Midleton 2-26 Na Piarsaigh 0-14
MIDLETON bagged their second win in six days to remain on course for a place in the knock-out phase in the Co-Op Superstores county premier senior hurling championship following a comfortable victory over winless Na Piarsaigh at Páirc Uí Rinn on Friday night.
As was the case with their opening game against Carrigtwohill at the same venue, Midleton’s shooting from distance and tight angles impressed with Cormac Beausang leading the way with some brilliant finishing.
In the first half Midleton, who recalled Cork defender Sean O’Leary-Hayes, set the tone by racing into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead after eight minutes though Na Piarsaigh whittled it down to four points by the water-break, Midleton 1-6 to 0-5 ahead.
Luke O’Farrell had the satisfaction of scoring Midleton’s first goal in the championship in the ninth minute, set up by the outstanding Beausang, scorer of four points from play in the period.
But, fine points from Christopher Joyce and Cian Buckley along with a Craig Hanifin ’65 brought Piarsaighs back into contention.
And when Padraig Guest made it a goal-game immediately on the re-start, the city side seemed poised, having outscored their opponents 0-5 to 0-2.
Yet, as so often is the case, the water break had a major impact because Midleton regrouped to hit seven points without response and take a firm grip on proceedings.
Fittingly, it was Beausang, who began the sequence with a fabulous effort as Conor Lehane, the returning Sam Quirke, Sean and Luke O’Farrell got in on the act too.
Suddenly, Midleton had opened up a commanding 1-13 to 0-6 lead after 24 minutes before Evan Sheehan interrupted the spree with Piarsaighs’ first score in 10 minutes.
Joyce added his second from distance, but his side were still facing a major deficit at the interval, trailing by 1-15 to 0-9 and needing inspiration from somewhere.
It never materialised however because the Magpies dictated the second-half, too, and but for a brilliant save by keeper Luke Donovan, Conor Lehane would have claimed his side’s second goal.
Still, he pointed the ensuing 65 and by the second water-break Midleton’s position had strengthened to 1-21 to 0-13 with Piarsaighs’ plight reflected in Sheehan trying for a goal from a close-range free entering the closing quarter only for the defence to clear.
Within a minute of the resumption, Midleton ended all doubts about the destination of the spoils, when they produced a second goal, substitute Sean O’Meara setting up O’Farrell for his second and a 14-point advantage.
The game petered out from there to the final whistle with Midleton looking eagerly ahead now to a meeting with Sars which will probably decide who sits top of the group while Piarsaighs await Carrigtwohill.