JJ HURLEY REPORTS
KINSALE dethroned Ballinhassig in the Huntsman Bar and Restaurant South East JAFC final with a devastating performance in Ballinspittle.
Led by its inspirational team captain Brian Coughlan, Kinsale simply swept away a stunned Ballinhassig, who offered little resistance over the 60 minutes.
For team coach Gearoid Condon, who had to endure the heartbreak of last year’s relegation, the victory was the culmination of 12 months of hard work.
‘We went down last year, and I had asked if someone wanted to take over. When no one offered, I felt obliged to stay on. The idea this year was to spring as many young fellas as possible. We have had huge potential in the team for the last two or three years, and today was the first time we put it in for 60 minutes,’ a delighted Condon said.
With divisional success comes automatic promotion to the county premier junior football competition in 2023. However, one eye is on a county title this year. Much of leading that charge will no doubt rest on the shoulders of Saturday’s man-of-the-match Brian Coughlan who opened Kinsale’s account on five minutes.
It was another six minutes before the Seasiders landed their second thanks to a mark for the industrious number 14, as Coughlan popped up on 14 minutes to add his second.
Ballinhassig finally got off the mark on 15 minutes, as Darren Dullea finished off a move he initiated. With an imperious Coughlan aided by Sheehan and Gray, Ballinhassig struggled to deal with Kinsale’s attack as Gearoid Finn claimed the following two scores as the Blues’ Diarmuid O’Sullivan got on the score sheet. Lombard and Donovan tried to turn the Kinsale tide in the middle of the park, but it was impossible as Coughlan raised five white flags to Daly’s and O’Sullivan’s reply. Kinsale led 0-10 to 0-4 at half time.
The opening minutes of the second half had Kinsale on the march as Michael Murphy scored an impressive point. Any notions of a champion’s comeback were dealt a severe blow as midfielder Donncha Donovan received a black card.
Sensing Ballinhassig were on the ropes, a Niall McCarthy point was followed by Kian O’Callaghan setting up Gearoid Finn for a goal one minute later.
Finn should have scored another goal, but his effort went wide. Kian O’Callaghan, however, made no mistake on 43 minutes as he dispatched a penalty past O’Leary.
With the match all but over, Gray and McCarthy had the score at 2-14 to 0-4, before Ballinhassig registered their first score in the second half on 52 minutes. O’Neill saved a late goal chance from Conor Desmond, as the impressive Kian O’Callaghan’s darting run supplied substitute Tim Broderick, who nonchalantly side-stepped the Ballinhassig defence for the game’s final score.
Kinsale: B Coughlan 0-7 (1f); G Finn 1-2; K O’Callaghan 1-0 (Pen); N McCarthy, M Murphy 0-2 each; B Grey and T Broderick 0-1 each.
Ballinhassig: D O’Sullivan 0-2 (1f); D Dullea, G Daly 0-1 each.
Kinsale: S O’Neill; K O’Callaghan, R O’Regan, F Ahern; D O’Mahony, N McCarthy, Kris O’Callaghan; D Coughlan, B Coughlan; H Sheehan, G Finn, B Gray; M Murphy, J Murphy, J O’Brien. Subs: C Sheehan for J Murphy, C McCarthy for F Ahern (both 41); J Murphy for G Finn (47); T Broderick for H Sheehan (48); S O’Brien for G Gray (54).
Ballinhassig: A O’Leary; C Grainger, K Maguire, M Desmond; P O’Leary; C Desmond, E Finn; E Lombard, D Desmond; E Cullinane, D O’Sullivan, G Daly; D Dellea, F O’Leary, E Buckley. Subs: B Lynch for D O’Sullivan (43); J O’Callaghan for E Finn (44); S O’Leary for D Dullea (45); D Lombard for K Maguire (47); T Madden for E Buckley (56).