GLEN Rovers got their RedFM Division 2 Hurling League campaign off to a winning start as they defeated hosts Ballincollig in a lively game on Sunday afternoon.
There was a huge crowd for a league game, plenty of passion and no shortage of endeavour, but ultimately Glen Rovers' quality shone through in the last quarter. Both sides were short players due to injuries and Cork U20 involvement but Simon Kennefick's class was evident for the Glen, along with the experience of Brian Moylan, Mark Dooley and Dean Brosnan.
This was always going to be a tough game for Premier Intermediate outfit against a team two grades above them but Cian O'Driscoll was very lively in attack for Ballincollig, scoring 1-3 and having a hand in the other goal too.
After 10 minutes they led 1-3 to 0-4, youngster Pete Kelly with the green flag. Even though the Glen nudged ahead through two unanswered white flags, the Village were well in the game, as points from another rookie Conor Dalton and an Adam Wills free nudged them ahead.
Lee Quilligan and Liam Coughlan hit two fine scores but another Wills' free and a Séan Walsh effort had Ballincollig before Moylan tied it up at the break: 1-7 to 0-10.
The Glen improved in the second half but Ballincollig never wilted. Three consecutive points for the Premier Senior side put them in a good position before the hosts raised their second green flag courtesy of O’Driscoll from close-range to level again: 2-7 to 0-13 with 15 minutes remaining.
The Glen took a firm grip in the fourth quarter though and were ahead 0-18 to 2-8 with seven minutes remaining they almost got a goal through Kennefick, who shot over from close range for his fourth point from play but the Collig rearguard defended aggressively overall.
They rallied with two quick points to give themselves a glimmer of hope but the city club finished with a flourish, hitting the last four points through sub Stephen Lynam on his senior debut, Brosnan and Glen Kennefick.
The Glen's next outing is on St Patrick Day at home to Newtown, 11.30am while Ballincollig host Bride Rovers the night before at 8pm.
C O’Driscoll 1-3, A Wills 0-4 f, P Kelly 1-0, S Walsh, C Dalton, D O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
B Moylan 0-5 f, S Kennefick 0-4, L Quilligan, D Brosnan, S Lynam (f), N Goulding 0-2 each, L Coughlan, M Dooley, R Dunne, D Dooling, G Kennefick 0-1 each.
R Cambridge; R O’Donovan, J Murray, C Moore; D O’Sullivan, C O’Leary, F Denny; B Coleman, C Dalton; A Wills, D Bowen, P Kelly; C O’Driscoll, S Walsh, S Wills.
S O’Neill for P Kelly, K Walsh for D Bowen (both 42), J O’Leary for S Walsh (53), B Dore for S Wills (61).
C Hickey; E Varian, S McDonnell, A Lynch; B Moylan, D Noonan, A O’Sullivan; D Dooling, R Dunne; M Dooley, S Kennefick, L Coughlan; N Goulding, D Brosnan, L Quilligan.
Z Lynch for A Lynch (42), S Lynam for L Quilligan, G Kennefick for L Quilligan (both 51), C O’Sullivan for M Dooley, C Maguire for R Dunne (both 54).
Brendan Barry-Murphy (Aghabullogue).