Pa Cronin and Ken O'Halloran still delivering for Bishopstown hurlers

The Town had struggled to get off to the right note in the first round in recent seasons
Pa Cronin and Ken O'Halloran still delivering for Bishopstown hurlers

Na Piarsiagh's Jamie Morrissey blocks down Bishopstown's Luke Jordan during the Co-Op Superstores Cork PSHC at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

BISHOPSTOWN have endured a few tough years in the Cork Premier Senior Hurling Championship. Victories have been hard come by.

A look back at last year’s campaign tells us they played in Group A alongside Douglas, Glen Rovers and Newtownshandrum. They recorded no win, just a draw with Newtownshandrum to finish bottom of the group alongside the north Cork men, but losing out on scoring difference.

So, watching their unbelievable come-from-behind victory with 14 men over Na Piarsaigh last Sunday in Group B of this season’s championship opener, one could see clearly how much it meant to them.

They looked dead and buried so many times. Seven points behind at the interval, and five behind when Paul Honohan received a straight red card on 43 minutes after clashing with Shane Forde, so they had a big mountain to climb.

It was almost beyond belief they could turn it around. But they did, and in doing so they have also turned their hurling season around.

Ten points from Patrick Cronin and six from new signing Pearse Morris - their input a major boost, along with superb goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran.

“You can see what it means to us,” said selector David O’Brien. “It is like we have won a county final. We haven’t won a first round game in a good few years. It means an awful lot especially having been seven points down.

“When Paul Honohan was sent off, it galvanised us. Some of the scores from Pa (Cronin), Pearse Morris and Brian O’Driscoll were out of this world. The lads just didn’t give in.

“Ken O’Halloran, he was the same in the football last week against Fermoy, he was brilliant. I think this is Ken’s 20th year so for him to be pulling off saves like that is unreal.

Pa Cronin, I think is in season number 19 for us. I think Pa will admit himself the first 10 minutes weren’t going according to plan for him. But he kept at it.

“Pearse Morris joined us this year, along with Brendan O’Brien - they are two Nenagh lads working in Cork. They have been a huge addition to us, the quality they bring. They are good lads to train as well. Similar to Pa, when things weren’t going our way, they kept going.

“We found ourselves five or six points up in matches in previous years but we never pushed on. We were six or seven points down this time and we pushed on.

“The boys really stood up when we needed them.”

Na Piarsiagh's Adam Dennehy wins the ball from Bishopstown's Conor O'Hora. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Na Piarsiagh's Adam Dennehy wins the ball from Bishopstown's Conor O'Hora. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Bishopstown will switch focus quickly to next weekend and a meeting with pointless Glen Rovers in round two, and now have so much to play for. Currently they sit top of Group B with Erin’s Own who defeated the Glen on Saturday evening.

Na Piarsaigh, meanwhile, will have to regroup in a must-win game against the Glounthaune men.

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