A never say die attitude was the order of the play from Ballincollig GAA club as they came from 3-1 behind to triumph 4-3 in the Murphy Stout league final against the Gallows which was played at the Local on Monday night.
The GAA club certainly won this league title the hard way for it was the Gallows through long-serving Billy Murphy who took first blood in this final against Alan Errington.
After a top hand of 100 in the first leg Murphy won it with a finish from 68 and he sealed the first game with a double 3 checkout.
The Gallows were two games to the good as Jamie Kelleher was a 2-0 winner over Pat Cremin.
Kelleher took the first leg on a double 16 but he made hard work in taking the second leg on a double 2 as Cremin struggled, first to attain a double-off, and then to find a decent score when he did.
The third game brought a change in fortune to the GAA club as John Healy brought them back into this final with a 2-0 win over veteran player Tim Dennehy.
Dennehy’s failure to convert his double-out in the first leg was costly, but his inability to strike a starting double until late in the second leg was punished severely by Healy.
The fourth game prior to the break brought the Gallows Nial O’Shea and Ballincollig GAA player Mick Lynch to the oche and as in the previous three games this was also a two games to nil win.
This fourth game was a really good game between two players of equal ability with the darts, but a 140 from O’Shea was the difference between both as he took the first leg on a double 10.
Again there was little to separate both players in the second leg until O’Shea with a 100 followed by a double sixteen edged it to leave the score at the break 3-1 to the Gallows.
Again, as in the junior final played last week we had a complete reversal in fortune with the team leading 3-1 at the break collapsing on the resumption of play.
Martin Drohan began the Ballincollig GAA club fight-back as hands of 81 and 95 along with a double16 finish gave him the first leg against Gallows Tim Forde, and in a very tame but tense second leg a double 8 sealed it for Drohan.
Ballincollig captain John O’Driscoll came in at number six alongside Gallows player Gregg Crinnion and it was Crinnion who struck the first blow as he took the first leg on a double 14 after a top hand of 100.
O’Driscoll however stayed strong and took the remaining two legs to tie-up this exciting final at 3-3 with just the one game remaining.
The tension in this final game was palpable as both players, Martin Kavanagh (Ballincollig) and Gerry Crowley (Gallows) struggled to attain a starting double and when they did, both players again struggled to put up a leading score.
However it was Kavanagh who proved to be the sharper as he stuck a double 4 and a double 20 in his winning legs to complete the comeback for Ballincollig GAA.
Consolation for the Gallows was in their player Niall O’Shea receiving the Murphy Stout man of the match.
The committee of the CDO would like to wish all our members and supporters a very happy Christmas along with our sponsors and very supportive publicans.
Also many Christmas good wishes to the Sports desk at the Evening Echo especially its editor John McHale for their continued excellent coverage of our sport throughout the season.