JOHN MURPHY REPORTS
LAST year’s beaten finalists Ballinascarthy showed they will be a force to be reckoned with again this season after they got their 2020 Bandon Co-op JAFC campaign off to an ideal start at Timoleague last Saturday night.
A commanding last quarter saw them eke out seven points to seal victory against Barryroe in an exciting round one tie. However, it looked far from a done deal at the interval when the scores were level, 1-4 to 0-7, and Bal had to face the stiff breeze on resuming, but they dug deep and came through.
‘We were very concerned about Barryroe as we knew they would provide a big challenge having acquired some important new additions to their squad,’ Bal manager Kevin Ryan said.
‘We were in serious trouble at half time, facing into a strong wind, but our lads turned in a marvellous second-half performance and we ended up scoring 17 points which is a great total.’
Aided by the stiff breeze Bal hit the ground running. With early midfield supremacy by Ciarán Nyhan and Sean Ryan, one of their stars up front, Brian O’Donovan, had two fast points on the board inside the opening ten minutes.
Both sides were quick to run the ball at every opportunity, resulting in much fast, fluent football, as Bal enjoyed a comfortable advantage, 0-5 to 0- 1, by the 20th minute.
Carbery senior Cillian Cullinane clocked over two beauties, Brian O’Donovan added his third as Mark Crowley raised the first white flag for the Blues, the off-the-ball running of Cullinane, O’Donovan, the midfield duo of Ciarán O’Neill and Jeremy Ryan, and Gearóid O’Leary and Ben Murray all combining nicely for Bal.
But while Bal had their speed merchants so too did Barryroe, with Tipperary senior Robbie Kiely, his brother Dave Kiely, Mark Crowley, Ryan O’Donovan and Liam Colbert all to the fore.
Ryan O’Donovan effortlessly converted a penalty after Colbert was fouled in the 22nd minute and with Bal on the back foot they were glad of the interval respite.
Robbie Kiely had a fabulous score on resuming and was a constant threat, but Bal closed down the hatches. With some glorious scores by Cullinane, Dean Harte, Gearóid O’Leary and Jeremy Ryan they repelled the best efforts of Barryroe.
Granted, Ryan O’Donovan cracked a thundering drive off the crossbar in the dying moments as Barryroe threw caution to the wind and following up a combination of Robbie Kiely and the impressive Colbert ushed the ball over the line, but it was merely a consolation score in the 63rd minute.
Ballinascarthy: Cillian Cullinane 0-6 (3f); Brian O’Donovan 0-4 (1f); Ben Murray, Dean Harte 0-2 each; Jeremy Ryan, Ciáran Nyhan, Gearóid O’Leary 0-1 each.
Barryroe: Ryan O’Donovan 1-2 (1-0 pen, 2f); Liam Colbert 1-1 (1f); Jack Murphy, Mark Crowley, Robbie Kiely 0-1 each.
Ballinascarthy: Barry Hanrahan; Daniel O’Brien, Gearóid O’Leary, Eoin O’Brien; Jeremy Ryan, Ciarán O’Neill, David Walsh; Sean Ryan, Ciarán Nyhan; Cillian Cullinane, Ricky O’Flynn, Dave McCarthy; Brian O’Donovan, Ben Murray, Paraic Cullinane. Subs: Dean Harte for Paraic Cullinane (inj, 39), Conall Cullinane for Dave McCarthy (54), Andrew O’Leary for Ricky O’Flynn (56).
Barryroe: Conor Madden; James Moloney, David Kiely, Patrick Moloney; Conor O’Regan, Kieran Griffin, Con Dineen; Gearóid Holland, Mark Crowley; Jack Murphy, Robbie Kiely, Jerome O’Brien; Ryan O’Donovan, Liam Colbert, Donal O’Buachalla. Subs: Mike O’Brien for Jack Murphy (ht), Cathal Sheehy for Jerome O’Brien (48), Adam McSweeney for Donal O’Buachalla (52), Jack Cahalane for Mike O’Brien (56).
Referee: Jack Forbes (Dohenys).