October 24, 2021

The MJK Oils Muskerry Junior A Hurling Championship Final was played today in Ovens.  The weather held out for us and a good game of hurling was served up by Inniscarra and Ballinora.

So below we have the before the match team picture, then Bryan O'Donovan of MJK Oils presenting the Cup to Kevin Murphy Ballinora Captain, then Bryan presented Darragh Holmes with his Man of the Match Award.  Last picture is the team celebrations with family and fans.  Well done Ballinora!

2021 MJK Oils Mid Cork JHC Final

 Ballinora   0 – 17     Inniscarra   1 – 10
 Ballinora deservedly won their 7th MJK Oils Mid Cork Junior Hurling championship title, and their first since 2016, when they reversed last year’s final result and inflicted a four point defeat on the defending champions, but Inniscarra really made them battle hard for their victory.  A goal from Colin O’Leary just after the first water break had given Inniscarra a five point advantage but significantly Ballinora had reduced this lead to a single point by half time when Inniscarra led by 1-4 to 0-6.  Three points in succession on the resumption gave Ballinora the lead for the first time and one anticipated that with the wind behind them they would now go on to a comfortable win but in fairness to Inniscarra they dug deep, made Ballinora earn every score they got and with sharpshooter Ardal O’Connell in immaculate form from frees, Inniscarra stayed in close touch until after the final water break and even then a goal at any stage could have given them victory.  Ballinora’s Alan O’Shea and their placed ball expert Liam Lyons kept putting scores on the board to keep ‘Scarra at bay and in the end victory went to the slightly better team after a fine contest, well refereed by Liam Barry and played before a big attendance at the superb Ovens venue.
 Ballinora had dominated the opening quarter of their recent semi final win over Donoughmore, this time the boot was on the other foot as it was Inniscarra who started well and two early points from long range Ardal O’Connell frees got them off to a promising start. In the 7th minute Colin O’Leary increased the ‘Scarra lead , Ardal O’Connell scored a massive point for Inniscarra in the 11th minute, and another three minutes had elapsed before Ballinora at last got a score on the board, Alan O’Shea placed by Liam Lyons the scorer.  Lyons then pointed a free from 30m out just before the water break at which stage Inniscarra were not flattered to lead by 0-4 to 0-2.
 Immediately after the restart, in the 16th minute, Inniscarra got a massive boost when Mark Nagle burst down the centre of the Ballinora defence and set up a close range goal chance for Colin O’Leary which was well availed off and Inniscarra now led by 1-4 to 0-2.  A minute later Ballinora goalkeeper Barry Crowley made a crucial save from another close range blast from Dan O’Connell and as if to celebrate their let off, Ballinora were to add four points to their tally before half time, holding Inniscarra scoreless in the same period.   Alan O’Shea, a top performer all through for Ballinora, had a point in the 22nd minute, Darragh Holmes finished off a strong run down the wing with a smashing point, Alan O’Shea sent a powerful stroke whizzing just over the crossbar in the 26th minute and James Keohane finished the first half scoring with a fine effort from 40m which left Ballinora only a point adrift at half time.  Ballinora were in a good position at this stage, having broken the early dominance of their opponents with strong defending by Shane Kingston and Patrick Cronin, only a point in arrears and with the wind to assist them in the second half.
 Ballinora could hardly have hoped for a better start on the resumption as Liam Lyons had them level within two minutes, Conor Quirke put them in front  for the first time a minute later and Alan O’Shea doubled their advantage with a fine point from 40metres out in the 35th minute.  The reigning champions were not conceding their crown without a battle however and closed down the Ballinora attack with superb tackling and blocking and Ardal O’Connell hit over a point to which Liam Lyons replied from a free.  Another point from Ardal O’Connell in the 40th minute again left only  a point between the teams, but back came Ballinora with a point from a Liam Lyons ‘65’, and  a second point from wing forward Conor Quirke.  Just before the second water break, Ardal O’Connell struck a marvellous point from a free on his own ‘65’ line and into the strong wind, giving notice that Inniscarra were not going to fade away here with only two points separating the sides, 0-12 to 1-7.
 In a purple two minute spell starting in the 50th minute Ballinora finally managed to create more daylight between themselves and the former champions when Liam Lyons pointed his second ’65, Alan O’Shea pointed after the persistence of Conor Quirke and Js Keohane had won him the chance, and sub Tommy Burns sent over gloriously from the right wing to make it now 0-15 to 1-7.  Still Inniscarra would not yield and two points from Ardal O’Connell frees had the gap down to three points and when Liam Lyons scored from a Ballinora free to ease the pressure, Ardal O’Connell did likewise for ‘Scarra to again leave only there points between the teams with a many minutes left.  Deep in time added-on James Keohane made victory secure for Ballinora, much to the delight of their large enthusiastic support.
 Scorers: Ballinora; L Lyons 0-6 (0-4f, 0-2 ‘65’), A O’Shea 0-5, J Keohane and C Quirke 0-2 each, D Holmes and T Burns 0-1 each.   Inniscarra: C O’Leary 1-12, A O’Connell 0-9 (frees)
 Ballinora; Barry Crowley: Kevin O’Regan, Patrick Cronin, James Lordan: Mike Lordan, Shane Kingston, Colin O’Flynn; Brian Murphy, Neil Lordan: Conor Quirke, Darragh Holmes, Liam Lyons: James Keohane, Alan O’Shea, Kevin Murphy. Sub:  Tommy Burns for B Murphy 40.
 Inniscarra: Dave Óg Coleman: Brian Gould, Kevin Burke, James Buckley: John O’Callaghan, David O’Connell, Donal O’Callaghan: Liam Buckley, Sean Quinlivan: Marl Linehan, Mark Nagle, Colin O’Leary: Ardal O’Connell, Dan O’Connell, John Casey. Subs:  Jerry Roche for M Linehan 37 , Aidan O’Mahony for S Quinlivan 44.
 Referee: Liam Barry, Ballincollig

 MJK Oils ‘Man Of the Match’ award:  Darragh Holmes, Ballinora


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