2019 SHC v Ballyhea

Ballyhea deny Bride Rovers in a senior hurling thriller

Andrew Horgan

Bride Rovers 4-16 Ballyhea 3-20

BALLYHEA are through to the third round of the SHC against Kanturk after they narrowly defeated Bride Rovers 3-20 to 4-16 in an extraordinary match in Mallow on Sunday afternoon.

Ballyhea grabbed the opening score of the game in the first minute through Pa O’Callaghan but their opponents soon gained control of proceedings.The lively Michael Collins almost scored the opening goal but his shot from a tight angle flashed across the face of goal and wide. Paddy O’Flynn then fired over on four minutes before Conleith Ryan gave Rovers the lead when he raised a green flag.Ryan collected the sliotar after good work from Brian Roche before he drilled it into the roof of the net on the turn to make it 1-1 to 0-1.

Led by the talented Shane O’Connor in midfield, Rovers would score five of the next six points — Barry Johnson claiming three — to leave the scoreboard reading 1-6 to 0-2 by the 20th minute. The two teams soon swapped scores before Ballyhea pulled a goal back when Eugene O’Leary cleverly batted the ball past the keeper on the run, 1-3 to 1-7.

That gave Ballyhea a lift and shortly after Ryan slotted over for Rovers, they added another goal when O’Leary rifled his second along the ground and into the far bottom right corner.Four further unanswered points from Pa O’Callaghan (2), Cailean Cox and Maurice O’Sullivan helped Ballyhea to edge in front again for the first time since the opening minute.

 Paddy O'Flynn, Bride Rovers, is tackled by Owen O'Sullivan. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Paddy O'Flynn, Bride Rovers, is tackled by Owen O'Sullivan. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Due to a number of stoppages during the first half, the referee added on an extra eight minutes of play which allowed both teams to add two points to their tally meaning Ballyhea led 2-9 to 1-10 at the break.But the beginning of the second period was all about the brilliant Barry Johnson. The Rovers forward fired over from a free before he expertly planted a shot into the bottom left corner to give his side the advantage. Ballyhea would hit back to level through Tom Hanley and a Maurice O’Sullivan free but continued to struggle with Johnson at the other end. He scored twice more, either side of a Pa O’Callaghan point, before he blasted the ball into the top left corner from distance to give his team control with 15 remaining, 3-13 to 2-12.But Ballyhea finished strongly and a goal from Gavin Morrissey and a number of points from the clinical Pa O’Callaghan saw them win despite a late Johnson goal.

Scorers for Ballyhea: P O’Callaghan 0-10 (0-5 f, 0-1 65), E O’Leary 2-0, M O’Sullivan 0-3 (0-1 f), G Morrissey 1-1, T Hanley, C Cox 0-2 each, B Coleman, J Morrissey 0-1 each.

Bride Rovers: B Johnson 3-9 (0-7 f, 0-1 65), C Ryan 1-1, D Dooley 0-2, P O’Flynn, S O’Connor, M Collins, B Roche 0-1 each.

BALLYHEA: M Browne; O O’Sullivan, M Morrissey, A Barrett; L O’Connor, B Coleman, L Hanley; J Morrissey, J Copps; M O’Sullivan, P O’Callaghan, C Cox; T Hanley, G Morrissey, E O’Leary.

Sub: K Copps for A Barrett (47).

BRIDE ROVERS: S Knox; F Collins, L Forde, E Roche; C Ryan, B Murphy, S Welsh; P O’Flynn, S O’Connor; M Collins, J Pratt, D Dooley; B Johnson, T O’Sullivan, B Roche.Sub: K Kearney for P O’Flynn (46).   Referee: Nathan Wall.


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