Ballinhassig claim Junior Football Championship Title   01/09/2019

 Ballinhassig 1-14 Ballymartle 2-8 

Joe Kennefick

Ballinhassig dethroned reigning Champions Ballymartle, and in the process claimed The Huntsman Bar & Restaurant South-East Junior A Football Championship Title for the first time since 2015.

Played at Crosshaven’s splendid new pitch last night, Ballinhassig overcame a sluggish start, and had worked themselves back into the game by half-time, and a Colin Reynolds goal in the 40th minute proved crucial as it put them three points ahead, and in control of the tie.

Ballymartle hit back with a goal from Jack Ryan in the 47th minute, to set up an exciting finish, but Ballinhassig held firm to claim their third title.

Central to their victory was the performance of midfielder Donncha O’Donovan, who won the Fitzgerald & Partners Sponsored Man of the Match Award. O’Donovan was a powerhouse from start to finish, and he was ably assisted by Fintan O’Leary, who kicked 0-7, and Cillian Tyers, who kicked 0-3, and won some crucial frees.

For Ballymartle, it was a disappointing end to their reign as champions. They started very brightly and led 1-5 to 0-4 after 16 minutes, the first goal also coming from Jack Ryan, but they only scored 1-3 for the remainder of the game, although they were unlucky to see a Killian McCarthy goal ruled out for a square infringement in the 19th minute.

Ballymartle started quickly, and points from Shane Cummins, McCarthy and Daniel O’Leary had them ahead after 4 minutes, but points from Diarmuid O’Sullivan, Tyers and O’Leary saw the sides level after 9 minutes.

Ryan scored his first goal in the 9th minute, and Rikard Cahalane had two points for Ballymartle, but similar scores from Michael Desmond, O’Leary (3) and Tyers left the half-time score 1-6 to 0-8.

Points from O’Leary and Tyers for Ballinhassig, and Daniel O’Leary for Ballymartle had the sides level, when a Declan O’Sullivan shot came back off the Ballymartle goal-keeper, and Reynolds was on hand to finish to the net. 

O’Leary and Ger Collins increased the lead to five points before Ryan grabbed his second goal, but Ballinhassig controlled the closing stages of the game, and points from O’Leary and Shane Mulligan sealed their win.

Scorers for Ballinhassig: F O’Leary 0-7 (2f), C Tyers 0-3, C Reynolds 1-0, Diarmuid O’Sullivan 0-1, S Mulligan 0-1, M Desmond 0-1, G Collins 0-1.

Ballymartle: J Ryan 2-0, D O’Leary 0-3 (2f), R Cahalane 0-2, K McCarthy 0-1 (f), S Cummins 0-1, L Corry 0-1.

BALLINHASSIG: A O’Leary; E Lombard, P O’Leary, C Desmond; P O’Sullivan, S McCarthy, M O’Mahony; M Ahern, D O’Donovan; C Reynolds, Fintan O’Leary, M Desmond; S Coleman, Diarmuid O’Sullivan, C Tyers. Subs: Declan O’Sullivan for M O’Mahony (39), G Collins for S Coleman (45), S Mulligan for M Desmond (51), T Madden for Diarmuid O’Sullivan (51), D O’Leary for S Mulligan (bc 58), D Delea for C Reynolds (64).

BALLYMARTLE: G Murphy; J Butler, M Tobin, D Dwyer; L Corry, E O’Leary, D McCarthy; C Healy, J Ryan; R Cahalane, D Edmonds, B Corry; S Cummins, K McCarthy, D O’Leary. Subs: S Corry for M Tobin (33), G Webb for D McCarthy (48 inj), N Crowley for S Cummins (56).

Referee: Brian Coniry (Crosshaven).

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