Ballyhooly 0-18 Shanballymore 1-11.
Last Friday evening in the splendid Glanworth venue we made our return to junior A grade when we played against old rivals Ballyhooly but unfortunately we left disappointed after a well below par performance. We went into this tie on the back of some good solid wins in the division 1 hurling league and the county league but league and championship are totally different and last Friday night we seemed to be playing the game at league hurling pace while our opponents Ballyhooly seemed to be on a different level.
Their hurling in the first half was very impressive and they had players who punished every mistake our boys made. The score line shows that only 12 scores came from ourselves and in championship hurling it’s almost impossible to win scoring so little. In the end the losing margin was still only four points and losing Haulie Burke in the first few minutes of the second half didn’t help our cause as Haulie would be one of our most consistent player’s over the last few years.
We also had four or five chances of easy points in the last few minutes but time and time again the option to go for goals was the wrong one as it was only a five point game when these chances came our way but credit to Ballyhooly they defended very well throughout the game and deserved their win. They will be a match for anyone in this championship on this evidence and we wish them well for the future rounds but thankfully for ourselves we have a second chance when we play in round two on the weekend of the 17th of June.
Hopefully over the next few weeks the selectors can regroup the lads and get them ready for this round two fixture. This first quarter of the game was all Ballyhooly as they raced into a big lead with some excellent scores from some very good long range points. It was 0-6 to 0-2 after 15 mins and we seemed to be in real trouble especially around the middle half of the field where Ballyhooly were very dominating.
Our first two points came from good strikes by Jamie Sheedy and Darren Roche. They went on to stretch their lead to eight points 0-10 to 0-2 before we had our best spell of the game when we hit 1-3 without reply with Colman O’Reilly(0-2) and Brian O’Reilly(1-1) bringing us closer to Ballyhooly with half time approaching. They replied with a pointed free from close range but we had the last say of the half when Brian O’Reilly was on hand again to point to close the gap to just two points.
Judging by our first half performance we were happy to be only two points in arrears and the goal really helped our cause when we were in real trouble. The first few minutes of the second half were pretty even but we just couldn’t close the gap and it was Ballyhooly who started to get on top again and they once again showed some class with excellent scores. They had the first three points and our back line who have been outstanding over the last 12 months were under some serious pressure from a fast and lively Ballyhooly attack.
At the other end our forwards and midfield never got going and found scores very hard to come by and when your forward line aren’t doing the business it will put fierce pressure on a over worked back line. Jamie Sheedy got us going with some well taken points from frees and play but we were unfortunately being dominated in most sectors of the field and could not make any real impact on the score board.
In the last ten minutes we did have a lot of attacks but couldn’t muster many scores to close the gap and Ballyhooly kept their side of the score board ticking over with some well taken points. In the end they ran out convincing winners and progressed to round three of this year’s championship. For ourselves it’s back to the drawing board to see what went wrong and why so many players were well below par after some excellent performances in the games against Ballygiblin, Glanworth and Blarney.
Team: Stephen Donegan, James Hayes, Eoin McHugh, Alan Sheedy, Jerome Fitzgerald, Sean Lynch(capt), Eoin O’Regan, Robert McHugh, Haulie Burke, Jamie Sheedy(0-4 0-3f), Brian Sheedy, Brian O’Reilly(1-2), Darren Roche(0-1), Jonathan Dennehy, Colman O’Reilly(0-2) Subs: Paul Burke for Haulie Burke (33inj), Kenneth Barry(0-1) for Rob McHugh 50.