Passage 2-16 Na Piarsaigh 1-15
A GAME that produced 11 yellow cards and four straight red cards... this was an eventful morning at Ballinlough on Sunday as Passage booked their place in the Seandún JAHC final following a hard-earned win over Na Piarsaigh.
Four yellow cards were dished out before referee Cormac Dineen even started the game. It did, Killian O’Leary opened the Na Piarsaigh account with a quality point.
The Farranree side were dealt a blow when Kieran Waters received a straight red card. To be fair the Piarsaigh player had received tough treatment off the ball by his marker who avoided punishment.
Passage now looked in the driving seat and they were rewarded with a classy goal in the 12th minute. Cian McCarthy caught a high ball before placing a perfect pass to Shane Howard who billowed the net from close range.
Na Piarsaigh were struggling but they did manage to score three unanswered points.
The indiscipline continued for Na Piarsaigh when Padraig Gould received a straight red card in the 26th minute and they now were reduced to 13 men.
Credit to Na Piarsaigh they finished strong with the aid of the wind and when Keating brought his tally to five the sides went in at the break on parity at 1-6 to 0-9.
The resumption was another period of drama, with Tom O’Neill of Passage receiving his marching orders in the 36th minute.
A man down and against the wind Na Piarsaigh were always playing catch up and when Cian McCarthy showed his class with a stunning goal eight minutes from time it looked to have killed off their brave challenge.
Refusing to throw in the towel Na Piarsaigh tested the Passage resolve and substitute John Burns became the fourth player to see red with two minutes remaining.
A late goal from Paul Cunningham was mere consolation for Na Piarsaigh on a day when Ballinlough had witnessed a sea of red and yellow cards.
Next up in this championship is the final between Passage and St Vincent’s.