Bishopstown 0-24 Na Piarsaigh 1-19
NEVER-SAY-DIE Bishopstown won a spectacular Co-Op Superstores Cork Premier SHC first round at Páirc Uí Rinn.
They trailed by seven points at half-time and when Paul Honohan was given his marching orders midway through the second half with a straight red card and they behind by five, the outlook was bleak.
But with 14 men, they rallied to get over the line, showing tremendous fighting spirit. They came up with all the answers in the closing stages to emerge with two to spare, and win their first senior championship match in four years.
Na Piarsaigh will wonder how they let this one slip. Without Christopher Joyce (suspended for this match) and the injured Daire Connery, they were well on top for most of this Group B game, but somehow Honohan’s sending-off seemed to spur on Bishopstown.
So many Bishopstown shoulders were put to the wheel when the need was greatest, however several brave saves from Ken O’Halloran kept Bishopstown in the game for long periods, while up front Patrick Cronin was his usual dominant self and new signing Pearse Morris was outstanding.
Na Piarsaigh began the game brightly as they fashioned a 0-3 to 0-1 lead - Shane Forde (2) and Evan Sheehan on target. Billy McConville was the prime scorer for Bishopstown, the midfielder reducing the deficit to just one point after seven minutes.
As Bishopstown looked to put their stamp on proceedings, Na Piarsaigh corner-back Patrick Murphy did really well to get a hook on Morris as he pulled the trigger.
As the play swiftly moved to the other end of the field following staunch defending by Na Piarsaigh, Patrick O’Rourke pounced for the only goal of the half. A brilliant finish by the wing-forward after he was expertly set up by Evan Sheehan.
A Patrick Cronin free kept Bishopstown in touch, they trailed 0-3 to 1-3 on the quarter-hour mark.
Meanwhile O’Halloran was called upon to save a certain goal from Kelvin Forde, it didn’t upset the Na Piarsaigh rhythm as they went on to shoot four glorious points from play,
It was all-Na Piarsaigh at this stage, only for O’Halloran coming to the rescue twice more, Bishopstown would have been in big trouble.
Cronin sent over a couple of points for Bishopstown, merely keeping them in touch as Na Piarsaigh outscored them eight points to four in the second quarter.
Morris had an opportunity of a goal in stoppage, drawing a tremendous save from Sean Fitzgerald, he did, however land a brace to close out, 0-7 to 1-11 in arrears.
Even at the three-quarter mark, it didn’t look good for Bishopstown, 1-15 to 0-12 and a man down after Honohan was carded for a foul on Shane Forde.
Slowly they worked their way back, Cronin very much to the fore and substitute Ian Jones made his presence felt with a point immediately upon his introduction.
With five minutes to go the gap was reduced to three points through Cronin, Morris, Thomas Murray and Brian O’Driscoll against one score for Na Piarsaigh, and four minutes of additional time announced.
Keith Buckley put Na Piarsaigh into the lead again but it was Bishopstown who dominated the closing few minutes with Cronin, Conor O’Hora and Morris firing them to a remarkable victory.
P Cronin (0-10, 0-5 f), P Morris (0-6), C O’Hora (0-3), B McConville (0-2), I Jones, T Murray, B O’Driscoll (0-1 each).
P O’Rourke (1-3), E Sheehan (0-6, 0-1 f), S Forde (0-4), P Guest (0-3, 0-1 free), K Moynihan (0-2), K Buckley (0-1).
K O’Halloran; D Lester, B Murphy (Capt), S Murphy; D Daly, B O’Driscoll, P Honohan; B McConville, B O’Brien; C O’Hora, P Cronin, L Lordan; T Murray, B Murray, P Morris.
I Jones for D Daly (47 inj), S Foley for L Lordan (50).
S Fitzgerald; P Murphy, E Gunning (Capt), G Healy; J Morrissey, A Dennehy, E Moynihan; C Buckley, G Joyce; K Moynihan, S Forde, P O’Rourke; P Guest, K Forde, E Sheehan.
C Bowen for P Murphy (27), K Buckley for K Moynihan (40) A Hogan for S Forde (43-46 bs), A Hogan for C Bowen (55), D Gunning for G Joyce (62 inj).
Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).