Courcey Rovers 4-15
It was a tough baptism for senior championship debutants Ballinhassig as they were overpowered by a strong Courcey Rovers side in Brinny last night in the opening round of the Evening Echo Senior camogie championship. Promotion to senior level following their success in the senior B grade last season the draw pitted them against one of the counties strongest senior teams and it was always going to be hard.
Heavy underfoot conditions and a steady drizzle made it difficult for the players on both sides but Courcey’s making light of the condition were always sharper and faster to the ball. They signalled their intentions early as they laid the foundations for victory with a strong opening half performance and they led comfortably at the break 1-11 to 0-1.
All over the pitch they had quality players, in defence former Cork senior Sarah Hayes was dominant at centre back, Rachel Moloney and Jacinta Crowley were on top at mid field while up front Christine O’Neill, Aisling Moloney, Julie Mulcahy and sixteen year old Linda Collins were superb, full forward Collins finishing the game with a tally of 3-3 to her credit was outstanding all through and availed of every opportunity that came her way.
Courcey’s had opening up a nine point advantage twenty minutes into the game before Linda Collins grabbed the first of her three goals after good work from Aisling Moloney and Julie Mulcahy found her in space and she made no mistake from close range.
Ballinhassig worked hard to get into the contest but they could never match the intensity of a focused Courcey’s side, Niamh Sheehan pointed a free to open their account five minutes from the break Any hopes of a Ballinhassig revival were quenched inside ten minutes of the restart as Linda Collins struck for two goals in quick succession and despite giving it everything they had last season Senior B champions were always playing catch up. To their credit they never gave up and they added to their tally with points from Emma Jordan Niamh Sheehan and Orla Murray before substitute Caron O’Reilly struck for Courcey fourth goal.
Ballinhassig will now focus on the back door and a chance to regroup while Courcey’s are safely through and on this performance are serious contenders.
Scorers for Courcey Rovers: L Collins 3-3, A Moloney 0-4, J Mulcahy 0-3, R Moloney 0-2(f’s), C O’ Reilly 1-0, C O’Neill 0-2, C Mc Sweeney 0-1.
Ballinhassig: N Sheehan 0-3 (0-2f), O Murray E Jordan 0-1 each.
Courcey Rovers: C Duggan: A Keating, C Hayes, K Keohane; A O’Reilly, S Hayes(c) , E Moloney; R Moloney, J Crowley; C O’Neill, A Moloney, C O’Driscoll; J Mulcahy, L Collins, C Mc Sweeney.
Sub’s: P Collins for C O’Driscoll (35), S Allen for C Mc Sweeney (40), C O’ Reilly for R Moloney (50).
Ballinhassig: G O’Callaghan; C O’Leary, M O’Riordan, K Coleman; E Donovan, E O’ Sullivan, A O’Brien; M Kelleher, L Jordan; E Jordan, D Coomey, O Murray; A Lee, A Kilmartin, N Sheehan.
Sub: A O’Leary for M Kelleher (inj 2).
Ref: Cathal Egan (Glen Rovers).