PSFC: Barrs know more will be required to lift the Andy Scannell Cup

St Finbarr's were outstanding in the fourth quarter to shake off Éire Óg but tougher tests lie ahead
PSFC: Barrs know more will be required to lift the Andy Scannell Cup

St Finbarr's Paddy Hayes (selector) along with Paul O'Keeffe manager and Jim O'Donoghue celebrate after defeating Éire Óg. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

SIX points down at one point and a man down for the last quarter it looked like it wasn't going to be St Finbarr's night in their Premier SFC quarter-final clash with Éire Óg.

In the first of the weekend's quarter-final ties, this certainly set the bar in terms of entertainment at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Friday night.

With 14 minutes played Éire Óg led by 0-7 to 0-1 and the Barrs were all over the place. By half-time the gap was two, the Blues, and Steven Sherlock, storming into the game.

Ian Maguire started to get a grip at midfield and once they got level early in the second half they looked like driving on to win. But that task was made more difficult when Brian Hayes received a straight red card in the 45th minute, the resulting free seeing it level.

But the experience of the Barrs told and they drove on to victory, with Enda Dennehy's goal securing their 1-16 to 0-12 win.

Manager, Paul O'Keeffe said afterwards that some harsh words were said at half-time to get them back into contention.

“We spoke at half-time fairly openly in terms of our performance. We knew that was nowhere near what we were capable of doing. It's typical of our performances over the last couple of years, it's only when it kind of hits the fan that we respond.

We never seem to get out of the blocks and make life easy for ourselves, but it was a real battle, real championship stuff and we showed real character there in the last quarter and you could only be proud of that.”

Reflecting on their poor start Paul said it was a horror show.

“Early on it was a horror show for us, our plan was to take the game to them and it turned out to be the complete opposite. They took the game to us, they had runners from deep and we weren't working hard enough and it was just all way too easy for them.

“They caused us tremendous trouble and you're lucky to get out of a championship game conceding seven points to one. Thankfully we got reorganised and our structures right and got back into the game.

Éire Óg's Dylan Foley wins the ball from St Finbarr's Alan O'Connor and Adam Lyne at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Éire Óg's Dylan Foley wins the ball from St Finbarr's Alan O'Connor and Adam Lyne at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

“I think our experience told though in the end and we needed it when Brian was sent off. I'd have to look at the sending-off again as I thought it was a bit harsh. I think the lads were seeing the exit door and it certainly got them going.”

Key in that second half was the performance of Sherlock, who got their first seven points of their total of nine.

“He dragged us back into the game and everything he shot seemed to go over. When he's on song he's pretty much unmarkable and it was a fantastic performance from him."

Looking ahead: “We know what the prize is, we were in the semi last year and came up that bit short and you just want to rectify that.”

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