Ballinhassig A.F.C. was founded in 1979. The club immediately entered into the West Cork League and in their maiden season they won promotion to the First Division, as well as contesting the Final of what was then known as the Flor Crowley Cup, which they unfortunately lost 1 – 0 to Killeady.
The following season saw Ballinhassig contest the League Cup Final only to loose out to Our Lady’s Hospital on a 1 – 0 score line, but success was to follow in the following season when the Flor Crowley Cup found a resting place in Ballinhassig when Kilbrittain had to give way to two golden goals from Sean Quinlan. Ballinhassig made this Cup something of a speciality, they contested 13 semi-finals in the 14 seasons they competed.. Cup Winners on three occasions, other West Cork titles have also come to Ballinhassig. One of the highlights for the club would be the 2000/01 season which saw Ballinhassig win the double, 1st Division winners and St Michaels Cup.
During this time the club had four different playing pitches, and in the early years three local farmers provided their land free of charge to use as playing pitches. In 1989 the club had its base in Crossbarry and stayed there until it closed in 2001. It was that year the club bought 7.2 acres in Gortnaglough, and proceeded to develop 2 full size pitches, an underage pitch , a floodlit training pitch, dressing rooms, referees room and committee room. This magnificent facility was opened in 2003, by Pat Dolan then manager of Cork City.
During this time moves were made to develop the underage section of the club, a meeting was held and a committee was formed. In spring of 2003 a schoolgirls team was entered into the Cork Women’s and Schoolgirls Soccer League, at U12 level, they were runners-up in the League that season. That same team has won the League and Cup at every age in the C.W.S.S.L. They have also reached the National Cup Finals at u14 and 16 level. They have competed in the Manchester Cup, and won both the Super Cup and Challenge Cup at the Welsh Super Cup Tournament.
BALLINHASSIG AUGUST 2001
Ballinhassig, moving into their 22nd year in football, intend to move into new headquarters by the season’s end. Already, much work has been done at their new base at Gortnaglough and club spokesman Denis Cullinane, one of the founder members, says that two full sized pitches are now laid out and should be ready for next season. Work is also underway at present on a training pitch.They currently play at Crossbarry and it was here that they laid the foundations for this season’s successes in the St Michael’s Cup and in AUL 1, a double that earned them the Murphy’s Stout AUL Team of the Year.Manager John Donovan inspired that success but now steps down to take a well-earned rest. His replacement is Aidan Hartnett, another experienced manager. Chairman Donal Donovan, also a founder member, was full of praise for the outgoing boss and promised Hartnett that he’d have the same cooperation from the panel.The squad will be much the same as that of last season. There are a couple of changes: Shane Fitzgerald has returned to the Ballinhassig ranks, which have been further increased by the signing of Romanian Ovidiu Prostean. Declan Bowen will again do the honours as captain.Cullinane is taking a bit of a break from committee duties but has taken over as manager of the B side. They are skippered by Alan Coughlan and play in AUL 3. For the first time ever, Ballinhassig will field an Under 17 team and they are in the capable hands of Kieran Rogers, Tom Ashman, and Denis Cogan.Sean Spillane continues as club president and the committee consists of Donal Donovan (chairman), John O’Callaghan (vice chairman), Gerard Maguire (secretary), Ger Desmond (treasurer), Pio Lane (PRO), T.J. O’Riordan (registrar), Anthony O’Donovan, John Crowley, Gerry McCarthy, Noel Connolly, John Bowen, and Denis Ahern.Roll of HonourWest Cork LeagueDivision II Winners: 79-80Division I Winners: 82-83, 88-89, 90-91, 93-94League Cup Winners: 93-94Division I Cup Winners: 85-86Flor Crowley Cup Winners: 81-82, 85-86, 88-89Beamish Cup Winners: 92-93Cork AULDivision 3 Winners: 94-95Division 2 Runners-up: 95-96Division 1 Runners-up: 96-97, 97-98County Cup Winners: 98-99AUL 1 winners and St Michael’s Cup winners: 2000/01.
Ballinhassig, founded twenty years back, are bulldozing their way to a brighter future, not that the past has been that bad. The heavy machinery has moved into their newly acquired lands at Gortalough and two full sized pitches have been laid which should be ready for the end of next season. According to PRO Anthony O’Donovan, there will enough space left over for dressing rooms, a car park, and a good sized decent training pitch.The new grounds will see their ten year tenure in Crossbarry come to an end. Naturally enough, they are delighted with the development even though it is putting a big strain on the fund-raising activities and O’Donovan would dearly love some help in this area. Existing sponsors include: PVC Fabrications, Five Mile Inn, Red Abbey Motors, and O’Riordan Insurances.Ballinhassig AFC was founded in 1979 and among the founder members were Donal Donovan, Denis Cullinane, Billy O’Brien, Michael Murphy, John JoeO’Brien, Ollie Jordan and Pat Desmond. Playing on their first pitch atGoggins Hill, Ballinhassig, the club entered the West Cork League and wonpromotion in their first season. The club left the West Cork League after 16 seasons to join the AUL in the summer of 1994, at that time leading theWest Cork League Roll of Honour with 11 titles.Unusually the first team is managed by a trio of experienced players in Declan Bowen, Noel Connolly and Ger Spillane, doing the job for a second term following the success they had with the County Cup last season. Ger Spillane has played in every cup final that the club has won since it was founded up to the County Cup final, which he was ruled out of through injury.Once again, Mick Brady leads in the scoring stakes. Mick has been a prolific striker and has been the club’s top scorer for 3 of the last 4 years. He also has the distinction of scoring in every round of last season’s County Cup, including the winner in Turner’s Cross. Jason McCarthy captains the first team for the second year in succession.Jason, who is one of the youngest on the first team, leads by example. He is a tireless worker and is never willing to accept defeat. Former goalkeeper Wesley Bateman, who had a spell in the AUL inter-league panel three years ago, is perhaps the best known of the Ballinhassig players but not because of his considerable soccer skills. Wesley is now concentrating on hockey in which he has been capped for Ireland, also playing in goal. Another man to leave the club recently is second team manager Pat Rocks. He too is doing well for himself and has taken up a coaching position with Boston University. Billy Mackessy has taken over the managership role for the B team.The awards for players of the year and top scorers for each junior team,sponsored by O’Mahony Packaging, went as follows: First Team Playerof the Year – Pat Clancy; First Team Top Scorer – Mick Brady; Second TeamPlayer of the Year – Alan Coughlan; Second Team Top Scorer – Jerry Coleman. Despite a terrible start to the season, the first team have climbed the table into the top half after a run of wins in the league. The second team got off to a great start this season but has lost nearly half the panel through emigration, players studying abroad, or changes in work commitments, and have slid down to third from bottom in AUL 3.This year’s first team panel is almost identical to last year’s having lost only one player from the cup winning squad. But it is stronger with all the younger players showing improvements. Tadgh Coleman has been added to the front line and he has already caused problems for opposing defenders.The busy PRO spoke about their main aim for the season: “Obviously we would love to retain the County Cup and won’t be giving up our grip on it easily. While promotion now looks beyond the first team, we would like to be thereabouts. The second team would be realistically aiming for a top-half finish in AUL 3”.In the longer term, Ballinhassig intend to gain promotion to the Premier divisions, and to increase the numbers involved in coaching schoolboy, Under 17 and youths teams, and to keep up their record of first team players winning medals every season as they have done since joining the AUL.Sean Spillane is the club President and the officers are Denis Cullinane (Chairman), Ger Desmond (Secretary), John O’Callaghan (Treasurer), Anthony O’Donovan (PRO), Noel Connolly (Registrar), John Crowley (Vice-Chairman), Donal Donovan (Vice-Secretary), Ger McCarthy, T.J. Reardon, John Goulding and Pio Lane.The first side’s most recent encounter saw them in action against visitors College Corinthians in the AUL 1 League and it was quite an exciting affair according to O’Donovan: “We were comfortably ahead in the first half, going 2-0 up at half time, however we let Corinthians back into the game, seeing them equalise before Jason McCarthy was brought down inside the box. However the winner was not direct from the spot, and the ‘keeper managed to stop the penalty and two shots from the rebounds before McCarthy shook the net with the fourth bite of the cherry”.On Friday next, at 11.00am, Ballinhassig B travel to take on Grangevale in AUL 3. The first team have an interesting league game in AUL 1 on Sunday next (10.45am) when they entertain Pearse Celtic.
Some Trivia….did you know???
- In the West Cork League season 1987/1988………………..(Courtesy of booklet Ger Spillane used to record for club)
- Ballinhassig used 33 players in that season
- Kevin Cullinane was the leading goal scorer with 10 goals and Finbar Alexander coming up close behind him with 6 goals
- Three players had received red cards…Finbar Alexander, Benji Keohane and Eddie Joe Cosgrove.
- Ballinhassig scored 49 goals, left in 37 goals, played a total of 23 games, won 12, lost 6 and drew 5
- Player of the year was Seanie McCarthy. Previous winners were Joe Kennifick 1985, Kevin Cullinane 1986 and Ger Spillane 1997
- The captains for the season were Pat Desmond and vice Captain Kevin Cullinane
The squad was a follows; Gerard Spillane, Bunny Dunne, Peter Brennan, Finbar Alexander, Ollie Jordan, Kevin Cullinane, Sean McCarthy, Benji Keohane, Eddie Joe Cosgrove, Dennis McCarthy, Joe Kennefick, Pat Desmond, Malachy Allen, Tom Brennan, Liam O’Halloran, Sammy Moynihan, Donnie Donovan, John L O’Sullivan, Mick Cronin, Barry Sullivan, Sean Donovan, Tom Desmond, Keith Keohane, Dave Kidney and Tom Allen, Adrian O’Mahony, Noel O’Mahony, Dennis Cullinane, Ken Jordan and Brendan O’Mahony with Michael Murphy appearing as a sub.
West Cork League
Division II Winners: 79-80
Division I Winners: 82-83, 88-89, 90-91, 93-94
Flor Crowley Cup Winners: 81-82, 85-86, 88-89
Division I Cup Winners: 85-86
Beamish Cup Winners: 92-93
League Cup Winners: 93-94
Division 3 Winners: 94-95, 2010/11
Division 2 Runners-up: 95-96, 2011/12
Division 1 Runners-up: 96-97, 97-98
County Cup Winners: 98-99
Division 1 Winners: 00-01
St. Michaels Cup Winners: 00-01
Premier A Runners-up: 01-02
AOH Cup Runners-up: 02-03
County Cup Runners Up: 2011/12
Saxone Cup Winners 2011/12
Corinthians Cup 2012/13
Munster Senior League
Division 2 Winners 09-10
Senior Womens League
Division 1 Winners 2009
Kevin Barry Cup Winners 2009
U14 League and Cup Winners 02/03
U12 Munster Champion 2003
U12 League and Cup Runners Up 03/04
U14 League and Cup Runners Up 04/05
WFAI U14 National Cup Runners Up 2005
U12 League and Cup Runners UP 05/06
U12 League and Cup Winners 06/07
U18 Cup Winners 06/07
FAI U14 Challenge Cup Runners Up 2007
U14 Cup Runners up 07/08
U18 League Runners Up 09/10
U12 League 1st Division Runners Up 10/11
U13 Division Winners 2007
U11 Division Runners Up 2010
U13 Division Winners 2011
U14 Division Runners Up 2018