Tomás McCarthy reports from Walsh Park
A CONOR POWER goal eleven minutes from time propelled Ballygunner into the Munster semi finals as Fergal Hartley’s men fought back from four points down against Cork runners-up Midleton. Pauric Mahony also dispatched a dozen dead balls (eleven frees and a 65) to set up another home tie with Ballyea next Sunday.
Click Here: Portugal soccer tracksuit
First half strikes by Conor Lehane and Cormac Beausang earned the East Cork outfit a surprise 2-8 to 0-10 half time lead. Six Mahony frees inside thirteen minutes sent Ballygunner 6-2 up. Referee Johnny Murphy also flashed yellows to Midleton full backs Luke Dineen and Finbarr O’Mahoney.
The visitors won their first free at the end of the first quarter, as Shane O’Sullivan received a yellow for a high tackle, and Lehane converted.
The Rebel attacked operated at full forward and fired home a 20 metre free on 21 minutes to level the contest (1-5 to 0-8). That score ignited the underdogs as Cormac Walsh edged them ahead for the first time before Patrick White added a fine solo effort.
Tim O’Sullivan got one back for the Gunners before Lehane created a third point for Walsh at the opposite end. In injury time, Tommy Wallace saved from Billy O’Keeffe before Tommy O’Connell played in Beausang.
Mikey Mahony competes with Cormac Walsh for possession.
Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO
With the Ballygunner defence blown wide open, he rifled to the corner of the net past Stephen O’Keeffe. Mahony converted his seventh free in injury time. Midleton held a four point advantage and also shot six wides.
Peter Hogan replaced Wayne Hutchinson at half time as the five in a row Waterford champions rearranged their defence. Early points by Tim O’Sullivan and Hogan narrowed the deficit to two.
A lively Midleton attack continued to bother their hosts and Harley Barnes was shown yellow for taking Luke O’Farrell to ground. Lehane tapped it over. Pauric Mahony converted a 65 in reply. A Cormac Beausang sideline left the guests a goal up entering the final quarter.
Lehane miscued a free to increase that margin. With eleven minutes remaining, Conor Power evaded the Midleton defence and found the net at the second attempt (1-14 to 2-10). The speedy corner forward then hit the inside of the post.
Three Mahony frees and another single from sub JJ Hutchinson over the closing ten minutes got the Gunners through this sticky assignment.
Scorers for Ballygunner: Pauric Mahony 0-12 (11fs, 1 65), Conor Power 1-1, Tim O’Sullivan 0-2, Billy O’Keeffe, Peter Hogan, JJ Hutchinson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Midleton: Conor Lehane 1-4 (3fs), Cormac Beausang 1-2 (1 s-l), Cormac Walsh 0-3, Luke Dineen, James Nagle, Luke O’Farrell, Patrick White 0-1 each.
1. Stephen O’Keeffe
2. Eddie Hayden
3. Barry Coughlan
4. Ian Kenny
6. Wayne Hutchinson
5. Philip Mahony
8. Harley Barnes
9. Shane O’Sullivan
14. Michael Mahony
11. Barry O’Sullivan
10. Pauric Mahony
7. Billy O’Keeffe
15. Conor Power
12. Brian O’Sullivan
13. Tim O’Sullivan
17. Peter Hogan for Wayne Hutchinson (H-T)
18. JJ Hutchinson for Barry O’Sullivan (45)
1. Tommy Wallace
18. Eoghan Moloney
2. Seadnaidh Smyth
3. Finbarr O’Mahoney
7. James Nagle
4. Luke Dineen
6. Sean O’Leary-Hayes
8. Paul Haughney
9. Seamus O’Farrell
10. Cormac Walsh
14. Luke O’Farrell
13. Cormac Beausang
23. Tommy O’Connell
11. Conor Lehane
15. Patrick White
24. Ross O’Regan for Dineen (56)
25. Garan Manley for White (59)
21. Aidan Ryan for Haughney (61)
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).
Subscribe to our new podcast, Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42, here: