Glen Rovers 0-22 Erin's Own 3-10
GLEN Rovers survived a serious test to progress to an all-city Premier Senior Hurling final against Blackrock.
It will be the first time the superpowers of Cork hurling have met in the showpiece since 1978.
Trailing by five at the break, the Glen, who had a bye to this stage while Erin's Own had stunned Sars in the quarter-final, upped the gears big time.
Perhaps they were that bit flat having been inactive since topping their group. By the same token, Erin's Own simply didn't allow them to settle in the first half and created a lot of space inside which resulted in goals for Cian O'Callaghan and Mossy O'Carroll.
Yet the Glen returned in the second half, as hurlers on a mission. They landed six points in a row to take the lead before Erin's Own responded with an Alan Bowen free. A stinging effort from Robbie O'Flynn to raise their third green flag restored the lead, 3-7 to 0-14, just before the second half water-break.
The favourites defended resolutely when it mattered, Brian Moylan mopping up, Adam Lynch driving out time and again, Rob Downey getting into the game as wing-back David Noonan clipped over 0-2 from play was fouled for a free.
Patrick Horgan ended with 0-14, 0-4 from play, without being at his unmarkable best, though credit must go there to Erin's Own defenders Dara Twomey, Cormac Dooley, James O'Carroll and Cian O'Connor.
Indeed the Caherlag outfit lost key backs James O'Flynn, their captain, and Stephen Cronin to injury in the opening 30 minutes, while veteran Shane Murphy was marked absent since the last game.
In general, the Glen had that bit more firepower, as Simon Kennefick contributed with two points but was also hauled back for a couple of frees, and Donal Cronin arched over two scores at critical stages.
The favourites never looked like losing in the last quarter, though they needed keeper Cathal Hickey to be alert to deny sub Cathal Lenihan a goal in the closing stages. Robbie O'Flynn was a bundle of energy, the Cork senior's pace yielding 1-3 from play, including a wonder score under the shadow of the main stand.
That made it 0-18 to 3-8 but Richie Kelleher's charges got the next three points, two Horgan frees and a neat effort from young Dale Tynan.
Erin's Own had set the tempo from the throw-in. Going direct with their deliveries inside and working ferociously around the middle third. It was 1-3 to 0-2 when O'Carroll finished Bear Murphy's pass to the net and fully deserved.
The Glen settled, Horgan and Cronin clipping over lovely scores before a second Erin's Own goal, Cian O'Callaghan pouncing after O'Flynn had initially been denied by Hickey: 2-4 to 0-4. It was nip and tuck before the break, points by O'Carroll and Bowen cancelled out by two Horgan frees and another following a marauding run by Dean Brosnan.
While the underdogs held a five-point advantage at half-time, they were going to need to replicate the work-rate in the opening period and continue to keep Glen's big guns on the margins.
Unfortunately for them they couldn't and the hugely appealing clash of the Glen and the Rockies lies ahead next Sunday.
Rovers have been fancied to lift the Seán Óg Murphy Cup since the outset, having reached last year's decider where they lost to Imokilly. Blackrock were last in the final in '17, beaten in the East Cork division in the first of their three-in-a-row.
It's a hurling meeting for the purists, the only pity is that the majority of the supporters will have to watch at home instead of at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-14 (0-9 f, 0-1 65), S Kennefick, D Noonan, D Cronin 0-2 each, D Tynan, D Brosnan 0-1 each.
Erin's Own: R O'Flynn 1-5 (0-2 f), M O'Carroll 1-1, A Bowen 0-3 (0-2 f), C O'Callaghan 1-0, E Murphy 0-1 f.
GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; S McDonnell, D Dooling, A Lynch; R Downey, B Moylan (c), D Noonan; D Cronin, A O'Donovan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, L Horgan; C Dorris, S Kennefick, L Coughlan.
Subs: D Cunningham and M Dooley for Dorris and Coughlan (h-t), D Tynan for L Horgan (42).
ERIN'S OWN: S Bowen; C O'Connor, C Dooley, D Twomey; S Cronin, J O'Flynn (c), J O'Carroll; S Kelly, C Coakley; K Murphy, R O'Flynn, M O'Carroll; E Murphy, A Bowen, C O'Callaghan.
Subs: B Óg Murphy for O'Flynn (19 inj), S Horgan for J O'Flynn (28 inj), R Twomey for E Murphy (35), C Lenihan for C O'Callaghan (38), S Guilfoyle for A Bowen (51).
Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease).