COUNTY CUP semi-final, 1st leg
Hibernians 1 Ballincollig 7
The first half inputs of Colin Barrett and Dave O’Callaghan wrecked the advancement hopes of Hibernians in the first leg of their Murphy’s Stout County Cup semi-final at Shanbally on Saturday.
A couple of own goals didn't help either and Ballincollig went in 5-1 up at the break and well on their way to the final at Turner’s Cross on Tuesday week.
There wasn't that much between the sides in the first and third quarters but otherwise Lady Luck had it in for the second division strugglers.
Hibs midfielder Philip Moore will feel particularly hard done by in that department. He had enough chances to get a hat trick but ended up with zilch.
Midway through the first half, he had the chance to put Hibs 2-1 up. His great ball from the centre circle Moore sent Shane Hurley free on the left. Hurley held it up well and then crossed towards the incoming Moore but he sliced it badly and the ball spun well wide.
And Moore had a great chance of making it two all in the 28th minute. He broke up a Ballincollig defensive advance and went clear in the box but lifted his shot over the inviting goal. This was the best chance of the game for Hibs.
Hibs held their nerve after that first half onslaught and deserved a goal in the second half. But again it was Moore who was left wondering as, in the 83rd minute, he was just inches away from turning in a deflected effort by Hurley.
Dave O’Callaghan made his first major contribution in the 8th minute with a well-taken corner. Trevor O’Mahony rose at the far post to head it back across the goal. The defence struggled to clear and O’Callaghan got a second chance to drive the ball into the box and Hibs full back Demie Downey, attempting to prevent a Ballincollig man scoring, directed the ball into his own net.
The equaliser came four minutes later. Hibs were awarded a free in an advanced position, but well out on the left. No bother to Shane Hurley who curled a smashing free kick over Ballincollig’s excellent young keeper Cian O’Callaghan.
Ballincollig did make it 2-1 in the 25th minute. Again O’Callaghan fired in an excellent cross and Bryan “Biscuits” McNulty converted from close range.
Ballincollig midfielder Colin Barrett enjoyed a purple patch as the half closed. In the 35th minute, he fired in a long-range rocket after some poor defending by the home side.
Five minutes later, McNulty rose well to head a long ball down into the path of Barrett and, from inside the box, he fired past Noel Murphy and high into the roof of the net.
Just before the break, Barrett intercepted a clearance by Ross McCarthy, who did play well enough for the losers, and made ground up the right before crossing low and hard for the incoming McNulty and Cathal O’Callaghan. Hibs defender Declan McGrath intercepted but saw the ball end up in his own net to make it 5-1.
Ballincollig had the luxury of using a few experienced subs as the half wore on and one of them, Jason O'Leary, made it 6-1 with eleven minutes to go, rising at the far post to head home from a corner that he himself had earned.
The final goal came just before the end. Then two Ballincollig players, skipper Cathal O’Callaghan and sub John Kelleher, found themselves “fighting” over the chance as a long ball dropped in. O’Callaghan took control and shook off the attentions of the keeper to hit the seventh.Hibernians: Noel Murphy (captain), Ian Murphy, Demie Downey, Declan McGrath, Ross McCarthy, Philip Moore, Thomas Horgan, Ian Casey, Shane Hurley, Keith Ryan and Warwick Freeman. Subs: Johnny Downey for Freeman (23rd minute), Jamie Kelleher and Alex Buckley for Ryan and Ian Murphy (both half-time).
Ballincollig: Cian O’Callaghan, Terry Coomey, Steve Nolan, Paul Foley, Timmy O’Leary, Colin Barrett, Trevor O’Mahony, Dave O’Callaghan, Bryan McNulty, Paul O’Donovan and Cathal O’Callaghan (captain). Subs: Dave Donovan for Barrett (47th minute, injured), Jason O'Leary for Nolan (67th) and John Kelleher for McNulty (80th).
Referee: Ted Callanan.