THIS was a game that proved, once again, that goals win games. Champions Ballinascarthy struck two in this competitive first-round RCM Tarmacadam JAHC encounter in Enniskeane and it was just enough to see them over the line against Dohenys.
In the opening quarter, Bal, against the breeze, looked the better side and with Jeremy Ryan once again proving lethal from placed balls, they led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the first water break. Dohenys roared into the game in the second quarter and struck five unanswered points in a row, three from impressive centre forward Bill Murphy.
But Dohenys were dealt a body blow in the 27th minute when Brian O’Donovan set up Ben Murray for a tap-in goal against the run of play and when Ryan pointed another free, it was Bal in front by 1-7 to 0-9 at half time.
‘The target was to just get over this hurdle. We expected to get a tough battle from Dohenys and they looked as if they had a bit of work done. We started well enough but after the water break we came under savage pressure. The wind was at its strongest at that stage but the goal carried us through that difficult patch,’ said Bal manager Eamonn O’Flynn.
Mark Buckley, who scored Dohenys opening four points in the first half, levelled the game from a free immediately on the restart.
There wasn’t a puck of a ball between the sides as Jeremy Ryan (two frees) swapped scores with Fionn Herlihy, Darragh Collins and Bill Murphy. It was Dohenys in front at the second water break, 0-14 to 1-10 when Don O’Driscoll pointed.
The most vital score of the game arrived straight after the water break when Brian O’Donovan worked hard to usher the ball to the Doheny net and Bal upped their game to open a five-point gap with scores from Ryan (two frees) and Ben Murray.
Dohenys gave all they had in the closing minutes but with Darragh Hennessy in top-class form between the posts for Bal there was no magic goal for the Dunmanway side. It was Bal who finished the game in style with points from Ryan and Ricky O’Flynn.
Unfortunately, the game got very scrappy in the closing stages and a nasty melee involving most of the players, mentors and subs, left a sour taste at the end of a very entertaining contest.
Best for the winners were Darragh Hennessy, Ciarán Nyhan, Daniel O’Brien, Luke Murray, Ciarán O’Neill, Jeremy Ryan, Sean Ryan, Ricky O’Flynn, Ben Murray and Brian O’Donovan, while for Dohenys, Jerry McCarthy, Jerry Farrell, Tadhg O’Leary, Declan Collins, Johnny Kelly, Bill Murphy, Darragh Collins, Mark Buckley and Fionn Herlihy tried hard.
Ballinascarthy: Jeremy Ryan 0-9 (8f); Ben Murray 1-2; Brian O’Donovan 1-1; Fionn Herlihy 0-2 each; Darragh Collins 0-1. Dohenys: Mark Buckley 0-7f; Bill Murphy 0-4; Don O’Driscoll, Fionn Herlihy 0-2 each; Darragh Collins 0-1.
Ballinascarthy: Darragh Hennessy; Gearóid O’Leary, Ciarán Nyhan, Daniel O’Brien; Luke Murray, Chris Ryan, Ciarán O’Neill; David Walsh, Jeremy Ryan; Sean Ryan, Cillian Cullinane, Ricky O’Flynn; Eoin O’Brien, Ben Murray, Brian O’Donovan. Sub: Cian Ryan for G O’Leary (46).
Dohenys: Denis Dullea; Jerry Farrell, Tadhg O’Leary, Jerry McCarthy; Brendan McCarthy, Declan Collins, Kevin O’Mahony; Johnny Kelly, Sean Daly; Darragh Collins, Bill Murphy, Don O’Driscoll; Aidan O’Donovan, Mark Buckley, Fionn Herlihy. Subs: Eoin Lavers for K O’Mahony (45), Stephen Daly for A O’Donovan (54).
Referee: David Whyte (St Mary’s).