St Michael's march to SAFC semi-finals with impressive win over Bishopstown

Mahon club are just one win away from another county final after winning all three group games
St Michael's march to SAFC semi-finals with impressive win over Bishopstown

St Michael's Adam Hennessy tackling Dara Costello, Bishopstown. Picture: Denis Boyle

St Michael’s 2-19 Bishopstown 2-8 

ST Michael’s marched to the semi-finals of the Bon Secours county SAFC as number one seeds following this impressive victory over Bishopstown at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday evening.

They had the satisfaction of being the only club of the dozen competing to finish with a 100% record as they topped Group C with a third victory on the bounce.

There were many eye-catching aspects of the Mahon side’s emphatic victory, like their high energy levels all through and an impressive array of scorers, led by an unlikely source in midfielder Andrew Murphy, who finished with 0-5.

By comparison, Bishopstown, whose previous victory against Knocknagree acted as the buffer against any prospect of being part of the relegation issue, struggled badly.

All eight points came from Jamie O’Sullivan and just two in the second half though Conor Dunne was fully deserving of his late goal to follow that of Simon Collins’s effort.

There was a third goal in the closing minutes after St Michael’s substitute Mark O’Keeffe availed of the chance which came his way to make it 2-16 to 0-8 after 55 minutes.

St Michael’s started and finished the first half superbly, scoring 1-1 inside 90 seconds of the throw-in and then adding four of the closing five points.

The Town looked set for a long and difficult evening after Adam Hennessy opened the scoring after only 20 seconds and then provided the pass for a well-taken goal.

St Michael's Adam Hennessy tackling Dara Costello, Bishopstown. Picture: Denis Boyle
St Michael's Adam Hennessy tackling Dara Costello, Bishopstown. Picture: Denis Boyle

Wing-back Peter Cunningham, who started the move, fed Hennessy with a quick accurate inside ball and the favour was returned in style as Cunningham received the pass before finishing brilliantly to the far corner of Ken O’Halloran’s net.

Bishopstown, though, settled and their ploy of applying fierce pressure high up the pitch paid dividends as they forced St Michael’s defenders into conceding frees, which the deadly O’Sullivan converted.

He landed three on the spin in six minutes and Robbie Cotter’s 14th-minute point was a much-needed score for St Michael’s, who were struggling to add to their tally.

It took the Town 22 minutes to score from play, courtesy of O’Sullivan, though that only kick-started another significant scoring surge from their opponents.

Midfielder Murphy’s outstanding left-footed effort began the sequence with the impressive Keith Hegarty, Cotter, from a free, and another from play helped them to a 1-8 to 0-6 interval lead.

While there was an array of scorers for St Michael’s, it was telling that all six Town points came from O’Sullivan.

St Michael’s bossed the second half, maintaining a high tempo once again and working their opponents hard in their efforts to get possession.

Murphy came alive on the resumption, thundering forward into good scoring positions with surging runs from deep and capitalising on the chances which came his way with some confident shooting.

Fittingly, Murphy found the range just as the floodlights were switched entering the closing quarter and he added two more after an O’Sullivan free.

St Michael’s emptied their bench in the closing stages, including a cameo appearance for the powerful Mark O’Keeffe, whose presence to close offered another route to goal.

Scorers for St Michael’s: A Murphy 0-5, R Cotter 0-4 (0-2 f), A Hennessy 0-3, P Cunningham, M O’Keeffe 1-0 each, K Hegarty 0-2, A O’Callaghan, D Meaney, E Hegarty, E O’Donovan, L O’Herlihy 0-1 each.

Bishopstown: J O’Sullivan 0-8 (0-6 f), S Collins, C Dunne 1-0 each.

ST MICHAEL’S: M Burke; D Corkery, J Golden, S Keating; T Lenihan, A O’Callaghan, P Cunningham; A Murphy, D Meaney; D Lenihan, K Hegarty, E Hickey; R Cotter, E Hegarty, A Hennessy.

Subs: L O’Herlihy for Lenihan injured 15, L O’Sullivan for Hennessy 42, R Coleman for Keating, M O’Keeffe for K Hegarty and E O’Donovan for Hickey all 53.

BISHOPSTOWN: K O’Halloran; D Costelloe, E Byrne, L Hogan; N Gough, D O’Connor, A Sweeney; J Murphy, C Dorman; P O’Flynn, P Honohan, captain, C Dunne; S Collins, J O’Sullivan, O Devlin.

Subs: L Arslan for Hogan injured 17, M O’Driscoll for O’Flynn half-time, C Connolly for Murphy and L O’Driscoll for Devlin, both 38, N O’Donovan for Costelloe 58.

Referee: P O’Driscoll (Bride Rovers).

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