2008 Co SH Semi Final V Er Own

Battling Bride in raptures

By Bob Lester
Monday, September 08, 2008

Bride Rovers 1-11  Erins Own  1-9 

FROM big hearts come some huge results and this Evening Echo Cork Co SHC semi-final upset at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday was a whopper.

Bride Rovers tore the form book to shreds with a lion-hearted second-half display that rocked the champions and propelled them into dreamland - a place in their first senior showpiece.

For Erin's Own only despair, their three-in-row aspirations shattered, despite out-smarting and out-hurling the Rathcormac men in the opening half and perhaps paying the ultimate penalty for taking their foot off the gas when they were in control.

Drained and emotional after a fabulous comeback, in which they held the champions to just two second-half points, Bride stalwart Jerome O'Driscoll, scorer of seven points, summed it up: "I never thought I'd see the day I'd cry in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. It looked bad at half-time, back to our poor league form again. But, we were only five points behind, and in the dressing room we pledged to harass and harass when we went back out. We worked so hard, this result is a fairytale, no-one gave us any chance. But we always had belief in our ability. This is a wonderful day or a club like ours, all home grown players, all friends."

Certainly it was a second-half to forget for Erin's Own, who looked so classy in the opening period but only led 1-7 to 0-5 at the break. And despite a couple of points from O'Driscoll and one from Barry Johnson leaving just three between the sides 41 minutes into an average contest, there were no alarm bells, nothing to suggest the Rovers were going to upset the champions.

Then a rash challenge from Kieran Murphy saw lively Bride midfielder Johnson hit the deck and all hell broke loose. When the dust settled, Murphy got a second yellow and was dismissed. So too was Martin Buckley, who received a straight red for an off the ball incident.

Bride midfielder Pádraig Murphy also saw yellow, as did sub Richie Cahill. He was already booked so he was dismissed.

Erin ‘s Own coach PJ Murphy wasn't happy and didn't mince his words afterwards. "While I wish Bride well, I have to say the referee just wasn't up to standard. We lost Brian Clifford in the first-half, there was a reason for that, where was the referee then? In a game like this you need an experienced man and he just wasn't up to it."

When it all calmed down, it was Bride who came out fighting. Working like trojans and using the extra man to good effect, they closed Erin's Own down with Michael Collins proving the hero in injury time with a cracking winning goal. Not even the late sending off of Donal Ryan was going to deny them their big day against either Sars or Glen Rovers in three weeks time.

Bride boss Barry Hazelwood was ecstatic afterwards. "We've come a long way since we won the Junior B in 1988. Who'd have thought we were going to be playing in a senior county final one day? But it will be no good if we don't go on and win it out now.

"I was worried at half-time. We've been hammered here by both Erin's Own and Newtown in the past, but we put that thought out of our heads. We had heart, lots of it, the lads gave it everything and it showed. All the players were magnificent, they have every reason to feel proud."

Certainly the introduction of veteran Pat Walsh in defence at half-time played a huge part. Not only did he set up the winning goal for Collins, but he stabilised the backline, enabling Brian Murphy and the rest of the Murphy clan to maraud late on when Bride had the extra man.

But it was totally in contrast to the opening half when Erin's Own held the whip hand, with Peter Kelly and Stephen Cronin magnificent in defence.

It took Mark O'Connor just 15 seconds to put them ahead and although O'Driscoll levelled with the first of his four first-half frees, the Glounthaune outfit were flying and in a different league.

Diarmuid O'Flynn, Sean Kelly and Kieran Murphy all followed with great points, Bride confined to a Michael Kearney goal chance that whistled across the goalmouth wide. Then came the Erin's Own goal in the 10th minute, a probing sideline cut from Kieran Murphy met sweetly by Mark O'Connor.

It enabled the champions to lead 1-5 to 0-3 after the opening quarter and they were totally in control. There was a swagger about Erin ‘s Own play, with Sean Kelly getting a second point and Eoghan Murphy another. It took Bride 27 minutes to score from play when Kearney set up Michael Collins as they trailed 1-7 to 0-5 at the break.

The introduction of subs Walsh and Cahill for the second-half certainly paid dividends for with Pádraig Kearney and Pádraig Murphy looking more composed at midfield, Erin's Own laboured. Shay Bowen had to make a great save to deny Sean Ryan in the 46th minute, but trailing 1-9 to 0-10 entering injury time Bride Rovers hit the jackpot when Collins, again showing great hands, grabbed a long delivery from Walsh and he gave Bowen no chance.

It was a killer goal for Erin Own. They did have chances to equalise, but Collins struck again with the insurance point five minutes into injury time and Rovers were in raptures.

Scorers for Bride Rovers: J O'Driscoll 0-7 (0-6f), M Collins 1-2, B Johnson and M Kearney 0-1 each.

Erin's Own: M O'Connor 1-2, S Kelly and E Murphy (0-1f) 0-2 each, D O'Flynn, K Murphy, M O'Carroll 0-1 each.

BRIDE ROVERS: D Fitzgerald; A Collins, B Walsh, T Moloney; Barry Murphy, Brian Murphy, J Murphy; P Murphy, B Johnson; K Collins, S Ryan, M Kearney; D Ryan, M Collins, J O'Driscoll.

Subs: P Walsh for Collins (ht), R Cahill for K Collins (ht), T Broderick for Moloney (53).

ERIN'S OWN: S Bowen; C O'Connor, B McHugh, S Murphy; S Cronin, P Kelly, B Clifford; K Murphy, S Kelly; M O'Connor, E Murphy, M O'Carroll; M Murphy, D O'Flynn, M Buckley.

Subs: R O'Carroll for Clifford (19), I Quinlan for M Murphy (52).

Referee: C Lyons (Nemo Rangers).

This story appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Monday, September 08, 2008


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