St Colum’s 0-10
JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
BALLINASCARTHY’S double dream is still alive.
Bal are the first team through to the semi-finals of the South West JAFC – but they were pushed all the way in this quarter-final against St Colum’s at Dunmanway.
It was too close for comfort in those last pulsating minutes as the Saints fought desperately to save the game, something Ballinascarthy trainer Kevin Ryan readily acknowledged.
‘We were a bit concerned, we had not played championship since mid-April, that’s a long period, while Colum’s had a great win last week against a good Carbery Rangers’ side,’ Ryan said.
‘We knew we would be up against it, then we lost Ricky O’Flynn early on, but the lads responded magnificently with a great team performance.
‘It is a huge win for us, we have not been at the semi-final stage of this championship for quite a while.’
Colum’s began with all guns blazing against the stiff breeze and with Denis McSweeney providing the link between defence and attack, they had two early points on the board from Michael Casey and Eoghan O’Sullivan.
Ballinascarthy were slow to get motoring, but a beauty by Daniel Nyhan settled the nerves.
Cillian Cullinane was winning primary possession and with Brian O’Donovan and David McCarthy showing well in attack, a brace by Cullinane saw the Reds in front, 0-3 to 0-2, at the close of the opening quarter.
Bal were on a roll and a move instigated by Seamus McCarthy and continued by Brian O’Donovan saw Gearoid O’Leary surge past a static Colum’s rearguard to plant the ball in the rigging in the 23rd minute.
Cullinane added another point, 1-4 to 0-2, but Bal were to go a staggering 18 minutes without a score. Two superb points by Denis McSweeney cut the half-time deficit to 1-4 to 0-4.
It was more of the same on resuming with Colum’s now operating at full throttle, and two sublime scores in the 36th and 39th minutes from acute angles by Eoghan O’Sullivan racked up the tension.
Bal introduced Ben Murray and Sean Condon with telling effect and after a David McCarthy pointed free in the 45th minute lifted the siege, substitute Condon fed Brian O’Donovan who stroked home a vital second Bal goal.
While JP O’Sullivan, Denis McSweeney, Cormac O’Connor and the heroism of Eoghan O’Sullivan stroked the Colum’s fire of endeavour, Bal had the last say, Cullinane raising a white flag in the 61st minute and Ciarán Nyhan testing the reflexes of Colum’s shot-stopper in the dying embers.
Ballinascarthy: Cillian Cullinane 0-4(1f), Brian O’Donovan, Gearoid O’Leary 1-0 each, Daniel Nyhan, David McCarthy (f) 0-1 each.
St Colum’s: Eoghan O’Sullivan 0-4, Denis McSweeney 0-3, Cormac O’Connor, Michael Casey, JP O’Sullivan (f) 0-1 each.
Ballinascarthy: Barry Hanrahan; Gearoid O’Leary, Chris Ryan, David O’Brien; Jeremy Ryan, Ciarán Nyhan, Ciarán O’Neill; Sean Ryan, Ricky O’Flynn; Seamus McCarthy, David Walsh, Daniel Nyhan; David McCarthy, Cillian Cullinane, Brian O’Donovan.
Subs: Cathal Nyhan for Ricky O’Flynn (inj,18), Sean Condon for Seamus McCarthy (44), Ben Murray for David Walsh (45), Barry Walsh for David O’Brien (53), Seamus McCarthy for Cillian Cullinane (black card, 61).
St Colum’s: Michael Cronin; David O’Mahony, Sean Harrington, Pat Daly; Shane McSweeney, Damien Cronin, Michael Casey; Wesley O’Connor, Dermot Cronin; Tony Harrington, Ben Murphy, Eddie O’Sullivan; Eoghan O’Sullivan, JP O’Sullivan, Denis McSweeney.
Subs: Martin Hurley for Eddie O’Sullivan (44), Cormac O’Connor for Ben Murphy (47), Gene McCarthy for Michael Casey (inj, 54), Sean O’Shea for JP O’Sullivan (56), Eddie O’Sullivan for Wesley O’Connor (57).
Referee: Liam O’Shea (Carbery Rangers).