Bishopstown 1-16 Bantry Blues 1-9
DENIS Crowley inspired Bishopstown to victory over Bantry Blues in the Bon Secours Cork SAFC relegation play-off in Newcestown on Saturday.
While the veteran scored three important second-half points, it was target-man Crowley’s involvement in the majority of his team’s scores that enabled Bishopstown retain their senior status.
Micheal Power, Jamie O’Sullivan, Jack Murphy and Michael Murphy also impressed for the city outfit on an afternoon Bishopstown’s positive start immediately put their opponents on the back foot. Leading 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval, Bishopstown added seven second further points to see off a disappointing Bantry Blues.
The west Cork club will play in next year’s PIFC grade after failing to properly deal with towering full-forward Denis Crowley, managing a goal and a point from open play and being over-reliant on Ruairí Deane and Arthur Coakley for scores.
Bishopstown enjoyed a bright start and led 0-5 to 0-1 after 10 dominant minutes. Denis Crowley had a superb game on the edge of the square and was at the hub of all Bishopstown’s best moments.
Liam O’Driscoll, Darragh O’Connor, Paul O’Flynn and two Simon Collins frees edged Town in front. A Ruairí Deane free represented Bantry’s solitary reply during a poor start. The second quarter proved as attritional as the first with both sides ending the half with 14 players. Ronan O’Mahony (Bantry) and Darragh O’Connor (Bishopstown) were black carded.
A superbly-worked move saw Bishopstown net a cracking goal after 22 minutes. Four players were involved before Crowley hand-passed the ball towards Paul Honohan who gleefully palmed into the net.
Down 1-7 to 0-3, Bantry rallied with Tadgh Downey, Deane (free) and Coakley (free) scores reducing the deficit. The excellent Collins kept Bishopstown in front courtesy of his accurate free-taking and they led by seven points at the break.
Denis Crowley scored three unanswered points and Collins added another as Bishopstown dominated a poor third quarter. Not even the concession of an Arthur Coakley goal or Dara Costello being black-carded could prevent Bishopstown from seeing out the remaining 15 minutes.
A scrappy ending saw plenty of overzealous challenges with Coakley adding three more frees to take his personal tally to 1-5. Yet, late Michael Nunan, Paul O’Flynn and Simon Collins (free) scores put the seal on a deserved Bishopstown 1-16 to 1-9 victory.