BRIDE ROVERS V BISHOPSTOWN CORK SHC ROUND 1
Bride Rovers 3-18 Bishopstown 0-25 (after extra time)
By John Coughlan (Evening Echo)
The magic of the Cork Senior hurling championship was epitomised to the maximum at Pairc Ui Rinn on Saturday, May 16th, when it took extra time to separate two committed sides in an epic clash.
In the end Bride Rovers found the required resilience to see off the brave Town challenge as both teams showed incredible commitment from start and finish.
Although the ever reliable Barry Johnson gave Bride Rovers the lead in the second minute they were held scoreless for the next 13 as Bishopstown played some wonderful free flowing hurling.
The free taking of Thomas Murray was superb in the early exchanges and three consecutive white flags was followed by a point each from David Quaid, Pa Cronin and Alan O’Sullivan that gave the city side a 0-6 to 0-1 lead in the 13th minute.
Over the years Bride Rovers have gained the reputation of a side that refuse to lie down easily and Brendan O’Driscoll stopped the drought before a goal in the 16th minute changed the complexion of this game.
A brilliant pass to the former Na Piarsaigh player Stephen Glasgow was met with ferocity as he billowed the back of the net with a superb strike.
Game on but credit to Bishopstown they responded in style with five unanswered points.
The character of the Rathcormac side was tested again but they finished the half with two late Johnson points that saw them go in at the break trailing 0-13 to 1-6.
On the restart Rovers played some outstanding hurling with Glasgow getting them up and running in the 33rd minute and four more unanswered points saw them lead by the minimum.
Once again Town found a way back and consecutive points from Thomas Murray and Cronin had the teams on parity in the 44th minute.
Two minutes later Daniel Dooley edged Bride Rovers ahead but after Bishopstown went six minutes without a score came a play that in the end proved crucial for the outcome of this game.
In the 52nd minute Bishopstown were awarded a 20 metre free trailing 1-13 to 0-15 and up stepped Pa Cronin to take it.
It was obvious the change of free taker from Thomas Murray that Cronin was going to go for goal.
The end result was Cronin smashed his well struck free against the crossbar as it was scrambled to safety but in hindsight it was a silly decision to go for goal with eight minutes remaining where a point would have tied the game.
In fairness the Town played superb hurling in the closing minutes and commanded a two point lead in the closing minute before a stunning Sean Ryan goal gave Bride Rovers the lead in added time.
On the next possession Brian Murray levelled proceedings as the game finished all square at 2-14 to 0-20.
Goals win games and that was certainly the case for Bride as Daniel Dooley flicked home a superb goal in the 65th minute that set the tone for their win.
The action was fast and furious for the remainder of the game but late points from Barry Johnson and Michael Collins ensured Rovers snatched victory, as Bishopstown will now concentrate on taking the scenic route in this championship.
Scorers for Bride Rovers: B Johnson 0-10 (0-8f), S Glasgow 1-2, D Dooley 1-1, S Ryan 1-0, C O’Connor, S Walsh, M Collins, B O’Driscoll, B Murphy (0-1 each).
Bishopstown: T Murray 0-11 (0-8f), P Cronin 0-6 (0-1f), D Quaid 0-2, B Murray 0-2, N Feehely 0-2, A O’Sullivan, J O’Sullivan (0-1 each).
Bride Rovers: Frank Hogan; Fergus Collins, Donncha Carr, Michael Liddane; Brendan Walsh, Brian Murphy, Shane Walsh; Shane Kearney, Cian O’Connor; Sean Ryan, Michael Collins, BarryJohnson; Stephen Glasgow, Brennie O’Driscoll, Daniel Dooley.
Subs: James Murphy for B O’Driscoll (40), Jason Pratt for M Liddane (60), Michael Kearney for B Walsh (63), Ryan Prendergast for F Collins (74).
Bishopstown: B Donovan; C Luttrell, M Driscoll, D Lester; R Ryan, S O’Neill, B Coffey; P Cronin, A O’Sullivan; N Feehely, E Byrne, B Murray; T Murray, M Power, D Quaid.
Subs: B McConville for D Quaid (49), D Hickey for A O’Sullivan (49), B O’Callaghan for N Feehely (57), B Murphy for C Luttrell (77).
Referee: Colm Lyons (Nemo Rangers).
STORY OF THE GAME
Man of the Match: Plenty heroes in the Bride Rovers win but the striking of Barry Johnson was crucial for them winning this game.
Score of the Match: Plenty of stunning points and goals but surely Daniel Dooley’s green flag in extra time was the one that finally killed off the brave Bishopstown challenge.
Turning Point: There were many twist and turns in this game but when Bishopstown were well on top in the opening exchanges they were caught with a superb sucker punch goal from Stephen Glasgow that gave the Rathcormac side the required belief.
Referee Watch: Colm Lyons was always in control but to be fair both teams played the game in a sporting manner that is always a huge help to any official.