Blackrock 5-13 Killeagh/Ita’s 1-13
BLACKROCK have set up a meeting with Sarsfields in the semi-final of the Cork County U21 Premier 1 Hurling Championship as they breezed past Killeagh/Ita’s by four goals in incredibly difficult conditions on the 4G at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
A stunning display from left corner-forward Alan Connolly — who remarkably scored four goals and four points of his side’s overall total — proved to be the difference between the teams in this entertaining clash. The reward for the winners is a showdown with Sars, while Midleton are already through to the county final.
Due to a period of extra time being played in one of the earlier games before this, this encounter started over half an hour later than initially expected.
The wind and the rain also made conditions difficult for both sets of players although Killeagh almost grabbed the opening goal of the game inside the first minute but Richie Long saw his goal-bound effort cleared off the line.
They did get on the board in the second minute though as Ryan McCarthy raised a white flag with a well-struck effort but Blackrock quickly found their rhythm.
And they quickly turned the game around as they snatched the first goal of the game when right corner-forward Robbie Cotter pulled on the sliotar and drilled it past the keeper from close range.
Killeagh responded with points from Luke Fogarty and Sean Walsh but they came either side of a great over from Cotter to ensure his side was still ahead after six minutes, 1-1 to 0-3.
The Rockies reached this stage with an emphatic win just six days previously as they scored six goals to help them to a 13 point success against Glen Rovers at this venue.
And they scored their second goal of the evening here after just seven minutes as Alan Connolly collected Robbie Cotter’s hand pass before driving the ball into the bottom left corner.
They tallied three more points without reply by the end of the first quarter before Killeagh reduced the deficit at the start of the second quarter thanks to frees from Ryan McCarthy and captain Killian Treacy, 2-4 to 0-5.
The East Cork club, to their credit, finished the first period the better them as they outscored their opponents by five points to four to ensure they were within touching distance at the half time break with the score reading 2-8 to 0-10.
The two spirited teams traded points at the beginning of the second half an hour but the weather conditions became even more difficult to play in.
Blackrock seemed to be dealing better with the treacherous circumstances as Connolly tucked over another free before he netted his second and his club’s third goal of the night.
The number 15 used his pace and his strength to shrug off the challenge of his markers before he cleverly slotted the ball past the keeper when bearing down on the target.
The Yellow and Greens scored twice more on the bounce but their rivals refused to give up as they did likewise through Andrew Leahy and Killian Treacy with the match edging towards a conclusion, 3-12 to 0-13.
There was still time for an extraordinary period of play as Alan Connolly fired in two quick-fire goals for the Rockies — Tadgh Deasy completed their scoring moments later with a point — before Treacy notched a consolation goal for Killeagh deep into injury time.Scorers for Blackrock:
A Connolly 4-4 (0-3 f), R Cotter 1-3, J O’Sullivan 0-2, M O’Keeffe, J Walsh, T Deasy, R Coleman 0-1 each.
Killeagh/Itas: K Treacy 1-3 (0-3 f), R McCarthy 0-3 (0-2 f), S Walsh 0-3, A Leahy, L Fogarty 0-2 each.
BLACKROCK: E O’Shea; J Golden, S Cormack, F Cronin; C McCarthy, D Cormack, R Coleman; T Deasy, E Sheehan; B Cain, M O’Keeffe, J O’Sullivan; R Cotter, P Leneghan, A Connolly.Subs:
J Walsh for B Cain (42), S Green for R Coleman (51), K Buckley for C McCarthy (56).
KILLEAGH/ITAS: A Walsh; R Landers, D Hogan, E Fitzgibbon; C Deane, K Murphy, J Landers; K Kelly Budds, D Hickey; S Walsh, L Fogarty; R McCarthy; R Long, A Leahy, K Treacy.
Subs: C Leahy for R Long (48), D Ogbebor for L Fogarty (57).
Referee: Simon Stokes (Tullylease).