Senior Team sponsored by Sam’s Bar
Beamish Stout MSL Senior Premier Division
Avondale Park, Tuesday 27th April, 7.00 p.m.
Avondale United 0 – 1 Ballincollig
For the second time in two seasons Ballincollig triumphed against Avondale United in Avondale Park. The FAI Intermediate Cup Finalists went down to the already relegated Ballincollig in a game that was full of action and chances.
It’s no secret that this has been a season to forget for Ballincollig but the faithful few turned out for their last game of the season deteremined to show the pride they had in their jersery. This was an opportunity for Avondale players to stake a place for the Cup Final and they were in no mood to give Ballincollig an easy ride.
Avondale sought to impose their rhythm on the game but they were finding the ‘Collig to be no pushovers. Christy O’Brien swept up anything at the back with ease and Ballincollig sought to attack down the flanks. Indeed Ballincollig were more effective in their attacks forcing corners and saves whereas Avondale couldn’t find their passes either overhitting them or getting caught in possession. Gavin O’Callaghan and Jason Murphy both went close for the visitors before the half-time whistle.
Avondale’s manager obviously gave his side his version of the hairdryer treatment because from the resumption they attacked in waves. Ballincollig held firm though and all of a sudden the home team were undone. A long ball was flicked on by Tom Ross. Gavin O’Callaghan was onto it in a flash and made no mistake in burying it past the keeper. Ballincollig in the lead and in control.
At the back Paul O’Donovan was his usual outstanding self and John Kelleher in goal was calmness personified. Only once did Avondale come close to scoring. It was from a corner that broke to the edge of the six yard box. The winger shaped up with visions of celebrations in his eyes only for Kelleher to close the distance and make a point blank save with his head. The power of the volley knocked him backwards and probably left a few bells ringing but the defence remained unbreached
The home team weren’t to know it but the game was following the usual script for the season. In several games this season Ballincollig would take the lead and hold the lead for most of the game only for bad luck or tiredness to take its toll. A lack of strength in depth costing the squad over the course of the season.
Avondale pushed more men forward in desperation and Ballincollig played on the counter-attack. Once Jason Murphy was clean through and should have added his name to the score-sheet. The team’s Australian import should also have gotten off the mark only for the Avondale keeper to make an outstanding save.
The referee blew the final whistle with Ballincollig breaking from midfield in a two on one situation leaving James Murphy very frustrated that he couldn’t have sealed the victory – although some might say he probably wouldn’t have scored anyway.
The management would like to thank all the players for their commitment in what was an incredibly difficult season. Whatever type of victory one might classify this as, it was still a victory. The rebuilding process for next season is already underway with hopefully a lot of good news to be announced in the summer. It might be a long road for redemption but for some redemption started here.
Senior Team sponsored by Ballincollig Shopping Centre
Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division
The Farm, Saturday 29th November 2009, 2.00 p.m.
Ballincollig 0 – 2 Ringmahon Rangers
A depleted Ballincollig did everything but score in a frustrating encounter that puts a serious dent in the survival prospects for the season ahead. The result leaves Ballincollig in the relegation zone asking how they didn’t do to Ringmahon what Tottenham did to Wigan. We’re not really sure what game the Evening Echo were watching to be honest. We’d ask them to look at the video replays of the game again but FIFA don’t like that sort of thing. Ringmahon had chances that they took. Ballincollig had chances that they missed. That was the difference.
Ballincollig started brightly. Richard O’Brien hit the post in the opening 15 minutes. Some nice play down the left hand side resulted in a low cross into the six yard box only for Jason Murphy to slip at the final moment. The Ringmahon keeper was very grateful to gather the ball up. In truth this wasn’t a great game to watch as both teams were very scrappy but the match was played in a good spirit.
Ballincollig should have learned from the free header that went over the bar from a Ringmahon corner but they didn’t and they were punished. A run down the right resulted in a cross to the edge of the box that was vollied into the top corner. If you asked him to do it again it’s likely he’d have scuffed it but unfortunately for the home team the connection was perfect.
Ballincollig sought to get back into the game and put some nice passes together but the enforced weather break of the past few weeks meant that the slick passing game was a bit rusty. It was a needless foul that gave Ringmahon their second. A free-kick on the edge of the box that was expertly put away into the top corner and the away team went in at the break two goals to the good.
The second half was more of the same. The chances Ballincollig had were too many to list but here’s a sample: Richie O’Brien beating four players only to pull his final shot wide; a Bryan McNulty goal disallowed for off-side; Christy O’Brien taking the ball too far past the keeper to slip it in and numerous other close off-side calls among other chances. Ringmahon didn’t really pose any other problems until the closing minutes when Ballincollig pushed forward and and Brian O’Donovan made two very good saves.
A very frustrating result for Ballincollig evidenced by the needless red card picked up in the dying minutes. Best for Ballincollig was James Murphy who completely nullified the threat of the Ringmahon left winger when he moved to right back while his fellow full-back Mark Buckley put in a very composed performance.
Senior Team sponsored by Ballincollig Shopping Centre
MSL Beamish Stout Senior Premier Division
The Farm, Saturday 3rd October 2009, 3.00 p.m.
Ballincollig 1 – 3 Everton
Ballincollig will definitely feel that they should have taken more from this game but having an Irish junior international in your team will always be a telling difference.
The game took a while to get flowing and the first real chance fell to the home team when Anthony Ryan played Jason Murphy through. In the race between Murphy and the Everton keeper it was the latter who got to the ball first. The rebound fell to Ian Roche and his spectacular overhead effort fell just the wrong side of the post.
Ballincollig were made to rue that missed chance but it was a large slice of good luck that led to Everton taking the lead. The ‘Collig defence were trying to clear thier lines when the ball fell to the Everton winger. His shot took a wicked deflection that left Brian O’Donovan with no chance. Cruelly, the away team got a second when a bounce in the box fell nicely for two Everton players. Both swung at it and while they may fight over who got the goal it meant the half time whistle blew with their team two goals to the good.
The second half started with Ballincollig determined to take the game to their opponents. Jason Muprhy led the charge and was through on goal only to be taken out of it by the Everton centre-half. The ref had no choice but to issue a red card and award a penalty. Unfortunately the Everton keeper decided to put in an early shout for save of the season and got down to keep ‘Collig scoreless.
A sucker punch came on the hour mark when a ball over the top found the Everton winger again in space and he made no mistake in taking his goal. Ballincollig couldn’t make the extra man count despite some chances but they did get a deserved goal when another penalty was given with ten minutes left. Christopher O’Brien took the responsibility and made no mistake as he put the keeper the wrong way.
Some would say that Everton deserved the win but Ballincollig will feel they should have taken at least a point from the game. The luck will change soon. The performances, with one exception, have been very good and it is only a matter of time before the points start to appear on the board.