PIFC: Bantry Blues through as top seeds while Na Piarsaigh avoid the drop

Bantry are now straight into the semi-final stage of the Premier Intermediate grade
PIFC: Bantry Blues through as top seeds while Na Piarsaigh avoid the drop

Eoghan O' Shea, Bantry, and Alan Hogan, Na Piarsaigh end up on the grass in their Bon Secours Premier Intermediate Football Championship match at Dunmanway. Picture: Dan Linehan

Bantry Blues 2-10 Na Piarsaigh 0-13 

DESPITE succumbing to defeat against Bantry, Na Piarsaigh maintained their status in the PIFC by virtue of a better scoring record than St Vincent’s and Naomh Abán who must now meet in the relegation playoff.

Na Piarsaigh displayed great determination throughout to ensure they only suffered a narrow defeat which means they will be competing in the Premier Intermediate grade again next year.

The scoring prowess of star forward Alan Keating was crucial in helping the city side remain competitive against a strong Blues team who proceed to the semi-final stage. Bantry will play the winners of the Iveleary and Rochchapel game at that juncture.

Na Piarsaigh started brightly with points from Padraig Lynch and Alan Hogan moving them ahead after six minutes. The Blues equalised in the 13th minute through Stephen Coughlan, before two successive points from Arthur Coakley moved Bantry two points clear by the 19th minute.

 Seth Thornton, Bantry, getting away from Evan Sheehan, Na Piarsaigh. Picture: Dan Linehan
Seth Thornton, Bantry, getting away from Evan Sheehan, Na Piarsaigh. Picture: Dan Linehan

Bantry moved further ahead in the 20th minute following a great goal from talented forward Paddy Cronin. Bantry continued to impress with Paddy Cronin influential to ensure they held a four-point lead at the interval, 1-7 to 0-6.

Bantry continued to hold a comfortable lead for large parts of the second half, with Na Piarsaigh remaining competitive through Alan Keating scores. Bantry struck for their second goal in the 54th minute when Daniel Murray netted following a strong run from former Cork senior player Ruairi Deane. This goal moved them six points clear and left Na Piarsaigh requiring scores to maintain their status in the Premier Intermediate grade.

The city side dug deep however and finished strongly with Shane Forde impressing, while experienced defender Pa Murphy also contributed significantly to their late revival.

In a dramatic finale, Na Piarsaigh struck three points deep into injury time through Padraig Lynch, Shane Forde, and Alan Keating.

These vital scores reduced the arrears to three points at the finish and ensured they stayed up by score difference.

Scorers for Bantry Blues: P Cronin 1-4, A Coakley 0-3, D Murray 1-0, S Coughlan, S Thornton, S Keevers 0-1 each.

Na Piarsaigh: A Keating 0-7 (0-2 f), S Forde, P Lynch 0-2 each, A Hogan, K Buckley 0-1 each.

BANTRY: S Murray, S Thornton, K Harrington, T Cronin; E O’Shea, B Foley, K Coakley; S O’Leary, S Coughlan; E Minihane, S Keevers, A Coakley; P Cronin, R Deane, D Murray.

Subs: D Daly for E Minihane (45), C O’Brien for S Coughlan (45), K Casey for S Keevers (47).

NA PIARSAIGH: K Waters; P Murphy, J Scanlon, C Bowen; G Joyce, G Healy, K Buckley; E Sheehan, K Moynihan; A Hogan, C O’Mahony, L Sheehan; P Lynch, A Keating, C Hogan.

Subs: S Forde for L Sheehan (33), P Guest for E Sheehan (35).

Referee: Pat O’Leary (Kilmurry).

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