Erin’s Own 1-16 Glen Rovers 0-15
A run of nine unanswered second-half points pushed Erin’s Own to an opening-round Co-op SuperStores Premier SHC victory over Glen Rovers at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.
When the Glen – beaten finalists in each of the last three seasons – scored six points in a row at the start of the second half to move four points clear, it looked as if they would enjoy a winning start. However, their opponents kept their composure and ate into the deficit bit by bit, helped by the dead-ball accuracy of Eoghan Murphy and the impact of sub Oran O’Regan.
Last year, the Glen began with defeat to Douglas and still made it to the final so they won’t panic, but they will need to examine how the upper hand was lost ahead of next week’s clash against Bishopstown. In contrast, Erin’s Own will be in buoyant form ahead of a meeting with Na Piarsaigh.
With the start coinciding with the rain becoming heavier, Erin’s Own’s jerseys looked more black than blue and the sliothar was slippery – the first ten minutes brought just four points, evenly shared.
While defences were on top, the teams continued to match each other in the scoring stakes: two Eoghan Murphy dead balls put Erin’s Own 0-4 to 0-3 in front before the Glen went close to a goal as Patrick Horgan set his namesake Luke away but his shot was repelled by a combination of corner-back Darra Twomey and goalkeeper Shay Bowen. Horgan put the loose ball over the bar, but Mossie O’Carroll – excellent in that opening period – replied to make it 0-5 to 0-4.
Teenager Eoin O’Leary did level for the Glen with the first of his two first-half points but on 20 Erin’s Own had the opening goal, with O’Carroll’s handpass perfect for Robbie O’Flynn to run on to and race clear of the defence before applying the finish.
Another Murphy free opened up a four-point advantage, with O’Flynn making it 1-7 to 0-6 after Simon Kennefick had got a good Glen point, but Dean Brosnan and O’Leary left two in it at the break.
That deficit was wiped out as midfielder Rhys Dunne – who has established supremacy with David Noonan – and Horgan were on target in the second half’s nascent stages and Horgan put them in front before a superb Mark Dooley point from the right left them with a 0-12 to 1-7 advantage.
When Kennefick set up Horgan for his fifth and his sixth followed from a free immediately after, it was the city side who had the four-point lead but Erin’s Own didn’t panic. The margin was almost heavily eroded as Eoghan Murphy had a goal chance, denied by a superb Adam Lynch hook. That resulted in a 65, which Murphy converted, to leave three in it with 20 minutes remaining.
His fifth, from a free, cut the gap again and they were almost in for another goal as Kieran Murphy did well to force a turnover and tried to find sub Oran O’Regan but Eoin Downey did well to read the situation. Even so, the Glounthaune side had the momentum and O’Carroll set up O’Regan for a fine score before Eoghan Murphy levelled as the final quarter dawned.
They were back in front through Kieran Murphy, who was quietly influential throughout, with his brother Eoghan adding two more frees as O’Regan continued to cause problems for the Glen defence.
O’Regan might have got a goal late on as O’Carroll’s good delivery found him in space and he got past the on-rushing goalkeeper Cathal Hickey, but Adam Lynch made a heroic block, seemingly at the expense of a 65. However, referee Ciarán O’Regan judged that Hickey had fouled O’Regan as he tried to halt him and awarded a free, brought central for dissent. Eoghan Murphy converted for a 1-16 to 0-14 advantage.
Patrick Horgan did finally end what had become 21 scoreless minutes for the Glen, but the goal they needed proved to be beyond them, with Cian O’Connor doing well to block a Conor Dorris shot.
E Murphy 0-10 (0-8 f, 0-2 65), R O’Flynn 1-1, M O’Carroll 0-2, K Murphy, C Lenihan, O O’Regan 0-1 each.
P Horgan 0-7 (0-3 f), D Brosnan, E O’Leary 0-2 each, M Dooley, R Dunne, D Noonan, S Kennefick 0-1 each.
S Bowen; C O’Connor, C Dooley, D Twomey; S Cronin, J O’Carroll, J O’Flynn; S Kelly; B Óg Murphy; K Murphy, S Guilfoyle, R O’Flynn; C Lenihan, M O’Carroll, E Murphy.
O O’Regan for Guilfoyle (34), C Coakley for B Óg Murphy (43), R Twomey for Lenihan (50), A Moynihan for J O’Flynn (60, injured).
C Hickey; A Lynch, D Dooling, A O’Donovan; B Moylan, R Downey, E Downey; D Noonan, R Dunne; M Dooley, D Brosnan, L Horgan; S Kennefick, P Horgan, E O’Leary.
B Murphy for O’Donovan (half-time), C Dorris for Dooley (49).
C O’Regan (Ballyhea).