Inniscarra 2-14 Blackrock 1-16
FERGAL O’Leary emerged the hero for Inniscarra as he struck a last-gasp point to seal a crucial PIHC victory at Ballinora.
Blackrock who were reduced to 14 men following the dismissal of Eoin Smith in the 45th minute, fought back from a six-point deficit in an enthralling finale. O’Leary, finished with five from play, denied them a draw at the death.
Two goals in the opening six minutes of the second half were also pivotal factors for Scarra after last week's disappointment against Blarney, when Colm Casey and Owen McCarthy netted.
Inniscarra still require a win against Castlelyons to secure their progress into the next round, while Blackrock will be up against it when they meet Blarney.
Blackrock were two up after the opening quarter, as captain Eoin O’Farrell was unerring in his accuracy from placed balls.
Blackrock held a three-point lead after 10 minutes following an impressive start, with towering full-forward Colin O’Leary also on target.
Inniscarra always possessed a threat on the counter-attack. They reduced the arrears to two points after the first quarter following a nice score from Owen McCarthy.
Cork senior star Sean O’Donoghue gradually began to influence proceedings at midfield.
Yet Blackrock, inspired by Eoin O’Farrell finished the half strongly: 0-9 to 0-8 up at the break.
Scarra started the second half brightly. They netted within 10 seconds when Casey finished in emphatic fashion.
McCarthy quickly added another goal which seemed to suggest a comfortable Inniscarra win.
The Rockies however produced a great comeback in the closing stages. They struck six successive scores in a courageous finish to level proceedings.
Until O’Leary’s majestic point, however, sealed a dramatic win for Inniscarra.
Scorers for Inniscarra: O McCarthy 1-2, F O’Leary 0-5, S O’Donoghue 0-3 (0-2 f), C Casey 1-0, D O’Keeffe 0-2, E O’Connor, C Bennett 0-1 each.
Blackrock: E O’Farrell 1-12 (1-7 f, 0-1 65), C O’Leary, I O’Keeffe, C McCarthy, N Cashman 0-1 each.
INNISCARRA: J O’Keeffe; L Ryan, S Olden, J Harrington; S Sheehan, C O’Leary, C Lombard; S O’Donoghue, D Hughes; O McCarthy, D O’Keeffe, S O’Mahony; E O’Connor, C Casey, F O’Leary.
Subs: L Buckley for C O’Leary (inj, 36), C Bennett for D Hughes (47).
BLACKROCK: D O’Mahony; B Ahern, A Hogan, D O’Brien; R Coleman, E Smith, C McCarthy; M O’Farrell, N Cashman; P Leneghan, I O’Keeffe, E O’Farrell; L O’Sullivan, C O’Leary, L Fogarty.
Subs: D Cashman for L Fogarty (36), J Leogue for C O’Leary (41).
Referee: Joe Larkin (Balliora)