Na Piarsaigh 2-11
INSPIRED by Gary Murphy, Castletownbere resurrected their qualification hopes following this hard-fought win over Na Piarsaigh at Inchigeelagh yesterday in the Bon Secours Cork PIFC (Group A2).
A win against Newmarket (already qualified) is a must for Castletown in their final group game, but their hopes of qualification may come down to points-difference as Aghada, too, are still very much in contention in the final group games.
Castletown started brightly with James Harrington, Jason Walsh and Gary Murphy responding to a first minute Shane Forde point. Na Piarsaigh levelled matters through Buckley and Alan Keating by the end of the first quarter.
As an even contest progressed, the West Cork side seemed to be gaining the upperhand when Gary Murphy curled over two majestic scores but Na Piarsaigh then hit a golden spell when Kelvin Forde goaled following an inch-perfect pass from Alan Keating. Alan Hogan followed up with a point and Na Piarsaigh might have been further ahead only for Chris O’Donoghue to pull off a brave save from a close-range shot from Aaron Higgins.
Castletown, however, goaled from an Andrew O’Sullivan penalty in first half injury time after Luke Murphy was black-carded after hauling down Gary Murphy in the square. Alan Hogan tied matters at 1-5 apiece before half time.
The sides stayed score-for-score early in the second half before Castletown struck for their second major. Declan Dunne and Gary Murphy were central in the build-up creating space for Jason Walsh to score a fine 43rd minute goal.
Piarsaigh did stay in touch with Shane Forde hitting the crossbar before Gary Murphy got on the end of a long Andrew O’Sullivan kick pass to finish soccer-style to the net. That made it 3-8 to 1-8 in the 55th minute before Piarsaigh reeled in their opponents with a fine individual goal from Kelvin Forde and three successive points from Buckley (2) and Alan Keating.
It made for a dramatic finish but Castletown showed the greater composure in injury time.
Scorers for Castletownbere: G Murphy (1-5, 1f), J Walsh and James Harrington (1-1 each), A O’Sullivan (1-0, pen), D Dunne and R Murphy (free) (0-1 each).
Scorers for Na Piarsaigh: K Forde (2-0), K Buckley (0-5, 1f, 1 ‘45’), A Hogan (0-3 frees), A Keating (0-2), S Forde (0-1).
CASTLETOWNBERE: C O’Donoghue; C Murphy, L Harrington, O Byrne; S McCarthy, D Dunne, D Hanley; A O’Sullivan, D Fenton; J Harrington, D Hegarty, J Harrington-Morales; O Murphy, G Murphy (Capt.), R Murphy.
Subs: J Walsh for Hegarty (3, inj.); J O’Neill for C Murphy (35, inj.); A O’Shea for Hanley and James Murphy for Fenton (both 59)
NA PIARSAIGH: A O’Sullivan; E Moynihan, E Hanifin, L Murphy; A Higgins, K Power, D Maguire; S Forde, D Lehane; G Joyce, K Forde, K Buckley (Capt.); C O’Mahony, A Hogan, A Keating.
Subs: C Bowen for Lehane (29); P Guest for O’Mahony (44); T Lawton for Joyce (53); D Gunning for Hanifin (60 +3).
Referee: Colm Vaughan (Cill na Martra).