Kilbrittain 2-14 (aet)
OLIVER O’BRIEN REPORTS
BALLINASCARTHY advanced to the final of the RCM Tarmacadam Carbery JBHC following an enthralling extra-time encounter at Ahiohill.
By the end, eight points separated the winners from Kilbrittain, but there were many twists and turns over 80 minutes.
After the opening two points were shared, the game roared into life with a pair of goals within 30 seconds of each other. A rocket from Kilbrittain veteran Alan Hayes – who had a royal battle with Chris Ryan throughout – was followed immediately with Bal’s reply from Tadgh O’Neill at the other end.
Séamus O’Sullivan was showing up well for Kilbrittain with Sam Dewey and James O’Donovan also impressing. Bal’s forward division were working hard too with Ciarán and Tadgh O’Neill, Cian Ryan and Cathal Nyhan interlinking well.
After Bal’s Eoin Ferguson was unlucky to see a shot fly just over the bar, Kilbrittain struck for their second goal, Patrick O’Mahony benefiting from good Fionn Ustianowski play. Indeed, a third might have arrived but for a great Joe Ryan save to deny Hayes his second.
The impressive Sam Dewey scored a beauty of a point to increase the Kilbrittain lead, 2-7 to 1-4, before Bal finished the half with points from Cian Ryan and Ferguson.
Pat O’Mahony extended the Kilbrittain lead on the restart before sub Cian O’Leary was unlucky with a goal effort that was deflected over. Ciaran O’Neill and Patrick O’Mahony swapped points but Kilbrittain would endure 25 scoreless minutes thereafter.
Subs Ben Murray and Aaron Ryan were influential as Bal began to claw back the lead, which was down to two points with 18 minutes left. Kilbrittain’s Paudie Brennan, Darragh Considine, Seamus O’Sullivan, Eamon Lyons, and Pat O’Mahony were hurling well while Ryan O’Flynn, Tristan Walsh and Ciaran Nyhan were equally hard working for Ballinscarthy.
Pádraic Cullinane set up Ciarán O’Neill to reduce the deficit to the minimum and they moved in front with points from Murray and O’Neill, 1-14 to 2-10. However, chances to solidify their advantage were missed and Patrick O’Mahony’s late free tied the game, necessitating extra time.
While a pair of Pat O’Mahony points put Kilbrittain back in front after Ciarán Deasy had drawn first blood for Bal, a decisive blow was struck as Deasy set up Murray for a goal. Ciarán O’Neill almost added another green flag, goalkeeper David Desmond tipping the ball over, but at half-time in extra time Bal were 2-17 to 2-13 to the good.
Eamonn Lyons did slot over a 65 early in the second period for Kilbrittain but their challenge began to wilt. O’Neill and Murray increased the Bal lead and the outcome was put beyond doubt thanks to Ciarán Deasy’s late goal. They now face Bantry Blues in the final.
Ballinscarthy now meet Bantry in the final.
Ballinascarthy: C O’Neill 0-10 (4f); B Murray 1-3; C Deasy 1-1; T O’Neill 1-0; E Ferguson 0-2; C Nyhan (f), C Ryan, A Ryan 0-1 each.
Kilbrittain: P O’Mahony 1-5 (2f, 1 65); P O’Mahony 0-4; A Hayes 1-0; S Dewey 0-2; E Byrne, E Lyons, C O’Leary 0-1 each.
Ballinascarthy: J Ryan; P Cullinane, C Ryan, G O’Leary; R O’Brien, R O’Flynn, C Nyhan; T Walsh, D Walsh; E Ferguson, C O’Neill, E O’Driscoll; C Ryan, C Nyhan, T O’Neill.
Subs: B Murray for E O’Driscoll, A Ryan for D Walsh (both ht), C Deasy for C Nyhan (54), E O’Driscoll for T O’Neill, T Lucey for C Ryan, K Nyhan for O’Leary all (77).
Kilbrittain: D Desmond; D Considine, I Burke, C Kenny; P Brennan, J O’Donovan, S O’Sullivan; S Dewey, E Byrne; P O’Mahony, E Lyons, P O’Mahony; C Byrne, A Hayes, O Dewey.
Subs: F Ustianowski for C Byrne (20, inj), C O’Leary for Dewey (34, inj), K Hunt for O Dewey (45), M O’Shea for Pa O’Mahony (64, injured), M Kalitka for Burke (67).
Referee: P Lawton (Barryroe).