Ballincollig win the Intermediate Hurling Championship title 2018-10-15 19:00:00

Courtesy of Therese O Callaghan via Examiner
Ballincollig 2-16 Blackrock 1-15
The cheers that greeted captain Ciarán O’Sullivan’s celebratory roar ‘Up the Village’ when he raised the silverware in Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday said it all. It was a day that will dwell long in their memory as Ballincollig regained their Cork Premier IHC status. They did ply their trade in the top tier in the past but were forced to drop down over the years.
A senior football county title four years ago brought the big ball to the fore in the club.
After this achievement, the Mid-Cork dual club is certainly back in business.
And with more talent emerging from a solid underage structure, they have plenty to look forward to. This victory will work wonders in spreading the word.

Not for the first time this season we have seen the glory days return for a team dressed in green and white. Ballincollig last contested an intermediate final in 1999 (it was 33 years for Blackrock), and it was five years since they were relegated to the grade of intermediate.
They led this Cork IHC final from pillar to post. They went seven points up at different stages in the second half, leaving Blackrock with too much to do.
Mind you, the Rockies had a decent opportunity to close the gap to one point five minutes from time, but the shot got away from Ciarán Cormack. A minute earlier Blackrock goalkeeper Daniel O’Mahony saved brilliantly from Robbie Bourke to keep them in contention.
Small margins. Ballincollig reeled off the next three points. And while sub Dave Cashman did register a 62nd-minute Blackrock goal, it was too little too late.
Fair to say, the mid-Cork side didn’t capitalise on all their chances either, eight first-half wides during a dominant opening period only left them three points ahead at the interval, 1-7 to 0-7.
Ian Coughlan led the way, his sixth-minute penalty giving them a tonic start, the foul committed on Robbie Bourke. The three-pointer was a telling score as it proved to be the difference right up to half-time.
Liam O’Sullivan got Blackrock off the mark but when Cian Dorgan notched his first point from play (eight overall), Ballincollig led 1-3 to 0-3 after quarter of an hour. The wides made life difficult for Ballincollig and also allowed Blackrock back in. Twice Blackrock came within a point, relying on the able free-taking of Eoin O’Farrell. Heroic defending was required, and all six in the Ballincollig rear-guard stood up. Luke Fahy and David Bowen points left Ballincollig three clear at the break.

Frees from Dorgan and Conor Sexton stretched the advantage but O’Farrell (2) and Colin O’Leary dragged the Rockies back into a two-point match.
The Church Road men were not going away. Two points remained the difference, until the Ballincollig scores started to flow again.
Fahy’s goal on 40 minutes was a monumental blow to the Rockies and the trio of points that followed from Dorgan (2) and sub Sean Walsh left the scoreboard 2-13 to 0-12 with 10 minutes remaining.
Blackrock refused to allow the Muskerry outfit close out the win.
Sub Dave Cashman led the charge, and a point apiece from Ciarán Cormack and O’Farrell narrowed the margin to four. That’s when Blackrock had a good chance to score a goal.
Sub Rory Doherty – who featured for Ballincollig when they last appeared in an intermediate final 19 years ago – took command with his fine point, followed by two Dorgan frees. It was 2-16 to 0-15, the 60 minutes expired.

Cashman did fire a consolation goal in stoppage time for Blackrock, but they couldn’t stop Ballincollig securing their eighth intermediate hurling title.
Scorers for Ballincollig: C Dorgan (0-8, 0-6 frees, 0-1 65), L Fahy (1-2), I Coughlan (1-0 pen), R Bourke (0-2), C Sexton (free), D Bowen, R Doherty and S Walsh (0-1 each).
Scorers for Blackrock: E O’Farrell (0-9, 0-7 frees, 0-1 65m), D Cashman (1-1), L O’Sullivan (0-2), R Cantwell, D Cormack, C Cormack and C O’Leary (0-1 each).
BALLINCOLLIG: C Kinsella; R O’Donovan, J O’Leary, C Sexton; C O’Sullivan (Capt), L Jennings, JP Murphy; C Moore, K Walsh; R Bourke, I Coughlan, P O’Neill; D Bowen, C Dorgan, L Fahy.
Subs: F Denny for C Moore (37), S Walsh for P O’Neill (41), R Doherty for D Bowen (49).
BLACKROCK: D O’Mahony; D O’Callaghan, E Cantwell, A Hogan; R Cantwell, R Laide, D Cormack; J Golden, F Ryan; E O’Farrell (Capt), C Cormack, P Kennedy; R Dineen, C O’Leary, L O’Sullivan.
Subs: R Coleman for D O’Callaghan (half-time), L Fogarty for P Kennedy (39), D Cashman for R Dineen (42), I O’Keeffe for L O’Sullivan (58).
Referee: Dave O’Farrell Jnr (Mitchelstown).

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