HOWARD CROWDY REPORTS
BALLINHASSIG won what was locally dubbed ‘The War of the Buttons’ final when they defeated fellow parishioners Ballygarvan 1-07 to 1-05 in the South East Junior A Football Championship final in Shanbally.
In a tense and tough encounter there was very little between the local rivals throughout the hour.
Ballinhassig’s Diarmuid O’Sullivan was the difference between the sides as he notched up six points – four of them frees – as the blue half of the parish won their second JAFC title in three years and their fourth in ten as both teams put up a low scoring, but entertaining season finale in damp and dreary conditions.
The intensity of the local derby and the difficult conditions meant scores were hard to come by, especially in the first half with only five being registered between both teams.
It wasn’t until the sixth minute before the first white flag was raised when Ballygarvan’s Mark Kennefick pointed, although Ballinhassig’s Diarmuid O’Sullivan almost levelled the score moments later only to see his effort come off the upright and cleared away.
Ballinhassig eventually registered their first score with a goal in the 13th minute when Eoin Lombard found himself through and duly shot past Jack Murphy to give Ballinhassig a 1-0 0-01 lead.
Two points, both frees, from Ballinhassig’s O’Sullivan extended their lead to four before Ballygarvan’s Dan McCarthy reduced the lead to three right on the stroke of half time.
Ballygarvan hit back following the resumption and within two minutes of the restart took the lead for the first time since the sixth minute with a point from McCarthy who added a goal to his tally with a neat 1-2 with Ray O’Halloran to give Ballygarvan the lead by one.
Ballinhassig’s O’Sullivan brought the sides back level again in the 43rd minute before Ballygarvan added another two from Paul Sexton and McCarthy before the second water break to lead by two.
Tensions were beginning to rise with less than 15 minutes remaining, and two additional points from Man of the Match Diarmuid O’Sullivan brought Ballinhassig level as the Blues were now beginning to press forward, and although Ballygarvan attempted to come forward in the closing stages, could not add to their tally for the remainder of the game.
O’Sullivan’s high free into towards the Ballygarvan goalmouth was cleared but only as far as Ballinhassig’s Charlie Grainger whose point from 30 yards in the centre sailed over the bar two minutes from time, and when O’Sullivan pointed another free in injury time the trophy was on its way to the blue half of the parish.
The PaJoe Cronin Cup was presented by Pat Desmond, Chairman South East GAA Board and Kieran Keogh, The Huntsman Bar and Restaurant Belgooly to Ballinhassig captain Diarmuid O’Sullivan who also received the Fitzgerald and Partners Accountants, Kinsale, Man of the Match Award from Paddy, Cormac and Killian Fitzgerald.
Scorers – Ballinhassig: Diarmuid O’Sullivan 0-06 (0-04 frees); Eoin Lombard 1-0; Charlie Grainger 0-1; Ballygarvan: Dan McCarthy 1-03; Mark Kennefick 0-01 (1 free); Paul Sexton 0-01
Ballinhassig: Arthur O’Leary, James O’Callaghan, (sub Daniel Lombard); Kevin Maguire, (sub Gearoid Daly), Michael Desmond, Charlie Grainger, Conor Desmond, Pa O’Leary, Eoin Lombard, Donnacha Donovan, Eddie Finn, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Simon O’Neill, Darren Delea, Cillian Tyres, Fintan O’Leary.
Ballygarvan: Jack Murphy, Paddy Ryan, Fergal Aherne, Adam Dunne, (sub Callum Mackey); Paul Sexton, Richard O’Leary, Sean O’Donovan, Killian Fitzgerald, Donald O’Sullivan, Sean Brady, Mark Kennefick, (sub Gary White); Stephen Fenton, Ray O’Halloran, Patrick Sweeney, (sub Eli Kadi Harrington); Dan McCarthy.
Referee: Liam Riordan (Belgooly)