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Dublin: 16 °C Tuesday 18 June, 2019
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The Cork county champions survived a tough test in their first defence of their title

Ballincollig had just enough to get past St Finbarr’s.

John Miskella was sent off for the champions.
John Miskella was sent off for the champions.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

CORK SFC CHAMPIONS Ballincollig got the defence of their first county title off to a winning start as they beat St Finbarr’s by 1-15 to 1-12 at Páirc Uí Rinn today.

A goal from Cork star Patrick Kelly, who orchestrated matters, underpinned an outstanding first half from Ballincollig, with Cian Kiely, George Durrant and Colin Moore also impressing as they assembled a 1-10 to 0-4 lead.

However, a red card for John Miskella was a blot for them and, when Kelly had to come off with 15 minutes left, St Finbarr’s took over at midfield, where Cork captain Michael Shields had moved to.

Roy Leahy got a goal for the Barr’s as they came back to within two points to make life nervy for Ballincollig but Seán Kiely pointed to ensure they progressed.

Carbery Rangers, who were beaten by Ballincollig in last year’s final, will have to negotiate the scenic route to the last 16 after two late goals saw senior new boys Valley Rovers claim a 2-9 to 0-14 win in Ballinascarthy.

Trailing by 0-10 to 0-5 to the Rosscarbery side at half-time, Valleys were given hope as Darragh Crowley netted in the 54th minute to make it 0-13 to 1-8. Even still, Rangers looked set to advance as they held on to a 0-14 to 1-9 advantage as injury time loomed.

The Innishannon side were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute, and while former Cork player Fiachra Lynch had his penalty saved, he fisted in the rebound to spark wild celebrations.

In Clonakilty, Bishopstown recovered from a seven-point deficit early in the second half to defeat O’Donovan Rossa by 2-14 to 2-11.

The Skibbereen side were 1-8 to 0-6 in front at half-time, Donal Óg Hodnett with the goal while Kevin Davis was among the points, but they lost Hodnett to an injury during the interval.

While they pushed seven clear, Bishopstown got going as Fiachra Ó Deasúnaigh and Sam Oakes scored nice points and then county player Conor Dorman – who had earlier had a penalty saved by the outstanding Rossa goalkeeper Ryan Price – netted to bring them to within a point.

Another Cork player, Jamie O’Sullivan, set up Ó Deasúnaigh for another goal immediately after to put them 2-9 to 1-10 ahead. Though David Shannon equalised immediately with Skibb’s second goal, Bishopstown had the stronger finish.

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About the author:

Denis Hurley

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