Friday 23 March 2018

Relegation final beckons for Ballyhea after last gasp defeat

County SHC Relegation play-off: Carrigtwohill 2-17 Ballyhea 3-12

Ballyhea's Tom Hanley
Ballyhea's Tom Hanley

Pat Ryan

Ballyhea got off to the best possible start in this Co SHC relegation play off Round 2 at Killavullen on Sunday with Carrigtwohill. The Avondhu side helped by early goals by John Morrissey and Tom Hanley led 2-4 to 0- 0 after 11 minutes.

Carrigtwohill made a good recovery with Liam Gosnell, Sean Dempsey and Darren O'Driscoll very effective. The East Cork side struck 6 points in succession by Liam Gosnell (3) Sean Rohan, Sean Dempsey and Darren O'Driscoll.

In the 20th minute a well placed puckout by Mikey Browne found Gavin Morrissey who placed Sean O'Kelly who pointed 2-5 to 0-6. Tomas Hogan replied with pointed a '65 and when Liam O'Sullivan pointed from long range the lead was down to 2 points 2-5 to 0-9 by the 25th minute.

Patrick O'Callaghan replied with a pointed free for Ballyhea. In injury time good play by Ronan Power led to a fine Darren O'Driscoll point 2-6 to 0-10 at the break.

Liam O'Connor and Pat O'Callaghan with early points on the changeover edged Ballyhea 2-8 to 0-11 clear. Tomas Hogan pointed a 'Carrig' free before Darren O'Driscoll soloed through and goaled to be deadlocked for the first time.

O'Callaghan had a penalty saved by Carrigtwohill keeper Shane Devlin. Liam O'Connor and Tom Hanley with Ballyhea points had them 2-10 to 1- 11 clear after 43 minutes.

Liam Gosnell pointed a difficult free and the same player forced Mikey Browne to make a splendid save in the 48th minute. Liam Gosnell levelled from a free before Pat O'Callaghan put Ballyhea back in front.

Gosnell tied the game again at 2-11 to 1-14. In the 55th minute Sean Dempsey goaled for the East Cork side with Tom Hanley replying with a Ballyhea goal a minute later 2-14 to 3-11.

Impressive Liam Gosnell gave 'Carrig' the lead at a vital stage. John Morrissey with a brilliant point tied up the game for the fifth and final time 2-15 to 3-12. A replay looked very likely.

However, in the dying moments substitute Brendan Twomey had an excellent point for 'Carrig' with Liam Gosnell having the insurance point in the 63rd minute. Ballyhea will now meet Youghal in the final.

Should Youghal lose they will be relegated for 2018. Ballyhea's position is different, regardless of the result they will compete in senior grade in 2018.

CARRIGTWOHILL: S Devlin, C O'Mahony, P Hogan, O Baverstock, C O'Connell, R Power, S Healy, L O'Sullivan 0-1, J Horgan, S Roche, S Dempsey 1-2, T Hogan 0-2 (1f, 1 '65'), S Rohan 0-1, D O'Driscoll 1-2, L Gosnell 0-8 (5f). Sub: Brendan Twomey 0-1 for S Rohan

BALLYHEA: M Browne, E O'Sullivan, M Morrissey, K Copps, T Shanahan, B Coleman, L Hanley, J McCarthy, M O'Sullivan, T Hanley 2-2, P O'Callaghan 0-3 (0-2f), L O'Connor 0-2, J Morrissey 1-2, G Morrissey 0-1, S O'Kelly 0-2. Subs: J O'Sullivan for S O'Kelly, D Copps for T Hanley

Referee: Joe Larkin (Shamrocks)