St Mary’s 2-20
MARTIN WALSH REPORTS
‘IT’S massive for the club and the community,’ declared a delighted St Mary’s coach Mike Dineen after his side ousted reigning champions Ballinascarthy in the RCM Tarmacadam JAHC semi-final at Timoleague on Saturday evening to reach their first hurling final in 33 years.
A cracking opening four minutes began with two pointed frees from Ballinascarthy’s Jeremy Ryan before a brace of goals from Brian Everard gave St Mary’s more than hope.
A Ben Murray point separated Everard’s golden goals after which points from Jason Collins (2), Finighin O’Driscoll and Niall Kelleher put St Mary’s ahead 2-4 to 0-3 with Ryan adding a point for Bal before the water break.
Mary’s settled into their lead role and played well as a unit all through with their back line showing great cohesion and tenacity. Bal lost the experienced Chris Ryan with an injury and only managed two further points before half time. St Mary’s added five, courtesy of Collins, Darren O’Donovan, Niall Kelleher, Brian O’Mahony and a fine projectile from wing back Jack Hurley.
On the resumption the sides traded three points as Bal tried to penetrate the St Mary’s rear-guard albeit with no real success. Sharper to react, St Mary’s went 2-14 to 0-9 ahead by the water break. Entering the final quarter Bal, who never really captured their 2019 form, continued in search of that elusive goal but St Mary’s were in control, illustrated by a fine Darren O’Donovan point from a subtle Brian McCarthy pass.
Captain Jason Collins led by example and his long-distance point on 52 minutes put his side 2-17 to 0-12 clear. O’Donovan added another point before Bal finally got the goal when Conall Cullinane hit the back of the net. By then, it was too little and far too late, as St Mary’s sealed their place in the final with points from Aaron O’Driscoll and O’Donovan.
‘We got a great start, Brian (Everard) got two great goals in the first few minutes, that’s a massive start in a West Cork semi-final against Ballinascarthy,’ said a buoyant Mike Dineen.
‘Jason Collins was appointed captain this year for all the obvious reasons, he is a true leader. He had an outstanding game, he’s come back from a lot of injuries. All the lads, from one to 26 have been outstanding.’
St Mary’s: B Everard 2-0; J Collins 0-5 (4f); D O’Donovan 0-4; B O’Mahony, N Kelleher 0-3 each; B McCarthy 0-2; F O’Driscoll, J Hurley, A O’Driscoll 0-1 each. Ballinascarthy: J Ryan 0-6 (3f); B Murray 0-3; C Cullinane 1-0; C O’Neill 0-2; S Ryan 0-1.
St Mary’s: G Harrington; D Curtin, P Daly, J Hurley; R O’Connor, M O’Driscoll, R Scannell; D Scannell, N Kelleher; B Everard, J Collins, F O’Driscoll; D O’Donovan; B McCarthy, B O’Mahony. Subs: B O’Brien for R Scannell, A O’Driscoll for F O’Driscoll, B Brady for J Hurley.
Ballinascarthy: D Hennessy; D O’Brien, C Nyhan, E O’Brien; L Murray, C Ryan, C O’Neill; D Walsh, J Ryan; S Ryan, S McCarthy, B Murray; D McCarthy, M Kirby, B O’Donovan. Subs: C Cullinane for C Ryan (inj, 23), G O’Leary for S Ryan, D O’Donovan for E O’Brien, C Ryan for C O’Neill, R O’Brien for B Murray.
Referee: Michael O’Mahony (Kilbrittain).