St Finbarr’s 1-16 Erin’s Own 3-10
ROBBIE O’Flynn’s injury-time equaliser ensured that Erin’s Own came from ten points down to secure a draw with St Finbarr’s in Saturday night’s Co-op SuperStores Cork PHSC Group C clash at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Having trailed by 1-10 to 0-3 at half-time approached, O’Flynn pointed just before the break and then landed two goals early in the second half to cut the gap. When his long-range free in the 39th minute was touched to the net by sub Colm O’Callaghan, they were just a point behind and though the Barrs moved three ahead again, the Glounthaune side refused to wilt.
They were level in injury time thanks to a 65 from former Barrs player Brian Ramsey, with the Togher outfit shooting wide a succession of chances to make the game safe. While Ben Cunningham did put the Barrs in front with time almost up, O’Flynn levelled again and Erin’s Own might even have snatched victory.
As it was, they go into the final round of games in three weeks level with the Barrs on three points and knowing that a win over Charleville – yet to register a point – will send them into the knockout stages. The Barrs face Blackrock, who have two points, in what will effectively be a knockout game.
While Eoghan Murphy’s free put Erin’s Own in front in the second minute, they wouldn’t register again until just before the water break, with the Barrs taking control in between.
They hit the front when a raking pass from Eoghan Finn – impressive throughout – gave Ben Cunningham a half-chance and, after cutting inside, he made the most of it, with Shay Bowen getting a touch to the shot but unable to keep it out.
Finn and Conor Cahalane were on hand to put them five points clear, even allowing for some loose wides, but they also had to be thankful to goalkeeper Shane Hurley for saves from Mossie O’Carroll and Eoghan Murphy.
At the other end, Cunningham flashed a shot across the face of goal and wide before tacking on a point, followed by Finn’s second before Ramsey ended the drought for Erin’s Own, who had lost Stephen Cronin to an early injury.
That score didn’t change the general trend, though, and by the break, Conor Cahalane and Conor Dennehy had given the Barrs a 1-6 to 0-2 advantage.
While Sam Guilfoyle looked threatening in the Erin’s Own attack, by and large they struggled to penetrate and the Barrs’ crisp hurling – exemplified by Glenn O’Connor in the half-back line – and attacking pace ensured that chances continued to come.
Finn always seemed to be available for a pass and he landed his third point on 21 despite shipping a heaving shoulder and Cian Walsh could have raised another green flag. Nevertheless, their supremacy wasn’t in doubt as they retired nine points to the good.
The second half was barely a minute old when Erin’s Own made the first surge of their fightback. Wing-back James O’Carroll was the architect, intercepting a loose ball high up the field and feeding O’Flynn, who produced a superb one-handed finish.
A point followed from Kieran Murphy but the goal was almost wiped out by the Barrs’ Jack Cahalane, denied by a brilliant James O’Flynn intervention.
After Brian Hayes got his second point, O’Flynn struck again, firing to the net after claiming a free sent in by goalkeeper Shay Bowen, and all of a sudden the lead was down to three. Jack Cahalane gave the Barrs breathing space but, when O’Callaghan diverted O’Flynn’s free home, it was game on.
By the water-break, it was 1-14 to 3-6 and a long-range Cunningham free edged the Barrs further ahead only for sub Seán Kelly and Ramsey to leave just one in it by the 52nd minute. Four consecutive Barrs wides followed and they would have fallen behind but for a great Hurley save to deny Mark Collins.
Ramsey sent over the 65 that resulted from that to level matters. While Cunningham finally ended the Barrs’ shooting travails, O’Flynn had the final say.