UNDER normal circumstances Páirc Uí Rinn would be throbbing this evening for the meeting of great north-side rivals Glen Rovers and Na Piarsaigh.
But, their concluding group game in the Co-Op Superstores county senior hurling championship will be played in an empty stadium.
Covid-19 restrictions mean only the players and management are permitted and it’s sure to be a strange atmosphere.
Regardless that the Glen are already qualified for the knockout phase and Piarsaighs are almost there, too, pride on the north side of the Lee will still ensure a lively contest.
Records show the first senior meeting between the rivals was in the first round of the 1959 championship, when a star-studded Glen showed no mercy to their emerging rivals.
Na Piarsaigh had debuted the season before, defeating Seandún before losing to Sarsfields, having won the junior county in 1953 without scoring a point in the final. Their six goals trumped Cloughduv’s 2-10.
But, the concession of 11 goals to the Glen reflected the gulf with a certain Mr Christopher Ring helping himself to 4-3, part of his 6-12 in their successful defence of the county.
Three years’ later the gap had narrowed appreciably with the Glen winning by 3-12 to 4-5 and more. Lately it’s Piarsaighs, who’ve held the upper hand, claiming bragging rights on the last three occasions.
Their most recent success came in the 2017 1-12 to 0-14 victory in round 4 at this evening’s venue, when Padraig Guest emerged as the hero of the hour.
His pointed free in the eighth minute of injury-time separated the sides after Na Piarsaigh goalkeeper Paul O’Sullivan denied Mark Dooley a certain goal with a stunning save.
Moments before, Patrick Horgan tied matters up with an equalising 70m free.
Na Piarsaigh, who advanced to meet Bandon in the quarter-finals, produced a purple patch during the first-half, when scoring 1-6 without reply, Shane Forde netting.
Back came in the Glen in the second-half with a Conor Dorris point levelling at 0-12 to 1-9.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: P Guest 0-7 (0-6 f), S Forde 1-0, D Lee 0-2, A Hogan, P Gould and C Buckley 0-1 each.
Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-8 (0-5 f, 0-1 sideline), C Dorris 0-2, B Moylan, G Callanan, D Noonan, M Dooley 0-1 each.
NA PIARSAIGH: P O’Sullivan; A Brady, E Gunning, E Moynihan, captain; A Dennehy, K Forde, C Buckley; C Joyce, A Hogan; A Dennehy, D Lee, K Buckley; P Gould, S Forde, P Guest.
Subs: P O’Rourke for Forde 37, E Sheehan for Hogan 53, E Hanifin for Gould 60.
GLEN ROVERS: C Hickey; D Dooling, S McDonnell, A Lynch; A O’Donovan, B Moylan, G Callanan, captain; D Cronin, D Noonan; D Brosnan, P Horgan, E O’Connell; C Dorris, M Dooley, D Busteed.
Subs: D Cunningham for Busteed half-time and G Kennefick for O’Connell 36.
Referee: N Wall (Carrigaline).
It’s 12 years since the Glen tasted victory, winning the 2008 tie by 1-13 to 0-11 at Páirc Uí Chaoimh to reach the last eight.
A total of 30 wides, 17 to Piarsaighs, reflected the poor fare at times, though substitute Eoghan Cronin’s 36th minute goal lit up the game, shooting high into the top corner of the net after Piarsaighs led 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval.
Wing-back John Anderson was the best player on view in the Glen half-back line.
Scorers for Glen Rovers: P Horgan 0-6 (0-4 f), E Cronin 1-0, D Goggin and K O’Callaghan 0-2 each, J Anderson, D Busteed and D Dorris 0-1 each.
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: C Lynch 0-5 (0-4 f), SJ O’Sullivan 0-2, S Óg Ó hAilpín, P Gould, R McGregor, C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
GLEN ROVERS: D Ellis; B Moylan, N Horgan, G Moylan; G Callanan, P O’Brien, J Anderson; D Cronin, S McDonnell; K O’Callaghan, D Goggin, D Cunningham; D Dorris, P Horgan, D Busteed.
Subs: E Cronin for Busteed injured half-time, S Kennefick for McDonnell 49.
NA PIARSAIGH: M O’Sullivan; R Healy, J Feehan, D Mannix; R McGregor, J Gardiner, D Gardiner; S Óg Ó hAilpín, SJ O’Sullivan; T Ó hAilpín, S Glasgow, P Gould; C Lynch, G Sheehan, T Lynch.
Subs: C O’Sullivan for Glasgow half-time, M Prendergast for Sheehan 39, SG O’Sullivan 43.
Referee: D Kirwan (Éire Óg)