehan’s pass provided the opportunity for Flynn, who excellent control allowed him to go past goalkeeper David Power and slot home. When Joseph O’Sullivan added his fourth point of the day, they were four in front.
While Shelley did reply for Grangemockler-Ballyneale to make it a one-score game, they wouldn’t add to their tally. Flynn landed a fine point from a tight angle and Joseph O’Sullivan provided more breathing space with his fifth and final point of the afternoon.
With Grangemockler-Ballyneale forced to drop late balls in in search of a goal, the Ballygiblin defence stood firm, led by captain Fionn Herlihy.
Ronan Dwane’s side will now enjoy a semi-final at a Cork-based venue against Waterford’s Colligan on Sunday, November 20.
Grangemockler-Ballyneale had led by two points, 0-7 to 0-5, at half-time despite having gone 16 minutes without a score in the opening half.
In the first 11 minutes, three dead balls – two frees and a 65 – from Shelley gave them an early advantage. While Mark Keane was on top in the Ballygiblin half-back line, the Cork champions struggled to provide quality ball into their attack, missing the presence of the injured Shane Beston.
A big free from behind his own 65 by Joseph O’Sullivan reduced the arrears though and then, twice in quick succession they pointed when they might have had a good. A good ball from the right corner by Dillon Sheehan found Seán O’Sullivan, whose shot was deflected over the bar by goalkeeper David Power.
That made it 0-3 each and they had the lead as Seán O’Sullivan kept in a free by his namesake Joseph, allowing Cork footballer O’Mahony an attempt at goal. While that was saved by Power, Dean Barry slotted over to give them the lead for the first time.
The margin was doubled by Darragh Flynn after a good turnover but, having gone so long without troubling the umpires, Grangemockler-Ballyneale reeled off four points between 27th and 32nd minutes of the first half, with Conor Hahessy and John Lyons joining Shelley on the scoresheet.
Scorers for Ballygiblin: J O’Sullivan 0-5 (0-4f), D Flynn 1-2, C O’Mahony 1-1 (0-1 sideline), D Barry, S O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Grangemockler-Ballyneale: D Shelley 0-9 (0-7f, 0-1 65), C Hahessy, J Lyons 0-1 each.
BALLYGIBLIN: C Noonan; L Finn, F Herlihy (capt, J Mullins; B Coffey, M Keane, M Lewis; R Donegan, K Roche; D Barry, J O’Sullivan, D Sheehan; C O’Mahony, S O’Sullivan, D Flynn.
Subs: K Duggan for Barry (45), A O’Brien for S O’Sullivan (55), C O'Brien for J Mullins (60, injured).
GRANGEMOCKLER-BALLYNEALE: D Power; J Daly, M Meaney, D Lambe; S Daly, E Fogarty, L Kennedy; D Shelley, C Hahessy; B Comerford, J Lyons (capt), M O’Meara; S O’Meara, T Grinsell, M Lyons.
Subs: J Walsh for Grinsell (22, injured), Alex Millea for Hahessy (39), T Brett for O’Meara (45), M Meagher for Daly (52).
Referee: N Barry (Waterford).