Co-Op Superstores Premier Junior Hurling Final Ballygiblin v Tracton Match Report

cathail o’mahony of ballygiblin races away Picture: George Hatchell

Match Report by Stephen Barry Irish Examiner


Ballygiblin 2-19 Tracton 1-12

Ballygiblin have made it back-to-back county championships as late goals from Seán O’Sullivan and Darragh Flynn ensured they became the inaugural Cork Premier Junior Hurling champions.

It was a victory that looked likely from a long way out after Michael O’Sullivan’s 25th-minute red card for interfering with Mark Keane’s helmet, and confirmed when outscoring Tracton by 2-3 to 0-1 between the 47th and 58th minutes.

Joseph O’Sullivan hit 0-10, split evenly between frees and play, in a man-of-the-match performance as Fionn Herlihy lifted the Jimmy O’Mahony Cup.

A quirk of Cork’s championship restructure means Ballygiblin now advance to defend their Munster Junior title, beginning against Grangemockler/Ballyneale of Tipperary in three weeks’ time.

Tracton joint-captain Michael O’Sullivan had an eventful 20-odd minutes on the field. He got the opening goal after only 25 seconds, spent two minutes off the field with a blood injury sustained in finishing to the net, and then was sent off with the game poised at 0-7 to 1-3.

Tracton dominated those opening minutes but took only one of their five attempts at the posts after the goal – Mark Byrne with the first of two points from play – as Ballygiblin worked their way into the game.

Graham Webb was excellent in a sweeping role for Tracton while Rory Sinclair limited the influence of Cork U20 Flynn (0-1 in the first half) but the North Cork side had a variety of threats. Joseph O’Sullivan was able to find space away from Webb to score three points from play and added another three frees, while Shane Beston (0-2, one assist) and Cathail O’Mahony (0-1, two assists) were rampaging down the wings.

Keane showed his class mirroring Webb’s role for Ballygiblin and he was given more scope to advance after O’Sullivan’s red card also freed up James Mullins.

The teams were level four times in the second quarter but Beston and Joseph O’Sullivan pushed Ballygiblin 0-10 to 1-5 ahead at half-time.

Flynn moved out the field and set up two points, with O’Mahony (0-3 in the third quarter) and Joseph O’Sullivan (0-2) both profiting, but four Tracton frees (three by Walsh, one by David Byrne) kept them hanging in there, 0-15 to 1-9.

Joseph O’Sullivan and Walsh traded a couple of missed frees but Ballygiblin’s scoring spread come to the fore against their tiring opponents with an unanswered 1-3 streak. Joseph O’Sullivan and Flynn hit points before Seán O’Sullivan, brought out the field, found space to run into. And when O’Mahony’s subsequent shot was saved, O’Sullivan forced it – just – over the line on 50 minutes. Joseph O’Sullivan’s point made it 1-18 to 1-9.

Conor McGuinness hit Tracton’s first point from play in 32 minutes but Ballygiblin made it safe; Seán O’Sullivan again running into space and feeding Flynn, who finished at the second attempt.

Scorers for Ballygiblin: J O’Sullivan (0-10, 5 frees); D Flynn (1-3, 0-1 free); C O’Mahony (0-4); S O’Sullivan (1-0); S Beston (0-2).

Scorers for Tracton: R Walsh (0-5 frees); M Byrne (0-4, 2 frees); M O’Sullivan (1-0); D Byrne (0-2 frees); C McGuinness (0-1).

BALLYGIBLIN: C Noonan; L Finn, F Herlihy (capt), J Mullins; B Coffey, M Keane, M Lewis; R Donegan, K Roche; D Flynn, J O’Sullivan, S Beston; C O’Mahony, S O’Sullivan, D Barry.

Subs: D Sheehan for Barry (41), K Duggan for Beston (60), C O’Brien for Finn (60), P Malloy for J O’Sullivan (60+3).

TRACTON: K Lyons; D Good, T McGuinness (j-capt), R Sinclair; K Webb, G Webb, C McGuinness; J Good, D O’Flaherty; D Byrne, M O’Sullivan (j-capt), M Byrne; D Harrington, P O’Riordan, R Walsh.

Subs: D Kidney for O’Sullivan (3-5, blood), C Quinn for O’Riordan (41), D Kidney for M Byrne (45), J Kingston for Walsh (50), M Byrne for O’Flaherty (56), S O’Sullivan for Quinn (59), E Kingston for Harrington (60+2).

Referee: W Wallace (Aghada).