Castletownbere 1-16 Na Piarsaigh 2-8
GARY Murphy inspired Castletownbere to a vital victory against Na Piarsaigh following this Bon Secours Premier Intermediate Football Championship opener played at Enniskeane on Sunday afternoon.
The pacey corner-forward produced a brilliant individual display which enabled his side secure a hard-fought win. Murphy struck 1-6, with his goal from the penalty spot in injury time vital in propelling his side to victory.
Na Piarsaigh who never led battled valiantly throughout and they reduced the deficit to one point after they netted a late goal which set up a dramatic finale. The Magpies finished with a flourish however as Gary Murphy won a penalty which he calmly converted.
This victory sets Castletownbere up nicely for their next round encounter against Aghada, while Na Piarsaigh face a vital game against Newmarket as they attempt to maintain their championship aspirations.
Castletownbere started the game in blistering fashion as they raced into an early four-point lead. They recorded the opening four points of the game within the opening six minutes through Jason Walsh, Billy Murphy, Daniel Hanley and Gary Murphy.
Na Piarsaigh responded with two successive points through Kelvin Forde and Keith Buckley. The pace of the first half was unrelenting with both sides contributing to an exciting game.
Gary Murphy and Keith Buckley swapped points for their respective sides to maintain the early two point lead for Castletownbere. Gary Murphy was now the most influential player on the pitch and he struck a majestic long-range point to move his side three points clear after 13 minutes.
Na Piarsaigh levelled proceedings in the 15th minute when Patrick Murphy finished off a good move with a close-range finish.
Castletownbere quickly restored their two-point lead following consecutive points from the impressive Dave Fenton and Gary Murphy. Keith Buckey who was unerring from frees throughout for the city side instantly reduced the deficit to one point. Gary Murphy concluded the scoring in the first half from a free which enabled his side to lead by two points at the interval, 0-9 to 1-4.
The second half was a scrappy affair with both defences on top initially. Keith Buckley and Gary Murphy swapped points to ensure the Magpies continued to lead by two points after 37 minutes. Na Piarsaigh were gaining momentum with points from Shane Forde and Keith Buckley ensuring they only trailed by one point after 48 minutes.
Castletownbere then embarked on a scoring spree as they recorded four successive points following scores from Tomás Murphy (2), Declan Dunne, and Lee Kelly which moved them five points clear and seemingly poised for victory after 56 minutes.
To their credit, Na Piarsaigh continued to press with intent in the closing stages. They were rewarded when their substitute Paul Murphy reacted quickest to a dropping ball before netting from close range after a powerful drive. Keith Buckley immediately added a point to close the gap to one point after 60 minutes.
Na Piarsaigh’s tails were up at this point but the response from Castletownbere was emphatic, however as they sealed victory with a late scoring burst.
The pace of Gary Murphy was again evident as he won his side a penalty which he duly coveted with consummate ease.
Castletownbere wing-back Joe O’Neill then added a point that enabled his side secure a narrow victory.