PSHC: Blackrock's second-half goals the difference against Erin's Own

Rockies still in hunt for record 34th title with the Barrs next up on October 16
PSHC: Blackrock's second-half goals the difference against Erin's Own

Blackrock's Alan O'Callaghan and Mark O'Keeffe after defeating Erin's Own at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Blackrock 3-21 Erin’s Own 0-21

BLACKROCK are one game away from a second Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC title in three years as three second-half goals eased them past Erin's Own at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Leading by a point at half-time, the Rockies benefited from goals by Tadhg Deasy, Michael O'Halloran and Robbie Cotter. All three contributed at least two points as well while Alan Connolly finished with nine. In contrast, Robbie O'Flynn's 12-point haul was more than half of Erin's Own's total.

Having earned top seeding from the group stages, this was the East Cork side's first match in four weeks, whereas Blackrock's penalty-shootout win over Imokilly in the quarter-finals had them primed for knockout action., As well as the attacking names, they could call upon important defensive displays from Stephen Murphy and Alan O'Callaghan, with Mark O'Keeffe putting in a big shift too.

While they were ultimately ground down by Blackrock's superior firepower, Erin's Own did well for much of the first half. Their half-back line, anchored by James O'Flynn, gave them a strong platform while Alan Moynihan, named at corner-back but detailed to follow Blackrock's Kevin O'Keeffe - a late replacement for David O'Farrell - was another who made his presence felt.

Robbie O'Flynn's second point put them 0-4 to 0-2 in front as they enjoyed a good opening while Blackrock's shooting was not fully calibrated. After a good Daniel Meaney point for Blackrock, Kieran Murphy made it 0-5 to 0-3 before three in a row from Blackrock put them in front for the first time.

Michael O'Halloran's fine point was followed by good play between Meaney and Robbie Cotter, forcing James O'Flynn into an important block on Meaney's goal attempt, with Connolly levelling at 0-5 each. Tadhg Deasy benefited from a Cotter turnover to give them the lead, but back Erin's Own came.

Good Kieran Murphy play allowed Darra Twomey to tie matters again and a superb O'Flynn had them back in front. By the 23rd minute, the Glounthaune side led by 0-9 to 0-7 after the hard-working Maurice O'Carroll pointed, but that was the last time they held the advantage. Four points on the trot - two by Connolly and one each from Cotter and Deasy - got them on top and it was 0-12 to 0-11 at half-time.

Though Robbie O'Flynn levelled within 15 minutes of the restart, Connolly's sixth put Blackrock ahead once more before the first goal arrived in the 35th minute. John Cashman - who had done as good a job as anyone in limiting O'Flynn in the first half but was now in the half-back line, switching with Cathal Cormack - won an Erin's Own puckout and showed good awareness to pick out Deasy. While he had options, he backed himself and fired past Shay Bowen.

Frees from O'Flynn allowed Erin's Own to keep pace with Blackrock as Connolly and Cotter began to find their groove, but the second goal all but ended the game as a contest - Shane O'Keeffe's handpass perfect for O'Halloran to send a ground shot to the bottom corner for a 2-16 to 0-16 lead.

Blackrock's Mark O'Keeffe has his blocked by Erin's Own's James O'Flynn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Blackrock's Mark O'Keeffe has his blocked by Erin's Own's James O'Flynn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

With the clock running down, Erin's Own needed to raise a green flag of their own but, by and large, the Blackrock defence ensured that such chances were not allowed to materialise. When sub Oran O'Regan's pass gave Robbie O'Flynn enough space to get a low 20-yard shot away, Gavin Connolly saved well and the ball was cleared before Brian Ramsey could get to the rebound.

A 12th point from Robbie O'Flynn left six in it, 2-19 to 0-19, by the 57th minute, when any doubts were firmly erased with Blackrock's third goal. From Meaney's good delivery, Cotter did well to catch the ball and hold possession before shooting to the net. Deasy and Mark O'Keeffe added further points to open up an 11-point advantage and, while Ramsey did have two late Erin's Own points - their only second-half output not contributed by O'Flynn - it was Blackrock's day.

Scorers for Blackrock: A Connolly 0-9 (0-2 f, 0-1 65), T Deasy 1-4, R Cotter 1-3, M O'Halloran 1-2, M O'Keeffe 0-2, D Meaney 0-1.

Erin’s Own: R O'Flynn 0-12 (0-5 f), E Murphy (f), B Ramsey 0-2 each, M O'Carroll, K Murphy, C Coakley, D Twomey, J O'Flynn 0-1 each.

BLACKROCK: G Connolly; S Murphy, J Cashman, C O’Brien; Cathal Cormack, A O’Callaghan, N Cashman; D Meaney, M O’Keeffe; M O’Halloran, T Deasy, S O’Keeffe; R Cotter, A Connolly, K O’Keeffe.

Subs: D O’Farrell for K O’Keeffe (48), Ciarán Cormack for S O’Keeffe (54), G Norberg for A O’Callaghan (57), G O’Regan for A Connolly (58), I O’Keeffe for M O’Halloran (59).

ERIN’S OWN: S Bowen; C O’Connor, C Dooley, A Moynihan; D Twomey, J O’Flynn, J O’Carroll; S Kelly, C Coakley; M O’Carroll, S Guilfoyle, K Murphy; E Murphy, R O’Flynn, Conor Lenihan.

Subs: O O'Regan for E Murphy (half-time), R Twomey for Kelly (41), Cathal Lenihan for Conor Lenihan (46).

Referee: C O’Regan (Ballyhea).

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