Erin’s Own 6-17 Na Piarsaigh 4-13
ERIN'S Own joined Douglas in the knock-out stages of the Co-op Superstores Cork PSHC after they had 10 points to spare over Na Piarsaigh in this Group B encounter played in Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday.
This was a surreal encounter in which goals came thick and fast in a relentless heat but there was no doubting who the better team was as the Caherlag-based club were far more economical with their chances and in Conor Lenihan, who scored 3-4, and Cork star Robbie O’Flynn, who hit 0-7, they had the outstanding players on the field.
They will now face Bishopstown in their final encounter with an eye on automatic qualification for the final four while Na Piarsaigh will be looking nervously at the trap door. They face their neighbours from the Glen in their final game and after the way in which the Blackpool side took care of Bishopstown in the first game here, Na Piarsaigh will need a major improvement if they are to secure their senior status before the end of the group stages.
Erin’s Own looked set for a comprehensive victory when they led by 5-13 to 1-10 ten minutes into the second half, but Shane Forde gave Na Piarsaigh a lifeline when he scored his first goal after being put through by Patrick Rourke.
Rourke then blasted wide with the goal at his mercy and the Imokilly side immediately drove home their advantage when Lenihan cracked home the third goal of his hat-trick. Credit to Na Piarsaigh, however, as they fought to the end as Rourke and Forde struck for two more majors to keep the encounter alive, even if there was to be no miracle.
The opening five minutes were highlighted by two remarkably similar goals. Firstly, Kieran Murphy burst on to a loose ball fifty yards from goal and eased his way through the Na Piarsaigh defence before offloading to Sam Guilfoyle who finished to the net from close range. Lenihan quickly added a point and Erin’s Own seemed on their way.
Then Patrick Rourke cruised through the Erin’s Own defence with similar ease before passing to Jamie Morrissey who in turn fed Kelvin Forde who blasted the ball home. Forde then added an outrageous individual point, and it was all square.
The East Cork side were playing with more fluidity, however, and Lenihan knocked home their second. Pádraig Guest responded with a point for Na Piarsaigh but Erin’s Own then hit the next 1-4 to take control. Robbie and James O’Flynn had a point each, Eoghan Murphy tapped over his first free and Maurice O’Carroll hit 1-1.
The Northsiders were under pressure but rallied, hitting four of the next five with Guest hitting two and Eoin Moynihan and Rourke hitting the others while Robbie O’Flynn registered his second to make it 3-6 to 1-6 with twenty minutes played.
Na Piarsaigh hung in there, as Rourke traded scores with Eoghan Murphy, but disaster struck when a speculative effort from O’Carroll went all the way to the net. The O’Flynn brothers then twisted the knife, hitting three points and though Moynihan added his second score, the city side were staring down the barrel as they trailed by 4-10 to 1-8 at the break.
There was no improvement on the resumption either, as Lenihan scored his second goal and Robbie O’Flynn scored three more points while all Na Piarsaigh could muster was two frees from Guest. Then came the flurry of goals that leaves the sides at the opposite ends of Group B.
C Lenihan 3-4, M O’Carroll 2-1, R O’Flynn 0-7 (0-1 f, 0-1 65), S Guilfoyle 1-0, E Murphy (f), J O’Flynn 0-2 each, R Twomey 0-1.
S Forde 2-1, P Guest 0-6 (0-3 f), P Rourke 1-2, K Forde 1-1, E Moynihan 0-3 (0-1 f, 0-1 65).
S Bowen; C O’Connor, C Dooley, D Twomey; S Cronin, J O’Carroll, J O’Flynn; S Kelly, C Coakley; K Murphy, S Guilfoyle, R O’Flynn (c); C Lenihan, M O’Carroll, E Murphy.
Ó O’Regan for E Murphy (h-t), B Óg Murphy for J O’Flynn (53), R Twomey for K Murphy (55).
S Fitzgerald; P Murphy, E Gunning (c), G Healy; C Buckley, A Dennehy, C Joyce; E Moynihan, J Morrissey; K Moynihan, S Forde, P Rourke; P Guest, K Forde, E Sheehan.
D Gunning for Morrissey (30), K Buckley for Murphy (49).
Ciarán O’Regan (Ballyhea).