Na Piarsaigh retain PIFC status with six points to spare over Gabriel Rangers

Na Piarsaigh retain PIFC status with six points to spare over Gabriel Rangers

Padraig Guest hit key scores for Na Piarsaigh against Gabriel Rangers. Picture: Larry Cummins

Na Piarsaigh 0-13 Gabriel Rangers 0-7

CITY side Na Piarsaigh retained their Bon Secours PIFC status after their win over Gabriel Rangers in the relegation play-off at Ballinacarriga.

This won't go down as a classic but that matters little as a superb second-half from the northside club ensured they came from a point down at the break to win easily in the end.

At the start of that half, they hit seven without reply to take control of the tie and drive on to a deserved win.

No surprise both sides showed some nerves in the first half, considering what was at stake.

Alan Hogan opened the scoring for the city side from a mark, with Mark Cronin replying from a free for Gabriel Rangers.

Gerard O'Callaghan put Gabriel's in front from another free and it took until the 27th minute for the first point from play to come, with Cronin increasing their lead.

Hogan got the last score of the half to make it 0-3 to 0-2 at half-time.

The second-half saw Piarsaigh visibly upped their game, with Hogan equalising from a free and he put them in front from another.

Padraig Guest hit two to make it 0-6 to 0-3 as Piarsaigh were dominating at this stage.

Cian O'Mahony got in on the scoring act, with Hogan getting his fifth, from another free to keep his side well in control. Guest got his third as Piarsaigh led 0-9 to 0-3 at the second-half water break.

James O'Regan pulled a point back for Gabriel's with Danny Maguire replying for Piarsaigh.

With five minutes to go Gabriel's were down to 14 when O'Regan was black carded, but really it mattered little at that point.

Guest increased Piarsaigh's lead before Cronin scored from another free for Gabriels. Aaron Higgins responded before Keith O'Driscoll got a great point for Gabriel's from a tight angle.

O'Mahony got his second and Cronin rounded off the scoring as Piarsaigh retain their status and Gabriel Rangers drop down to the intermediate grade.

Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: A Hogan 0-5 (3 f, 0-1 mark), P Guest 0-4, C O'Mahony 0-2, D Maguire, A Higgins 0-1 each.

Gabriel Rangers: M Cronin 0-4 (0-3 f), G O'Callaghan (f), J O'Regan (f), K O'Driscoll 0-1 each.

NA PIARSAIGH: A O'Sullivan; E Moynihan, T Lawton, A Dennehy; A Higgins, K Power, D Maguire; E Sheehan, S Forde; K Buckley, C O'Mahony, G Joyce; K Forde, A Hogan, P Guest.

Subs: L Murphy for T Lawton (47 inj), D Gunning for K Forde (49), P Gould for D Maguire (56).

GABRIEL RANGERS: D O'Mahony, K O'Callaghan, L Hodnett, D Roycroft; D McSweeney, L Hegarty, R Moynihan; K Roycroft, K O'Brien; G O'Callaghan, C Moynihan, S Walden; M Cronin, J O'Regan, K O'Driscoll.

Subs: K O'Sullivan for C Moynihan (38m), F Hurley for D McSweeney (43m), J O'Brien for S Walden (44m).

Referee: Ted Hayes, Éire Óg.

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