Rivals to do battle a second time
Ballydesmond 1-14 Mitchelstown 1-14
BALLYDESMOND and Mitchelstown will go toe to toe again next Saturday in Mourneabbey after the pair played out a thrilling draw in Mallow last Saturday afternoon. A big crowd witnessed both sides throwing everything they had at each other in very testing windy conditions.
Donncha O’Connor was the star name for Ballydesmond, while on the Mitchelstown side it was all about the midfield dynamo that is Shane Beston and true to the pre-match hype both shone in this terrific fixture.
With less than five minutes to go this one looked dead and buried for the Avondhu men however a late scoring splurge saw the men in red and black bag the final four points of the game – stopping a Ballydesmond side that had battled well firmly in their tracks.
“Look we finished very well and of course we are delighted with that, but there is so much of that performance that we are not happy about,” Mitchelstown manager Shane Roynane said at the final whistle.
“We weren’t hectic last week either, we were putting that one down to the conditions and the eight week gap but look we were not really happy with either showing. In fairness to the lads though they really did show great character there in the last few minutes to get the last four scores of the game to level it and we will get another go so we will take that. But right now the overriding feeling is we are happy – 10 minutes to go we were four down so we will take the draw gladly.”
There was clearly nothing left in the dressing room from either side as this game sprung into a life right from the off. Mitchelstown had slightly better of the strong cross field wind in the first half however conditions were hardly conducive for clean shooting for either side as Mother Nature flexed her muscles.
Mitchelstown’s Sheehan was first to raise a white flag, but this was quickly cancelled out by the ever reliable Donncha O’Connor. Ballydesmond were dealt an early blow when corner-back Tim Howard had to be carried from the pitch, but they stayed with their opponents till the quarter hour mark as the teams shared six points.
Mitchelstown had a period of dominance for the next 10 minutes bagging another point from Sheehan and a brilliant team goal which was finished to the net by the classy Beston.
Credit to Ballydesmond they stuck to their task and managed to get Donncha O’Connor on the ball to score three of their next four points which brought the men in blue back to within two as the sides headed for the tunnel (1-6 to 0-7).
Right from the start of the second half Ballydesmond took control of the game and managed to get back to parity by the 42 minute before taking the lead for the first time just shy of the three quarter mark.
A goal from Shane Kelly soon after looked to have sealed this one for the Duhallow men however Ballydesmond retreated into their own half and Mitchelstown battled back with four late points to level this one up in extra time.
Both sides will again leave nothing behind or nothing to chance next Saturday as this one really does look like one of the games of the weekend.
BALLYDESMOND: F O’Sullivan; T Howard, S Murphy, S O’Connor; D Kelly, J O’Keeffe, D Kelly; J Healy, N O’Sullivan; Donal O’Connor 0-2, B Fleming 0-2, S Kelly 1-0; D Moynihan 0-1, N Fleming 0-1; D O’Connor 0-8 (6f) Subs: N O’Connor for T Howard (inj)(5), K O’Connell for B Fleming (55), D Ring for J O’Leary (58), S Cronin for N O’Sullivan (60)
MITCHELSTOWN: K Hanna; B Coffey, F Herlihy, L Finn; S O’Sullivan, S Fox, P Magee; S Walsh, S Beston 1-1; M Walsh, D Dineen 0-1, J Sheehan 0-7 (4f); C O’Mahony 0-3 (2f), S Cahill 0-1, L Keane 0-1 Subs: M Maher for B Coffey (37), L O’Flynn for M Walsh, O Burke for S O’Sullivan (both 48); G Carroll for L Keane, P Molloy for M Maher (both 58)
REFEREE: J Ryan (Macroom)
Mitchelstown’s Shane Beston tries to hold off Ballydesmond’s Jerry Healy as he heads for goal during last Saturday’s drawn County Intermediate Football Championship game in Mallow Photo by Eric Barry