Bride Rovers 2-21 Blarney 2-16
A Co-op SuperStores Cork SAHC semi-final clash with Fr O'Neills awaits Bride Rovers, whose dominant third quarter at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening was key in sending them past Blarney.
The sides were level at 1-10 each at half-time, with Michael Collins’ 28th-minute goal having briefly put Bride in front before Shane Barrett ensured interval parity. However, Blarney’s next score wouldn’t come until Patrick Crowley pointed on 43, with Bride having four unanswered points and four goal chances in the interim.
While none of those yielded a green flag, they fortuitously found the net after Crowley’s point as a short puckout from Cian Hogan found right half-back Paddy O’Flynn, with his long delivery travelling all the way in. When Brian Roche added his third point, they were 2-15 to 1-11 clear, though Mark Coleman and Barrett did reduce the arrears slightly before the water break.
With Roche outstanding in the second half and Cian O’Connor imperious at midfield, Bride never let the lead contract to anything less than four points from there to the end, with free-taker William Finnegan, Michael Collins and Dan Dooley contributing late scores as they eased to victory.
Bride had started well, with O’Flynn and Shane O’Connor on target as they amassed a 0-4 to 0-1 lead inside four minutes, but Mark Coleman – who finished with 1-11 – inspired a strong Blarney revival. Their improvement was in tandem with some sloppy Bride wides and the Mid-Cork side were level after a long-range effort from Coleman when the Cork star won a puckout.
Just before the water break, they took the lead for the first time, 1-5 to 0-5, when Barrett did well to create the opening for his inter-county colleague, Coleman arrowing a low shot across Hogan.
Following a good point from centre-back Peter Philpott, they led by 1-8 to 0-7, but Bride came back through O’Connor and Finnegan two. While Coleman’s seventh made it 1-9 to 0-10, Collins’s goal – quick reactions when O’Connor’s point attempt hit the post – put the Rathcormac/Bartlemy side in front.
Though Barrett sent the teams in level, Bride were irrepressible on the resumption. Only a good Paul Hallissey save denied Brian Roche while Cian O’Connor had a shot come back off the crossbar following a lovely passing move. Daniel Dooley was denied by a Paul O’Leary block and Hallissey also saved from Shane O’Connor.
With Blarney unable to make headway, three Finnegan points and one from Brian Roche established a cushion. While Crowley did end the Blarney drought, Bride’s response of O’Flynn’s goal – after Hallissey couldn’t cleanly claim possession of the dropping ball – put them firmly in command. It was a grip that they wouldn’t cede, with Seán Crowey’s injury-time goal for Blarney a scant consolation.