Erin’s Own 2-18 Blackrock 1-19
WHAT a performance from Erin’s Own in this magnificent Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier SHC at Páirc Uí Rinn last night.
A thrilling spectacle from start to finish and a fully deserved victory for the Glounthaune men, last season’s defeated semi-finalists.
Not so good though for the reigning county champions, who had no answer to a determined and well-oiled east Cork outfit. Managed by Martin Bowen, the winners were really sharp putting in a tremendous effort all over the pitch. But they will be particularly grateful to goalkeeper Shay Bowen who pulled off a brilliant save from an Alan Connolly penalty early in the fourth quarter.
As well, Robbie O’Flynn was unrelenting tallying six points.
When these sides met in the group stage last season, the Rockies prevailed by four points.
The sides were tied 1-12 apiece after a marvellous first-half that saw the teams level seven times. Erin’s Own then pushed four clear, and it was Sam Guilfoyle’s goal just after the second water break that floored the titleholders.
Erin’s own signalled their intent in that opening 30 minutes with four-goal opportunities but they only managed to put one away thanks in the main to custodian Gavin Connolly and his full-back line.
Blackrock were first to score when Mark O’Keeffe found the target after a quick ball out of defence from John Cashman to his brother Niall.
Erin’s Own, with the breeze to their backs, were quick to reply when Robbie O’Flynn slotted over. The scores were coming thick and fast. By the 10th minute, the Rockies edged ahead, 0-5 to 0-3. The concession of a couple of frees that Eoghan Murphy was happy to convert achieved deadlock.
Eoghan Murphy then moved Erin’s Own into the lead for the first time when he blasted the net after being put through by Robbie O’Flynn. At the first water break, they were 1-5 to 0-6 ahead.
Erin’s Own added three more points without reply from Colm Coakley, Eoghan Murphy, and Robbie O’Flynn. Blackrock needed a goal to ignite their contest and were rewarded when Daniel Meaney broke through from midfield to fire from close range, 1-9 apiece.
The sides shared six points and went to the dressing-room all square.
It soon became clear to Blackrock and their manager Fergal Ryan that they were facing a stern challenge. While full-back Gary Norberg restarted the scoreboard, Maurice O’Carroll, Cathal Lenihan, Robbie O’Flynn and Eoghan Murphy points rocked them.
Eoghan Murphy was fouled bearing down on goal and the resultant free had them 1-18 to 1-14 up at the second water-break.
Heroes all over the field, Robbie O’Flynn set up Guilfoyle for their second goal, and they were looking good with 10 minutes remaining.
Next came the Connolly penalty after Alan O’Callaghan was hauled down but Bowen superbly dived to his right and put the sliotar out for a 65.
Blackrock pegged back the deficit with a trio of points, but Erin’s Own held on.
Erin’s Own coach Donal O’Rourke’s next assignment is with the Galway senior camogie team against Cork on Sunday.
Meanwhile, both Blackrock and Erin’s Own will be keeping a keen eye on the other Group C tie between St Finbarr’s and Charleville which takes place in Mallow.
E Murphy 1-9 (0-8 f), R O’Flynn 0-6, S Guilfoyle 1-0, C Coakley, M O’Carroll, C Lenihan 0-1 each.
D Meaney 1-2, A Connolly 0-4 (0-3 f, 0-1 65), A O’Callaghan 0-3, T Deasy, M O’Keeffe, R Cotter 0-2 each, M O’Halloran, G Norberg, S O’Keeffe, D O’Farrell 0-1 each.
S Bowen; C O’Connor (c), C Dooley, A Moynihan; S Cronin, J O’Flynn, J O’Carroll; C Coakley, M O’Carroll; K Murphy, S Guilfoyle, C Lenihan; R O’Flynn, E Murphy, B Ramsey.
B Óg Murphy for B Ramsey (half-time), G O’Mahony for C Lenihan (53), S Kelly for C Coakley (57).
G Connolly; S Murphy, G Norberg, C O’Brien; N Cashman, Cathal Cormack, J Cashman; D Meaney, M O’Halloran (c); M O’Keeffe, A O’Callaghan, S O’Keeffe; R Cotter, A Connolly, T Deasy.
J Ryan for C O’Brien (bs 12-14), D O’Farrell for M O’Halloran (43), K O’Keeffe for M O’Keeffe, Ciarán Cormack for R Cotter (both 55).
Diarmuid Kirwan (Éire Óg).